U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled today to hear oral arguments in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a case which revisits the relationship between the Copyright Act’s limits on importation of a copyrighted work without permission and the first sale doctrine. Supap Kirtsaeng helped to finance his doctorate in mathematics by having friends and family send him copies of textbooks sold at a lower price in Thailand and then selling them in the United States. Although these books were lawfully purchased in Thailand, Kirtsaeng was sued by John Wiley & Sons for copyright infringement. Click here for more.

Petition: New Course for Pan African Intellectual Property Organization Urgently Needed

[Ahmed Abdel Latif] In 2006, an Extraordinary Conference of the African Ministers of Council on Science and Technology meeting in Cairo mooted the idea of establishing a Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO). Since then, nothing much has been publicly discussed about the nature and scope of this organization until the ‘final’ draft for PAIPO statute surfaced recently for adoption by the 5th African Union Ministerial Conference on Science & Technology (AMCOST V) meeting Nov 12 – 16 2012 in Congo (Brazzaville). The draft statute as it currently stands grants PAIPO significant powers in regulating IP in Africa. However, it also advances a narrow view of IP as an “end in itself” which does not take on board many of the critical public policy objectives in the areas of public health and access to knowledge that African countries have played a key role in pushing forward at the international level. Click here for more.

Open Source Drug Discovery in Practice: A Case Study

[Abstract reposted from the PLoS Journal of Neglected and Tropical Diseases.]  Authors: Christine Årdal and John-Arne Røttingen. Background: Open source drug discovery offers potential for developing new and inexpensive drugs to combat diseases that disproportionally affect the poor. The concept borrows two principle aspects from open source computing (i.e., collaboration and open access) and applies them to pharmaceutical innovation. By opening a project to external contributors, its research capacity may increase significantly. To date there are only a handful of open source R&D projects focusing on neglected diseases. We wanted to learn from these first movers, their successes and failures, in order to generate a better understanding of how a much-discussed theoretical concept works in practice and may be implemented. Click here for more.

Open Access Week

Last week was Open Access Week, an “an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.”  For news and recaps of events held around the world, see openaccessweek.org.

Statement by ACT-UP Paris, April, and La Quadrature du Net on IPR Provisions in European Trade Agreements

[Joint press release] In 2011 and 2012, European citizens took to the streets to protest against secret negotiations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that threatened their fundamental freedoms. This led to a massive rejection of the agreement in the European Parliament in last July. The message was clear: no repressive measures without a democratic debate by our elected representatives. Nevertheless, the European Commission and the Member States are still trying to force the adoption of repressive measures that undermine fundamental freedoms, under the cover of trade agreements kept secret. The Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA), the India-EU, Thailand-EU, Moldavia-EU Free Trade Agreements, etc.: all these agreements might include dispositions harmful for Internet users’s rights, access to essential drugs or the use of free software. Click here for more.

Statement of Sean Flynn on Implementation of US-Panama Free Trade Agreement

[Sean Flynn] The latest example of the serious threats of U.S. free trade agreement implementation to balanced intellectual property systems in developing countries was announced by USTR today. In an exchange of letters, the U.S. has blessed the implementation of Panama’s FTA commitments on copyright that threaten the business models of some of the largest U.S. corporations – from Google to Ebay, Facebook to Netflix. Just prior to the FTA implementation, Panama sought to comply with the FTA requirements on copyright by passing a new law creating copyright protections on temporary storage on the internet, with no protection for the kind of buffer copies necessary for popular and fully licensed streaming services, while at the same time removing its broad fair use rights and adding a provision that all limitations and exceptions in its law must be strictly interpreted. Click here for more.