Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
Reps. Issa and Maloney Introduce Bill Threatening Open Access Research
The Research Works Act (H.R.3699) introduced by Reps. Issa and Maloney would prohibit grantwriting federal agencies from requiring that research resulting from their grants be made freely available online. Section 2 of the bill reads: “No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work.” The legislation runs counter to the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy, enacted in 2008, which requires that NIH-funded peer-reviewed journal articles be to be “accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.” Click here for more.
Canada Seeks Comments on Its Possible Participation in the TPP Negotiations
The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is seeking comments on whether it should join the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. Its notice asks for input on a range of topics, including “views and experiences with the protection of intellectual property rights.” The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2012. Click here for the official government notice.
White House Extends Deadline for Public Access and Digital Data Requests for Information to Jan 12
Rick Wiess from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy writes “In November, OSTP issued two Requests for Information (RFI), one on open access to scientific publications and the other on the management of digital data. Yesterday, responding to numerous requests, we submitted to the Federal Register an extension of the deadlines for those RFIs to January 12, 2012… The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010… calls upon OSTP to coordinate with agencies to develop policies that assure widespread public access to and long-term stewardship of the results of federally funded unclassified research. Towards that goal, OSTP issued the two RFIs soliciting public input on long-term preservation of and public access to the results of federally funded research, including digital data and peer-reviewed scholarly publications.” Click here for more.
USTR Solicits Comments for 2012 Special 2012 Review, Announces Open Hearing
On December 28, USTR published a request for comments in the Federal Register for the 2012 Special 301 Report, its annual report which identifies countries that “deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.” USTR also announced it will hold an open hearing on February 23 as part of its 2012 Special 301 Review. Click here for more.
New Directions on International Intellectual Property
[The following are an edited version of Sean Flynn's talk on January 7, 2012 on a panel at the American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.] The field of international intellectual property is being shaped today at the intersection of two rival and conflicting agendas. The high protectionist (maximalist) agenda being pushed by the US and other wealthy countries. And the opposing “development agenda” being led by Brazil, India and other developing countries. A lot of what may be interesting and consequential in the field in the future will likely follow from the intersections and conflicts between these two agendas. Click here for more.
EU Legal Opinion on ACTA
On December 19, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee voted to make the EU Legal Service Opinion on ACTA publicly available. [Click here for the full Opinion]. At the subsequent hearing on ACTA, Swedish Pirate Party MEP Christian Engström argued that “this Legal Opinion confirms the fact that ACTA is at best a borderline case. It depends very much on how it would be implemented, if it actually would be compatible with fundamental rights. So, I think there is a very strong case for asking for more authoritative guidance from the ECJ before we even consider giving consent to signing this agreement.” Click here for MEP Engström’s full floor statement.