U.S. border authorities report increase in border seizures

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that the number of seizures of infringing goods at the U.S. border increased 34% in 2010, though the overall value of goods seized dropped.  According to the report, “a shift in seizures at mail facilities and in the express shipping environment is a main driver for these changes,” as authorities take action against direct to consumer shipment[s] of infringing goods.” The top types of goods seized were “footwear” (24%), “consumer electronics” (18%), “wearing apparel” (10%), and “handbags, wallets, backpacks” (8%). Click here for more.

Photobucket has no duty to police its website, rules judge

BNA reports that “an online service that permits users to upload, store, and share images has no duty to ensure those files are noninfringing, even if it has received Digital Millennium Copyright Act-compliant notices requesting the removal of a plaintiff’s works in the past, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled March 17 (Wolk v. Kodak Imaging Network Inc., S.D.N.Y., No. 10-4135, 3/17/11).” Click here for the order. | Click here for the  BNA story.

UN Rapporteur for the Right to Health asked to intervene in TPP negotiations

Eleven nonprofit organizations and three professors have requested that the UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health, “issue an urgent appeal” to the governments negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership.  The request alleges that the proposed intellectual property provisions “threaten and violate the rights of hundreds of millions of persons to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.” Click here for more.

Property Rights Alliance publishes 2011 International Property Rights Index

In a project supported by 67 “partner” organizations, the Property Rights Alliance has published a report ranking 129 countries on property rights, including (but not limited to) intellectual property rights.  The report’s measurement of strength of IP protection is an amalgam of previous measurements by the IIPA, the World Economic Forum, and the Ginarte-Park Index of Patent Rights. In addition to rankings, the report includes a brief description of property rights of each of the countries surveyed, and some analysis of the effect of property rights overall.  It points out that countries with higher levels of IP protection tend to have higher GDPs, but it shows no significant relationship between the strength of IP rights and foreign direct investment or GDP growth.  Click here for more.

Competing perspectives on U.S. intellectual property and trade policy

PIJIP will host a debate between two leading industry advocates of divergent visions of U.S. trade policy on intellectual property and technology matters.  Participants will be: Matt Schurers, Vice President for Law & Policy, Computer & Communications Industry Association. (CCIA members include Google, Facebook, Oracle, ebay, Nividia, and AMD); and Steve Metalitz, Partner, Michell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.  (MS&K clients include Sony, RIAA, MPAA, and ASCAP). A live webcast will be made available on infojustice.org. Click here for more.

Save the Date: Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual Property, August 25-28, 2011

American University Washington College of Law (WCL) will host the first annual Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual Property August 25-27, 2011. The Global Congress will be co-hosted by WCL’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Fundação Getulio Vargas’s Center for Technology and Society (Brazil), the American Assembly at Columbia University, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (Geneva), and the Institute for Global and International Studies at George Washington University. The ongoing international intellectual property enforcement agenda has come under increasing scrutiny from public interest advocates and independent researchers, including through the recently released Media Piracy in Emerging Economies report. Taking these research and advocacy interventions as a starting point, the Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual Property will serve as a site for the sharing of research, ideas and policy proposals for how international intellectual property law should be constructed to better protect the full range of global public interest concerns. Click here for more.

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