Sep 302014

oxfam-haiOxfam press release, Link

Insufficient innovation and a lack of access to affordable medicines are major barriers to achieving the right to health in low- and middle-income countries.

This paper argues that European Union trade policies should not be used to bolster pharmaceutical companies’ profits by extending their monopolies on medicine prices to supposedly reward research. Instead, the incoming European Commission must defend a trade and R&D model that is coherent with its development and public health objectives, and that supports innovative R&D models that create new, affordable medicines. Continue reading »

Sep 292014

wipo logo[Joint  press release, Link] The World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and World Trade Organization (WTO) will hold a technical symposium on “Innovation and access to medical technologies: challenges and opportunities for middle income countries” on 5 November 2014 at the WTO in Geneva.

The symposium will held at the WTO, Centre William Rappard, rue de Lausanne 154, Geneva in Room CR

A background note, draft programme and online registration are available here (English only). Registration is available until 3 November 2014, 12 noon Geneva time, and is mandatory. Continue reading »

Sep 292014

burkAuthor: Dan L. Burk

Abstract:   Copyright law is largely a response to new media: from the printing press through radio, photocopiers, and digital computers, changes in copyright reflect the increased public availability of information reproduction technologies. But while the exclusive rights conferred by copyright are shaped by the technologies they respond to, the opposite is also true: technology is shaped in response to the requirements of copyright, altering or innovating designs to either avoid or accommodate the demands of the law. Continue reading »

Sep 292014

abhishek-telang-zhangAuthors: Vibhanshu Abhishek, Rahul Telang, and Yi Zhang

Abstract: Advances in technology have enabled producers of entertainment goods to reach customers in innovative ways. However, new technologies also make it easier for users to infringe on the content. Producers argue that piracy hurts their ability to innovate, while critics argue that piracy acts as a leveler and encourages consumer friendly innovation. In this paper, we explore the interplay of piracy and technology adoption based on a dynamic model. In this model, the firm always releases a physical product initially and has to make a decision on whether and when to adopt the newer digital platform to facilitate digital release. New platform can help the producer target broader customer base, but can be costly and might lead to higher piracy. Continue reading »

Sep 262014

australia flagExcerpt from Competition Policy Review, Draft Report, September 2014, published under a CC-BY license.  The review is being conducted by a panel chaired by Professor Ian Harper.  It is accepting comments until November 17, and will issue a final report by March 15.  The full draft report (and instructions for comments) is available here.  The excerpt below is from pages 87-88.

For individual countries, the optimal design and level of IP rights depends on the extent to which they are net importers or exporters of different forms of IP. Australia is a net importer of IP.[45] With trade and commerce-related aspects of IP crossing national borders, IP has been the subject of international treaties. Frameworks influencing Australian IP law and trade and commerce in IP both within Australia and internationally, include: Continue reading »

Sep 222014

Image by Jonathasmello (CC-BY)[Nicole Allen, SPARC, Link, (CC-BY)]  A new briefing paper on state-level open educational resources policy was released yesterday by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), a non-partisan think tank that provides education policy advice to U.S. states. Entitled “Open source textbooks can help drive down the overall cost of college,” the brief provides an overview of trends in OER policy to address the rising cost of college textbooks. Continue reading »

Sep 192014

mrLecture by Prof. Matthew Rimmer, ANU College of Law

September 24, 2014 | 4:30 pm | Reception to Follow
Room 603 | American University Washington College of Law
 Logistics and Directions | Webcast

Matthew Rimmer argues that Big Tobacco has been engaged in a dark, shadowy plot and conspiracy to hijack the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and undermine tobacco control measures – such as graphic health warnings and the plain packaging of tobacco products. Continue reading »

Sep 192014

public citizenCross posted from Public Citizen’s Eye’s on Trade. Link.

In an op-ed appearing in Forbes on Tuesday, the CEO of Eli Lilly, a U.S. pharmaceutical corporation, paints a glowing picture of how the proposed Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) would benefit consumers on both sides of the Atlantic – but it’s pure fantasy.

It is not surprising that Eli Lilly is cheerleading this controversial deal. This is the same pharmaceutical firm that is using the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – TAFTA’s predecessor – to challenge Canada’s legal standards for granting patents and demand $500 million in taxpayer compensation. Continue reading »

Sep 172014

BrookBakerGilead has just released the text of its hepatitis C license.  Although there has been some praise for Gilead offering expanded generic access in 91 countries where over 100 million people living with hepatitis C live, there has also been mounting criticism over its exclusion of 51 middle-income countries with 49 million infected.

This paper closely analyzes the license to see what its impact might be, paying close attention to its definition of covered patent rights and illusory mechanisms that might eventually allow supply in some excluded territories.   Continue reading »

Sep 152014

ncubeJournal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice.

Abstract:  This article discusses South Africa’s draft Intellectual Property Policy proposed reforms. It considers how these may be practically implemented. In particular, it focuses on the phased sector specific introduction of substantive patent examination, possible co-operation with other national or regional patent offices to enhance examination capacity, the retention of non-examination for utility or second-tier patents and the involvement of third parties in the examination process. It also considers the re-introduction of opposition proceedings to further strengthen the patent system. Continue reading »

Sep 152014

australia flagProfessor Henry Ergas and Professor Allan Fels
A Submission to the Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper
Click here for the full submission

Authors’ summary of Key Points:

The changes proposed in the government’s recent discussion paper on “Online Copyright Infringement” have the potential to impose costs that greatly exceed their benefits.

By extending authorisation liability, the proposals will place on ISPs and on a broad range of other entities, including cloud service providers, schools and libraries, risks they are poorly placed to manage. This inefficient allocation of risk will increase costs for end-users and chill innovation. Continue reading »

Sep 122014

BrookBakerGilead has been busy building positive publicity for its proposed license on two new direct-acting oral antivirals used to treat infections with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), sofosbuvir (Sovaldi®) and ledipasvir, that will allow Indian generic manufacturers to produce and sell individual versions and a combination of the two medicines in a subset of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). News stories have been uncritically positive so far about the still-secret license, and Gilead is quite coy with respect to key details. Health reporters and hep C activists should raise pointed questions about the scope and impact of the proposed license during Gilead’s press conference, now scheduled for 3:00 p.m. September 15, 2014 in India. Continue reading »