Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
Spain Implements Website-Blocking ‘Sinde Law’
Spain’s newly elected Popular Party has implemented the controversial Law for Economic Sustainability (informally known as the “Sinde law” after outgoing Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde). Under the Sinde Law, rightholders can identify websites hosting infringing content to a government commission on intellectual property, which will determine if the site is providing protected content. Within ten days, the government commission can take action against the site or against ISPs providing infrastructure to the site. Click here for more.
Brazil Fast Tracks Follow-On Kaletra Patent; GTPI Files Pre-Grant Opposition
The Brazilian Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial announced it will fast track its decision on whether or not to grant patents on the heat-stabilized versions of lopinavir+ritonavir (brand names: Kaletra, Aluvia) and ritonavir (Norvir). Both medicines are antiretrovirals recommended by the World Health Organization in second line treatment regimens. If the follow-on patents are granted, they will not expire until 2024. The Brazilian Network for the Integration of Peoples Working Group on Intellectual Property (GTPI) has filed a pre-grant opposition. In a recent blog on the matter, GTPI alleges that “the claims made by Abbott do not meet requirements of the Brazilian industrial property law, such as novelty and inventive step.” Click here for more.
FFII notes on the Meeting of the Dec 20 European Legal Affairs Committee
In a blog post on the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure website, Ante Wessells describes the committee’s discussion of ACTA. MEP Marielle Gallo (Rapporteur for ACTA) argued that the agreement is compatible with current EU law. She pointed to the Article 6 language meant to guarantee against abuses, and to safeguards found in Article 27. MEP Christian Engström argued that the Parliament “should send the ACTA agreement to the European Court of Justice to get clear and proper guidance.” Engström noted that the Legal Service opinion on ACTA confirmed warnings against ACTA regarding its compatibility with fundamental rights in the EU and abroad, and he used as an example the disproportionality of damages, which under ACTA are based on retail price. MEP Eva Lichtenberger agreed that it is important to seek clarification from the Court. Click here for the full notes on ffii.org
USTR Publishes List of “Notorious Markets”
On December 20 the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a report on its review of Notorious Markets, in which it “identifies selected markets, including ones on the Internet, that are reportedly engaged in piracy and counterfeiting, according to information submitted to USTR in response to a request for comments. These are marketplaces that have been the subject of enforcement action or that may merit further investigation for possible intellectual property rights infringements.” Though it uses the report to highlight markets originally identified by IP owners, USTR noted that the report “does not purport to reflect findings of legal violations.” Click here for more.
Swiss Parliamentarian Proposes Data Protection Rules Short of Data Exclusivity in EFTA-India Trade Agreement
Swiss Member of Parliament Hildegard Fässler-Osterwalder has asked the Swiss government for clarification and official positioning regarding the data protection issue in the European Free Trade Association-India FTA. She notes the role of India as the main source of pharmaceuticals for the world’s poor, and points to warnings from the UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health and UNAIDS that overly strong data protection can harm the right to health. (The European Free Trade Association consists of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein, and its agreement with India is separate from the EU-India FTA, also currently under negotiation.) Click here for more.