IP-Enforcement Roundup – September 12, 2011

Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

Intellectual property and information policy experts from around the world have released the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest.  Citing an “unprecedented expansion of the concentrated legal authority exercised by intellectual property rights holders” through recent trade agreements, the experts call for new efforts to “re-articulate the public interest dimension in intellectual property law and policy.”  The Declaration was created through a consultative process with over 180 experts from 35 countries in six continents at the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, August 25-27 at American University Washington College of Law.  It is currently open for signatures.  Click here for more.

At TTP Negotiating Round, USTR Holds Firm on Secrecy and IP Maximalism

The eight round of trade negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement are taking place between September 6 and 15 in Chicago. The United States intends to table additional intellectual property text this week, and will publish a white paper on IP and access to medicines today (Monday).  The text itself will remain classified.  A consultation was held where civil society groups discussed issues related to IP and access to medicines with US negotiators.  According to Sean Flynn, some of what was learned at the consultation was: “Transparency will be worse than ACTA; USTR has abandoned the ‘May 10’ flexibilities for developing countries; USTR continues to believe that IP maximalism, including the promotion of restrictions on TRIPS flexibilities, promotes access to medicines in developing countries; USTR resists evidence-based law making for IP chapter; Pharma endorses Medicaid/US carve outs, urges other countries to similarly scale back public reimbursement.”  Click here for more.

Novartis Challenge to Section 3(d) of India’s Patents Act Continues; Focuses on Definition of “Efficacy”

On Tuesday, September 6, a Division Branch of the Supreme Court of India was scheduled to hear Novartis’ challenge to an Appellate Decision that prevented it from patenting imatinib messylate, but Judge Dalveer Bhandari recused himself, sending the matter to another branch. Novartis’ patent application was rejected because the drug was found to be a new form a known substance that did not show increased efficacy over old forms.  Section 3(d) of the Patents Act requires new forms of known substances to show greater efficacy in order to be patentable.  Novartis is arguing that the definition of “efficacy” should be broad enough to include increases in bioavailability, while the Madras High Court that rejected its patent application defined efficacy as “therapeutic effect in healing a disease.”  Health advocates are concerned that a ruling in favor of Novartis would block many other generics currently manufactured in India for both domestic use and for export to developing countries that rely on Indian generics.  Click here for more.

eCancer Medical Science: 59% of Researchers’ Work Hindered by Lack of Free Access to Research Findings

The European Association for Cancer Research has conducted a survey of cancer researchers’ attitudes towards open access publishing.  Among the findings:  “88% of respondents believe that publicly funded research should be made available to be read and used without access barriers,” and “59% of respondents indicated that a lack of access sometimes or often slowed their work.”  Click here for the paper in ecancermedicalscience.com

EU Commissioner for Trade  Discusses the Intersection of IP and Development, Asks Industry to Increase Lobbying

Karel De Gucht, EU Commissioner for Trade, gave a speech on September 7 at the “Conference on Intellectual Property Captured – Which Course to Take against Counterfeiters?”  The speech stressed the actions the EU is taking to strengthen IP and fight piracy, including “finalization of the EU patent,” proposals to “revise both the Community Trade Mark Regulation and the Trade Mark Directive,” and “a review of the 2004 IPR Enforcement Directive.”  De Gucht noted concerns over strong IP in developing countries, but argued it is still in developing countries’ interest to strengthen IP. He urged his audience, which he acknowledged was mostly industry representatives, to “support our efforts to improve and implement IPR regimes in a more active manner.”  Click here for more.

Events and Deadlines