Sep 272016

yuAbstract: From the debate among presidential candidates on whether the United States should ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement to the arbitrations Philip Morris and Eli Lilly have sought through the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, the investment-related aspects of intellectual property rights have recently garnered considerable policy, scholarly, and media attention.

This growing attention, to some extent, has brought back memories about the time when the WTO TRIPS Agreement began to transform intellectual property law by redirecting our focus to the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. Whether the recent developments on the investment front represent yet another paradigm shift in intellectual property law remains an important academic and policy question. Continue reading »

Sep 272016

Photo: Mobile Media Mob for Treatment Action Campaign

Catherine Tomlinson, Yuan Qiong Hu, Julia Hill and Claire Waterhouse
Fix the Patent Laws Campaign

Full Text (PDF)
Executive Summary:

In this report, we present nine case studies that demonstrate how systemic shortcomings in South Africa’s patent laws negatively impact on access to medicines to treat a wide range of diseases in both the public and private sectors.

The case studies illustrate how a flawed system can allow pharmaceutical companies to prolong their monopoly periods in South Africa for years – and sometimes even decades – after their patent protections have expired in other parts of the world, to the detriment of millions of patients. Continue reading »

Sep 262016

cis indiaThe court conclusively stated that the reproduction of any work by a teacher or a pupil in the course of instruction would not constitute infringement.

[Anubha Sinha, CIS-India, Link (CC-BY)] In a landmark judgment, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi high court has held that reproducing books and distributing copies thereof for the purpose of education is not copyright infringement. The ruling legitimises the practice of photocopying prevalent in universities and other spaces of learning. The question of whether such photocopying without the permission of the copyright holders was legal arose in 2013. A group of five prominent publishers had filed a suit against the University of Delhi and its photocopying service provider, alleging infringement of their copyrighted titles. Continue reading »

Sep 232016

colombia flag - better croppingClick here for a printable PDF

We write as a group of international intellectual property academics and experts in response to the request for comments on Colombia’s recently released copyright law amendment bill, Proyecto de ley Por la cual se modifica la Ley 23 de 1982 y se adiciona la legislación nacional en materia de derecho de autor y derechos conexos.

We understand that the bill is intended to implement the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Other countries – including Singapore and Korea – have successfully used Free Trade Agreement implementing processes to adopt exceptions specifically modeled on the U.S. “fair use” exception. The general approach associated with the term “fair use” is to include an exception to copyright that is general, open and flexible, as those terms are defined below. The particulars of how such an approach may be implemented can differ from country to country. Both civil and common law systems increasingly embrace such exceptions in their law. Colombia can and should consider including one in its revision. Continue reading »

Sep 232016

cc2Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)

Today Creative Commons, CC Colombia, and over a dozen other CC affiliates and partners sent a letter to the Colombian government calling for user-friendly copyright reform. Colombia’s copyright law is being re-opened to come into compliance with the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

We believe that this is a timely opportunity to introduce positive changes to copyright that will support users and the public, such as adopting a flexible use exception like fair use. Our community looks forward to providing ideas and feedback during the reform process. Continue reading »

Sep 222016

ifla-eblidaJoint statement by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations, Link (CC-BY)

As we enter the final days of the countdown to the entry into force of the 2013 Marrakesh Treaty for Visually Impaired Persons, there is cause for some optimism in Europe.

The European Commission has published draft legislation that will establish a clear right for individuals and ‘authorised entities’ such as libraries to make accessible copies of books for visually impaired people and those with other reading disabilities. Moreover, it opens the way to the sharing of such copies, not only within and between the EU’s Member States, but also globally. Continue reading »

Sep 222016

strbaAuthor: Susan Isiko Strba

Abstract: This article considers both national and multilateral approaches to facilitate access to copyrighted materials for educational purposes in developing countries. It emphasizes the need for both normative re-ordering and institutional reform. In case of normative re-ordering, the article highlights the role that national institutions like courts, in addition to legislators, might play in crafting case-by-case educational exceptions. However, it argues that limitations and exceptions in themselves are insufficient doctrinal mechanisms on which to place the sole burden of facilitating effective access to educational materials. At the international level, the article proposes an approach that goes beyond the current emphasis on limitations and exceptions. Such an approach should evolve within the international intellectual property (IP) system and its affiliated institutions like WIPO and the WTO. The failure of attempts to provide normative solutions for access to other public goods such as public health or climate-related technologies, strongly suggests that institutional reform and normative re-ordering must be simultaneously pursued in the international arena. Continue reading »

Sep 192016

levitt_congress_cropped[Originally posted on Circle ID, Link) High drug prices are a global public health crisis. This is mostly the case among lower income countries but also for citizens and residents in the U.S, where tens of millions are not filling prescriptions due to cost. The international online marketplace is a much-needed lifeline for consumers who cannot afford prescription medication where they live. People deserve the widest possible access to safe and affordable medication, including online access, and the Internet community can help. Continue reading »

Sep 182016

india-flag[Association of Students for Equitable Access to Knowledge, Link] In a rare and incredible order today, the Delhi High Court has dismissed the copyright infringement case filed by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis (Routledge) against Rameshwari Photocopy Shop in Delhi School of Economics and Delhi University. Justice R.S Endlaw in a 94 pages long judgment interpreted educational exception under section 52(1)(i) of the copyright act in broad enough manner to cover the acts of photocopying. Continue reading »

Sep 152016

flags-br-and-arJoint statement by Fundación Grupo Efecto Positivo and the ABIA Grupo de Trabalho sobre Propriedade Intelectual 

Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, September 15th, 2016 – The United Nation’s High Level Panel (UN HLP) on Access to Medicines released yesterday its final report. The Panel was mandated in November 2015 by UN’s Secretary-General Mr. Ban-Ki Moon to find solutions for the “incoherence” between human rights and public health and rules on intellectual property that hinders innovation and access to medicines. Although the recommendations of the report could have been stronger, it clearly recommends the use of pro public health safeguards to promote the human right to health. The report describes some of the challenges faced by countries to make use of those safeguards, however it fails on addressing the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies. Continue reading »

Sep 142016

communiaPaul Keller, Communia, Link (CC-0)

The copyright reform proposal presented today by the European Commission fails to meet the needs of citizens, educators, and researchers across Europe. Instead of strengthening the information economy, the proposal preserves a status quo defined in the analog age. In the process, it hinders education, research and cultural expression. Continue reading »

Sep 142016

UN High Level Report CoverExecutive Summary and Recommendations are below,
Click here for the full report


In September 2015, 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). This agenda includes Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 that aims to ensure healthy lives and promote the wellbeing of all people of all ages. SDG 3 is an important vehicle for realizing the right to health and the right to share in the benefits of scientific advancements, whose affirmation dates back to the Charter of the United Nations (1945), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) (1948). These rights are also enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) and various other international treaties, declarations and national laws, including at least 115 constitutions.  Continue reading »