[Patralekha Chatterjee for IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), part of US President Barack Obama’s promised pivot to Asia, has stirred up a hornet’s nest on the ethics of trying to hammer out a trade deal in secrecy. But it is not the only one. A proposed trade agreement in Asia, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), is facing the same hiccups and flak.
This month has been a busy one for Paraguay’s copyright law and Internet governance. The Paraguayan Congress decided to reject copyright legislation that sought to modify the current copyright law in articles 128,138, and 139. ( See ) The reform would have established an “arbitral commission” as part of the Intellectual Property Office (DINAPI) in charge of establishing the fee rate for using copyright. Moreover, the bill of law established that the fee should be paid in a state-dependent “one-stop” location.
Forthcoming in H Ullrich, R Hilty, M Lamping, J Drexl, TRIPS plus 20 – From Trade Rules to Market Principles, Springer (2015) Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 15-05.
Abstract: In the 1980s, significant differences in the levels of intellectual property (IP) protection around the globe triggered unilateral responses of the US as the key demandeur for stronger IP rights. Aspects of this IP unilateralism in turn served as a trade barrier for the importation of goods from other countries into the US. Some of these US measures were successfully challenged as a breach of international trade rules under GATT.
The User Rights track of the Fourth Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, to take place in Delhi, India, December 15-17, 2016, seeks research contributions. The User Rights track will focus on how law and policy can play a key role in breaking down barriers to full participation in the digital economy through expansions of user rights — the rights of users to access, use and transform digital content to further social, economic, cultural and political purposes. User rights can be found in diverse fields of law, including in human rights (e.g. the right to freedom of expression and opinion, the right to participate in cultural heritage, the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress, the right to privacy, the right to health), in limitations and exceptions and enforcement policies in intellectual property laws, in net neutrality and other communication industry regulation, in consumer and competition protection, in privacy rights — including those related to the capturing of user data, in contracts and terms of service, and through other laws that protect the rights of users of the digital economy and the content shared through it.
Abstract: New technologies can often disrupt the balance between public and private interests in copyright law. For example, the Internet has facilitated the dissemination of artistic works by allowing users to mass distribute files within seconds. In response, the entertainment industry has turned to digital rights management (DRM) as one way of combating piracy.
The effects of patenting pharmaceutical products on access to medicines in developing countries are relatively recent as these countries have only been mandated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) rules to grant patents on pharmaceuticals since 2005. As a result there are a limited number of empirical studies documenting these effects.
However, patents grant the patent holder a monopoly on the market that allows the blocking of price-lowering generic competition and the raising of prices which restricts affordable access to medicines. Where patent and other intellectual property (IP) barriers do not exist, generic competition has proven to lower prices of medicines. The attached memo provides numerous examples where intellectual property rules stronger than those required by TRIPS have raised the cost of medicines.
[Greens-European Free Allaince press release, Link] The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee today voted by a broad majority on a report reviewing the EU’s current copyright framework. The report is authored by Pirate Party MEP and vice-president of the Greens/EFA group Julia Reda. The vote follows intense debate, multiple delays and the consideration of over 550 amendments. Commenting after the vote Julia Reda said:
“This report recognises that copyright reform is necessary not just to improve the Digital Single Market but also to promote all EU citizens’ access to knowledge and information in the EU. The report calls on the European Commission to consider a wide variety of measures to bring copyright law up to speed with changing realities and improve cross-border access to our cultural diversity.
Earlier this month, Senator Jeff Sessions wrote President Obama to ask him to make a section of the Trans Pacific Partnership public – the section that creates a “new transnational governance structure known as the Trans Pacific Partnership Commission” which would “have the authority to amend the agreement after its adoption, to add new members, and to issue regulations impacting labor, immigration, environmental and commercial policy.”
The senator was frustrated by the secrecy surrounding the text. To read it, he had to visit the secret reading room in the basement of the Capitol Visitors center where legislators can read the text, while being watched by security guards. He is unable to discuss anything he has read with advisers, staffers, or the people he represents.
Statement at the WTO TRIPS Council, June 2015 – Agenda Item: Request of Least Developed Country WTO Members with Respect to the Extension of the Transition Period for Pharmaceutical Products
Universal health coverage is the central policy objective in global public health and part of the future UN Sustainable Development Goals. Universal health coverage means that all people obtain the full spectrum of essential, quality health services they need without suffering financial hardship. This requires a strong, efficient, well-run health system that meets priority health needs through people-centred integrated care. Health systems must provide for a system for financing health services, a sufficient capacity of well-trained health workers and be able to ensure access to safe, effective and affordable essential medicines and technologies.
The Association of Research Libraries has a new issue brief on fair use in text and data mining. The brief describes the role and usefulness of text and data mining, a short background on fair use, and analysis of fair use, including eight cases that support the use of fair use in text and data mining.
This brief is available here.
The eighth round of negotiation for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement is taking place in Kyoto, Japan and negotiators are meeting to discuss intellectual property provisions. That Japan is representing the private interests of pharmaceutical companies by pushing TRIPS-plus intellectual property (IP) provisions in RCEP negotiations is evident.