Next Round of TPP Negotiations Begins on Thursday; Comments on the Entry of Canada and Mexico Due Tomorrow
The fourteenth round of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement begins on September 6 and runs through the 15th. There will be a stakeholder forum on Sunday the 9th. USTR has previously told stakeholders that the focus of the intellectual property talks will be the copyright chapter. This includes the text on limitations and exceptions tabled by the U.S. last July. In advance of the round, 12 civil society groups have released a joint statement highlighting their concerns over the U.S. limitations and exceptions proposal, and eight Members of Congress have requested access to the negotiations as observers. USTR will accept comments from the public on the entry of Canada and Mexico into the TPP negotiations until noon tomorrow.
Thousands Sign Petition Against Controversial Colombian Copyright Law
Nearly 12,000 people have signed a petition in support of a lawsuit challenging Colombia’s copyright bill passed last year to comply with the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Senator Camilo Romero has challenged the controversial law (known popularly as “Ley Lleras 2”) in the Constitutional Court. He warns that the law severely limits rights such as freedom of expression and privacy, and it restricts access to knowledge. Click here for more.
Samsung’s Billion Dollar Question
[Guest blog for Public Knowledge by PIJIP Professor Jorge Contreras] “Despite its own protestations to the contrary, I am confident that the rumors of Samsung’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Of course, the Korean electronics giant can’t be happy about the $1.05 billion verdict handed down by a San Jose jury last Friday. It will be even less happy if Judge Koh imposes another $2.10 billion in punitive damages on account of Samsung’s “willful” infringement. And spirits in Seoul will surely sink if the judge grants Apple’s request to enjoin the future sale of infringing Samsung products in the U.S. But Samsung, not to mention other manufacturers of Android-based gadgets, will weather these setbacks and, I predict, be back in the ring within a few months. And I don’t base that view on the inevitable appeals of the jury verdict.” Click here for more
See also the webcast of PIJIP’s September 27 event featuring a discussion of the Apple-Samsung verdict and litigation by WCL professors Jorge Contreras, Jonas Anderson and Christine Farley.
18 Thai Civil Society Groups Urge EU Parliamentary Delegation to Reconsider TRIPS-Plus Provisions in EU-Thailand FTA
A coalition of eighteen Thai civil society groups has written an open letter to the European Parliamentary delegation to Thailand. The letter warns that the TRIPS-Plus provisions in the trade agreement between EU and Thailand – including border measures, data exclusivity, patent term extensions, and protection for new indications – would block access to generic medicines. It points out that this would violate the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, as well as the European Parliament Resolution on Major and Neglected Diseases in Developing Countries (2005/2047(INI)). Click here for more.
Australian Law Reform Commission Seeks Comments on Copyright and the Digital Environment
The Australian Law Reform Commission is seeking submissions on it Copyright and Digital Economy Issues Paper. The deadline for submissions is November 16, 2012. The ALRC inquiry aims to provide structure to the debate regarding the adequacy of present exceptions and licensing in the digital environment, with the goal of incentivizing economic and cultural development. Click here for more.
World Bank Study on Open Government and Open Data in Moldova
[World Bank] ABSTRACT: “In April 2011, Moldova became one of the first countries in the region, and among the first 16 countries in the world, to launch and Open Data portal. The government has subsequently released 324 datasets… This has been complimented by the cultivation of an ‘enabling environment’ for Open Data and Open Government such as the prioritized electronic access to datasets and services of significant public interest, as well as delivery of the four most demanded public e-services, all planned for the end of 2012… Adopting a mixed-mode research design, this study draws upon surveys, observational data and interviews conducted with key actors to document the underlying drivers, principal objectives and the evolution of Moldova Open Government and Open Data initiatives. A comparative study of Moldova’s Open Data in relation to other global Open Data initiatives is included.” Click here for more.
Call for Input for Open Government Standards
[by Access Info Europe] “Access Info Europe is leading a new campaign to create Open Government Standards and promote them around the world. The idea is to set standards on what open, transparent, accountable and participatory government really means. Open Government is a hot topic right now, but what does it really mean in practice? What should governments be doing in the areas of Transparency, Participation and Accountability to qualify as ‘open governments’? What are the uses of new communications technologies which really advance openness as opposed to merely perpetuating existing bureaucratic practices in a digital environment? Over the next few months, we aim to answer those questions, drawing together all the standards already developed by civil society into a coherent structure around the emerging concept of open government.” Click here for more.
General Mobilisation Against the Return of Software Patents in Europe
[April Press Release] “In the next few days, the legal affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament will discuss on the next actions regarding the project for a unitary patent. Behind what looks like a technical text lies a crucial issue: who decides on what is patentable and what is not. As software patents are coming back in international news with the Apple/Samsung case, we need to ensure that such aberrations cannot happen in Europe. April calls for a general mobilisation to contact all MEPs, so that the European Parliament finally tackles the issue of the software patentability.” Click here for the full press release.
Bayer Compulsory License of Cancer Drug in India
[MSF press release] “German pharmaceutical company Bayer today heads to India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board in Chennai in a bid to overturn a compulsory licence which has allowed more affordable generic versions of sorafenib tosylate, a cancer drug patented by Bayer, to be produced in the interest of public health. International humanitarian health organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has criticised Bayer for the move. “Bayer’s appeal against this landmark ruling in India is predictable; they’re using litigation rather than addressing the reality that their prices are too high”, said Leena Menghaney, Campaign Manager in India for MSF’s Access Campaign. “It is not the use of a compulsory licence that should be challenged, but the continued pursuit of excessively high profits over public health needs.” Click here for the full release.