Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
Call for Papers: Towards a Positive Agenda in International Intellectual Property Law
American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property is seeking contributions to its online working paper series, and for a focus issue of the American University International Law Review, on the topic of positive agendas in international intellectual property law. We are particularly interested in policy and academic work that expounds on themes articulated in the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest. Works on other topics relevant to the theme are also welcomed, including critiques of current policy proposals as well as the construction of new ones. Paper submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 1, 2011. Click here for more.
Translations of the Washington Declaration on Intellectual property and the Public Interest
The Washington Declaration has been translated into Portuguese by Joana Varon and Walter Britto from the Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade at Fundação Getulio Vargas, and by a team led by Marcos Wachowicz at the Groupo de Estudos em Direitos Autorais e Informação Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. Volunteers are currently working to translate the declaration into Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, and Korean. As of today, the document has received 754 signatures. The Portuguese version has been posted, and the other translations will be posted once they are complete, here: http://infojustice.org/washington-declaration
Videos of the Keynote Speakers at the Global Congress
The keynotes of the opening plenary of the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest are available online – Peter Jaszi, “IP Expansion and Public Interest Responses”; Pamela Samuelson, “Changing Technology and Public Interest Legal Reform”; Peter Hugenholtz, Framing the Public Interest Agenda in Copyright”; Carlos Correa, Perspectives from the South on IP and Innovation.” Click here for the videos.
African Platform on Access to Information
The Pan African Conference on Access to Information was held this month in Capetown, hosted by UNECSO, the African Union, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Delegates signed the African Platform on Access to Information, which states that “access to information is a fundamental human right” and that “the right of access to information shall be established by law in each African country.” A model law on Access to Information is currently being drafted by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights. Click here for more.
IP Debate Surrounding the UN High Level Meeting on Non Communicable Diseases
On September 19-20, the UN held a High Level Meeting to develop a global strategy to fight Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), “principally cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.” A draft resolution was developed prior to the meeting for ratification and delivery to the UN General Assembly. The U.S. lobbied for the removal of references to the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health from the draft resolution – reference to the Doha Declaration would have reinforced that the TRIPS Agreement flexibility regarding compulsory licenses is available to all WTO Members, not only countries facing specific emergencies. The final resolution did not include the reference to the Doha Declaration, but paragraph 52 urges countries to promote access to prevention, treatment, and care “including through the full use of trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) flexibilities.” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff defended the use of compulsory licensing for NCDs in her address to the meeting, noting that NCDs cause 72% of all nonviolent deaths of people under 70 in Brazil. Click here for more.
Obama’s Deficit Plan Would Reduce Data Exclusivity for Biologics and Ban Pay-for-Delay Patent Settlements
The Obama administration’s proposal to reduce U.S. deficits would reduce data exclusivity for biologic medicines to 7 years, and would “prohibit additional periods of exclusivity for brand biologics due minor changes in product formulations, a practice often referred to as ‘evergreening’.” This proposal for shorter periods of data exclusivity for biologics would run afoul of the requirement for 12 years of data exclusivity that is rumored to be in the secret TPP negotiating text tabled by USTR in Chicago last week.
It would also prohibit pay-for-delay settlements of patent litigation between branded and generic manufacturers, an abuse of the linkage between the USPTO and the FDA common in the US. Click here for more.
USTR Requests Comments On ‘Notorious Markets’ For IPR Infringement
The U.S. Trade Representative has requested comments from interested parties on “Notorious Markets,” which include both physical markets and internet sites that distribute infringing content. This is the second year the USTR list of Notorious Markets has been separate from the Special 301 Report. Comments are due by October 26, and “should clearly identify the reason or reasons why the mature or scope of activity associated with the identified market or markets exemplify the problem of marketplaces that deal in infringing goods and help sustain global piracy and counterfeiting.” Click here for more.
Events and Deadlines
- September 30 – Workshop on Innovation and Patent Harmonization, Boston University
- September 26 -October 5 – WIPO Assembly of Member States
- October 5 – Golan v. Holder: Copyright, the Public Domain, and the First Amendment at the Supreme Court
- October 10 – WIPO Symposium on IP and Competition Policy
- October 26 – Deadline to submit comments to USTR for its out of cycle review of notorious markets
- November 19-20 – Socially Responsible Licensing: Achieving Social Equity through Voluntary Licensing. Hosted by Boston University and Warwick University.