IP ENFORCEMENT ROUNDUP
IP Enforcement Coordinator Issues Recommendations to Congress, Including Wiretaps and Felony Sentences for Infringement
IP Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel has issued a white paper listing 20 legislative recommendations to Congress to strengthen IP enforcement. The paper recommends increasing prison sentences for the sale of counterfeiting drugs or products sold to military and law enforcement. It recommends changing the U.S. Sentencing Guideline Range for a number of specific infringements and for “repeat intellectual property offenders.” The paper recommends felony penalties for illegal streaming, and the authorization of wiretaps for investigations of copyright infringement. Click here for more.
House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Hears Testimony on Sites that Distribute Infringing Content
At a hearing titled “Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online: Legitimate Sites v. Parasites, Part I” Subcommittee Members heard testimony from Maria Pallente (Acting U.S. Registrar of Copyrights); David Sohn (Center for Democracy and Technology); Daniel Castro (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation); and Frederick Huntsberry (Paramount Pictures). BNA reports that witnesses recommended that payment processors be required to stop servicing “rogue” sites for and ISPs be required to “suppress” them in search results, and witnesses offered differing views on the effectiveness and wisdom of domain name seizures. Click here for more.
UN Report Recommends Greater Use of TRIPS Flexibilities for Access to Medicines
UNAIDS, UNDP, and the World Health Organization have released a policy brief describing the flexibilities in TRIPS available to increase access to medicines, including compulsory licenses, parallel imports and rules regarding patentability of products. It recommends that low and middle income countries “revise national intellectual property legislation in order to ensure that TRIPS flexibilities specifically geared to promote access to medicines are incorporated into national laws and regulations without delay.” It recommends that high income countries consider implementing the WTO’s mechanism to “facilitate the export of generic medicines to countries without sufficient or any manufacturing capacity.” Click here for more.
U.S. and Brazil Sign Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation
In advance of President Obama’s trip to Brazil, USTR Ron Kirk and Brazilian Minister of External Relations Antonio de Aguiar Patriota signed an agreement establishing a “United States-Brazil Commission on Economic and Trade Relations.” The commission has a work plan that includes “intellectual property rights” without any further description. It will meet once a year or “when considered appropriate,” and will be chaired by officials from USTR, the Brazilian Ministries of External Relations, and the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and External Trade. Click here for more.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines
- March 28-April 1 – WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs, and Geographical Indications
- March 30 – WIPO Seminar on the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs
- April 1 – IP/Gender: Gender and Traditional Cultural Expressions
- April 6 – Special 301 and the IP Enforcement Agenda
- April 14-15 – IFLA – Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge: Action for Europe
- Click here for a calendar of upcoming events