Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
Open Access Petition Reaches 25,000 Signatures
The online petition urging President Obama “to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research” has generated over 25,000 signatures. All petitions on wethepeople.gov that generate over 25,000 signatures receive a response from the White House. The petition will remain open for signature until July 19 at http://wh.gov/6TH
Open Access Textbook Legislation Advances in California
The California Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill (SB 1053) that would create adigital library of openly available textbooks, and would allow students to buy hard copies for $20. The textbooks will be published under Creative Commons licenses, allowing faculty to update them as necessary, and to tailor them to fit their courses. A companion bill, (SB 1052) creates guidelines for the creation of the texts as open educational resources. Click here for more.
UNDP, UNAIDS Briefing Paper Warns Against TRIPS-Plus Provisions in FTAs
The UN Development Programme and UNAIDS released a joint policy brief this week at workshop on the “Use of TRIPS Flexibilities and Access to Affordable ARVs in Asia.” The paper notes that the use of TRIPS flexibilities has expanded the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy from 300,000 in 2002 to over 6.6 million in 2010. It warns that FTA provisions that broaden patentability, restrict patent oppositions, extend patent duration, require data exclusivity, require patent-registration linkage, and enhance IP enforcement all limit the use of these flexibilities. Therefore, these TRIPS-Plus provisions “may adversely impact medicine prices and consequently, access to treatment.” Click here for more.
Three Committees of the European Parliament Vote Against ACTA
On May 31, three committees of the European Parliament voted to recommend the rejection of ACTA by the full Parliament – the Committee Civil Liberties (LIBE), Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). On June 21, it will go before the fifth and final Committee on International Trade (INTA). 22 European countries have signed ACTA, but the agreement must be approved by the full Parliament in order to take effect. The vote by the full Parliament is scheduled for July 3. Click here for more.
International Development Committee of EU Parliament Votes Against ACTA
Today, the Committee on International Development held a vote on ACTA and recommended its rejection by a large majority. The committee believed that passage of the agreement would negatively affect the health of people in developing countries. Click here for more.
USTR Announces July Round of TPP Negotiations
[from the USTR website] “The next negotiating round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will take place in San Diego, California from July 2-10, 2012. USTR will be hosting a Direct Stakeholder Engagement event on Monday, July 2, 2012. This event will provide stakeholders the opportunity to speak directly and one-on-one with negotiators, raise questions, and share their views. We tried this format at the last round in Dallas, and most stakeholders expressed their preference for this one-on-one engagement. Some stakeholders said they would like the opportunity to make presentations to negotiators as in earlier negotiating rounds and we will accommodate these requests. In addition, there will be a stakeholder briefing on July 3.” Click here for more.