PIJIP and Public Citizen Event October 16 – “IP, Trade and Development”
PIJIP and Public Citizen will co-host a multidisciplinary event that will bring together academics, civil society, and policy makers to 1) examine how intellectual property affects economic growth in countries at different levels of development, and 2) analyze the way the United States ratifies trade agreements through Executive Agreements. A recorded webcast will be available the day following the event. Panelists: Walter Park, Jerome Reichman, Michael Ryan, David Langdon, Joe Damond, Burcu Kilic, Rashmi Rangnath, Oona Hathaway, Rochelle Dreyfuss. Hashtag: #ipdev Click here for more.
Indonesia Licenses Patents for Seven HIV & Hepatitis B Medicines
[by Peter Maybarduk] On September 3, the government of Indonesia took a quiet but exceptionally important step to expand access to medicines and help save and improve lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B. President Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a decree authorizing government use of patents for seven HIV/AIDS and hepatitis medicines. If implemented to the full, the measure would introduce widespread generic competition and generate major cost savings in the world’s fourth most populous country. The decree licenses patents for a slate of HIV medicines, and represents one of the most robust uses of pharmaceutical patent licensing power by a country since the World Trade Organization 1995 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (WTO’s TRIPS). Click here for more.
ACTA-Like Intellectual Property Provisions in the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement Raise Alarm
A leaked text of the Canada-Europe Free Trade Agreement, and an email sent from the Secretariat of the Council of the European Union to the Member States, are fueling concern about the agreement’s IPR provisions. The Canadian Press reports that “the EU proposal would add an average life of 2.66 years to a typical drug patent, and increase Canadian drug costs by between $795 million and $1.95 billion annually.” An email from the Secretariat of the Council of the European Union to the Member States states that the criminal sanctions provisions in the draft are “modeled on those in ACTA.” La Quadrature du Net has written the EU warning that “such criminal measures, broad and disproportionate, are designed to combat widespread non-market cultural practices and target Internet actors driving innovation and growth.” Click here for more.
Ruling for HathiTrust in Important Fair Use Case
Judge Harold Baer has issued a decision in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust that equals a big win for universities and for fair use. The HathiTrust is a digital collection of millions of scanned books from sixty partner institutions. It allows limited uses of all content in the collection – including the searching of full texts for keywords, and access for disabled students in accessible formats. The Authors Guild sued, saying these uses deprived them of sales. Judge Baer sided with the defendants, ruling that “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made by Defendants’ MDP [Mass Digitization Project] and would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts that at the same time effectuates the ideals espoused by the ADA [Americans With Disabilities Act].” Click here for more.
Costa Rica: Students Protest Veto of ‘Photocopying Law’
[Written by Jenny Cascante Gonzalez, Translated by Jane Ellis] Thousands of students participated in a march in San José on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, protesting for their right to photocopy textbooks for educational purposes. The unrest was caused by President Chinchilla vetoing Bill 17342 (known as the ‘Photocopying Law’) which seeks to amend Law No 8039 on Procedures for Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, on the grounds that it removes protection of the work and intellectual property in the artistic, literary and technological areas. Supporters of the march and the Photocopying Law point out that her decision was influenced by pressure from publishers whose business is selling highly priced books. This is why the supporters consider it necessary to ensure the democratisation of education and knowledge through the legalisation of the use of photocopies for educational purposes. Click here for more.
ICTSD: TRIPS-Related Patent Flexibilities and Food Security
[ICTSD Policy Guide by Carlos Correa] Introduction: “This Policy Guide is designed for negotiators and policymakers in the areas of intellectual property, agriculture and food policy as well as breeders, farmers and other members of civil society. We also intend for it to be a useful tool for providers and recipients of technical assistance in the areas of intellectual property and agriculture. This Policy Guide proceeds from the observation that there is insufficient awareness of the flexibilities available for each country to implement the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in a way that is consistent with its food, agriculture and development priorities. These priorities may differ significantly from one country to another, depending on the nature of each country’s agriculture sector and environmental and developmental priorities. The Policy Guide recalls how important the free flow of genetic material and knowledge has been throughout history for progress in plant breeding. The Guide also emphasizes that the flexibilities incorporated in the TRIPS Agreement are an integral part of the agreement. This Guide focuses on patents (as opposed to plant variety protection or plant breeders’ rights). It draws on the wide experience in this area in countries that implement the patent flexibilities discussed, most notably the European Union (EU).” Click here for the full policy guide.