Jan 252016
 

USTR SealOfficials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office have been signaling to businesses unhappy with the deal finalized last year that they may win extra concessions from TPP partner countries through the implementation process.

Politico reports that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman “is sending the message that he’s listening to calls from business groups and some members of Congress to address their complaints with TPP through the way it is implemented, as well as other avenues. Continue reading »

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Jan 122016
 
Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Img: EFF (CC-BY)

A group of 1,525 civil society groups have signed onto a letter sponsored by the Citizen’s Trade Campaign urging Members of Congress to “to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a binding pact that poses significant threats to American jobs and wages, the environment, food safety and public health, and that falls far short of establishing the high standards the United States should require in a 21st Century trade agreement.” The full letter is available here.  The section describing the intellectual property chapter’s threats to public health are below: Continue reading »

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Jan 122016
 

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) USTR Seal has requested comments for the Special 301 Report, which identifies countries that “deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.” It will also hold a public hearing for further input.  The report is produced via an interagency process led by USTR, during which the Special 301 Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee reviews information from “many” sources, including submitted comments and public testimony, and recommends placement of countries in the report.  Continue reading »

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Jan 052016
 

india-flagIndia has released its new model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Its definition of an investment includes ” Copyrights, know-how and intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs and trade names, to the extent they are recognized under the law of a Party.” (Art 1.4.f).

It contains a carve-out for TRIPS flexibilities that is similar to language found in the U.S. BIT: “This Treaty shall not apply to:   Continue reading »

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Dec 142015
 

gc2015 logo-400pxThe Fourth Global Congress will open tomorrow at the National Law University in Delhi, India. The website with the program and other details is here.

In advance of the meeting, the organizers have posted a series of discussions with some of the keynote speakers: Shamnad Basheer, Susan Sell, Michael Geist and Zakir Thomas.

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Dec 142015
 

palmedo(This blog is based on a working paper, which also includes a bit of modeling for a textbook market with multiple sellers, varying levels of perceived quality, and copyright enforcement. The full text of the paper is here, and comments are appreciated.)

In the early 2000s, the International Intellectual Property Association complained that large scale piracy of textbooks was common in Panama. It sought the intervention of U.S. trade officials, noting that “the major forms of piracy afflicting the U.S. book publishing industry in the region involve commercial photocopying piracy.” Panama was engaged in various trade negotiations with the U.S. in the early-to-mid 2000s (first as part of the failed Free Trade Area of the Americas, then as a party to bilateral trade agreement negotiations which were ultimately successful), giving the U.S. leverage to seek policy changes regarding the enforcement of copyrights. Continue reading »

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Nov 052015
 

palmedoUSTR has pointed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) development chapter, the first such chapter in any U.S. trade agreement,  as evidence that the TPP is an advancement over previous ones. Last night’s release of the official TPP text provides the first opportunity to read the development chapter text (which I believe had not been previously leaked).

The chapter includes a lot of general language about  promoting development.  For instance, Article 23.2 – “Parties acknowledge the importance of each Party’s leadership in implementing development policies, including policies that are designed for its nationals to maximise the use of the opportunities created by this Agreement.” The heart of the chapter seems to be the Article 23.6, which establishes a Committee on Development that will meet to discuss TPP countries’ experiences with development within the framework of the agreement. Still, there are no concrete obligations for action. Continue reading »

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Oct 262015
 

ethics evolvedNovember 3, 2015 | 11:00
McKinley Media Innovation Lab
American University

The AU School of Communications Faculty Forum, and the AU Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property will host a talk by Professor Aram Sinnreich in which he will discuss  his paper Ethics, Evolved: An International Perspective on Copying in the Networked Age.
Continue reading »

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Oct 192015
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Trans Pacific Partnership governments are trying to convince stakeholders that the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism in the agreement is an improvement over those found in previous trade agreements. ISDS rules in NAFTA have allowed Eli Lilly to sue Canada over its standards of patentable subject matter. Tobacco companies have used ISDS to sue Uruguay and Australia over health measures which the companies say encroach on their trademark rights.

The negotiators want to convince the general public that corporations will have a more difficult time using the new ISDS system.  Continue reading »

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Oct 052015
 
Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

This morning, trade ministers from the twelve countries negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership jointly announced that “we have successfully concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”  The U.S. Trade Representative has also released a summary of the agreement that has been reached.

Negotiations over data protection of biologic medicines held up the conclusion of the TPP for much of the weekend.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the “complicated” deal requires countries to provide five years data exclusivity, and gives the option to use regulatory structures to grant additional exclusivity up to another three years.  During the press conference this morning, USTR Froman said that the compromise recognizes all countries are committed to incentivizing innovation in this sector, but that they do this through different systems (see video).   Continue reading »

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Sep 282015
 

msf big square cropped[MSF Press Release] As US President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Modi meet in New York today, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned that US pressure for India to change its intellectual property policies could result in millions of people around the world losing their lifeline of affordable medicines. MSF relies on affordable generic medicines produced in India to do its medical work in more than 60 countries, and therefore urged Modi to stand strong and protect India’s role as the ‘pharmacy of the developing world.’ Continue reading »

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