Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
TPP Negotiations to Resume This Week in Dallas
The 12th round of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership will be held from May 8-18 in Dallas Texas. Topics to be covered in the negotiations include patents and enforcement of intellectual property. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Asian Affairs Tami Overby told Inside U.S. Trade that “intellectual property and innovation” will beamong the Chamber’s top focuses in this round, and that it will “continue to insist that the TPP countries seek a highly ambitious text on intellectual property rights.” Side events will include a Public Citizen lunch on IP and innovation, and a Public Knowledge lunch on copyright enforcement. Click here for more.
EP Committee on International Trade to Vote on Opinion on ACTA
Next week, the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade will vote on its draft legal opinion on ACTA. The legal opinion states that the “Commission has ensured that ACTA provisions comply with the Union acquis and that nothing in ACTA contradicts the obligations between parties under existing agreements, including the TRIPS Agreement” and that “ACTA will not serve as a basis to interfere with access to medicine and, in particular with trade in generic medicines.” It recommends that Parliament give its consent to the agreement. A letter to the Committee from Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure warns that many issues remain unresolved, and that the committee should withhold its endorsement. Médecins Sans Frontières warned in a statement that the report is “flawed” and may threaten intermediaries that provide medicines to people in developing countries. Click here for more.
Bayer Appeals India’s Compulsory License on Nexaver
[by Brook Baker] Just as Novartis appealed from an order denying its patent application on Glivec, Bayer has now appealed the granting of a compulsory license on Nexavar. Rather than honestly state that it likes selling its cancer medicines for $67,000 to only the richest patients in India, which means that only 200 or so patients get the medicine instead of the tens of thousands who need it, Bayer still makes a nifty profit of nearly $13 million dollars on those sales. If the price excludes the 99%, that’s fine with Bayer – that’s the logic of what it calls the international patent regime. Click here for more.
USTR Releases Special 301 Report
The U.S. Trade Representative has released the 2012 Special 301 Report, in which it accuses countries of denying “adequate and effective” protection of intellectual property, or discriminating against American companies that rely on intellectual property protection. There are 40 countries listed in this year’s report ( after a review of 77). A short statement accompanying the report states that it “reflects the Administration’s resolve to encourage and maintain effective IPR protection and enforcement worldwide. It identifies a wide range of concerns, including troubling ‘indigenous innovation’ policies that may unfairly disadvantage U.S. rights holders in China, the continuing challenges of copyright piracy over the Internet in countries such as Canada, Italy and Russia, and the ongoing, systemic IPR enforcement issues presented in many trading partners around the world.” Click here for more.
Overview of Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright in Israel
This overview of copyright flexibilities in Israel consists of two parts. First, answers to a questionnaire on the state of copyright law, copyright flexibilities, and the current political context of copyright, which were provided by Michael Birnhack and Niva Elkin-Koren. The questionnaire was given to participants at a meeting on Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright hosted by IViR and PIJIP last December. The authors reviewed their answers before this overview was uploaded. Second, it includes a list of the limitations and exceptions to copyright in Israel’s laws, created by PIJIP fellow Marcela Palacio Puerta. It is part of a larger project to map flexibilities in copyright law and input is appreciated. Click here for more
Senate HELP Committee to Hold Hearing on Prize Fund for HIV/AIDS Act
On May 15, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on S. 1138, the Prize Fund for HIV/AIDS Act. The bill, introduced a year ago by Sen. Sanders, would provide direct support to innovators while allowing immediate generic competition upon approval of new treatments for HIV/AIDS. Click here for more.