Feb 232015
 

mexico-flagMexico’s PRI has introduced legislation, dubbed “Ley SOPITA” by some observers, that aims to “stop or prevent, in the digital environment, the commission infringements of intellectual property rights.”  It would give the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property the ability to inspect business, collect data, and make interim orders that aim to stop infringement.

A news story in El Economista quotes the  Red Collective in Defense of Digital Rights R3DMX: “The Parliamentary Group of the PRI in the House of Representatives intends … to empower the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI ) to order censorship of content, and even entire Internet sites, under the pretext of protecting copyright.” [Google-translated quote]

The full El Economista story is available here.

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Feb 232015
 

australia flagAuthors: Deborah H Gleeson, Hazel Moir and Ruth Lopert

Summary:  Intellectual property (IP) protections proposed by the United States for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) have sparked widespread alarm about the potential negative impact on access to affordable medicines. The most recently leaked draft of the IP chapter shows some shifts in the US position, presumably in response to ongoing resistance from other countries. While some problematic provisions identified in earlier drafts have been removed or mitigated, major concerns remain unresolved.

Continue reading »

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Feb 132015
 
Map: Australian Dept. For. Affairs & Trade

Map: Australian Dept. For. Affairs & Trade

This week, the 16 Asian and Pacific countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are meeting in Thailand.  This trade agreement will include Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. According to the RCEP’s Guiding Principles stated at the beginning of the negotiations in 2012, the agreement will include an intellectual property chapter to promote “cooperation in the utilization, protection and enforcement” of IPR.

Japan’s proposed intellectual property text, which was leaked and has been posted online by KEI, includes numerous TRIPS Plus provisions.  (South Korea is reported to be advocating for TRIPS-Plus provisions too.) Many of the provisions would be especially harmful to the Indian generic industry, which supplies the majority of medicines used by people in developing countries. Continue reading »

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Feb 102015
 

medecindumonde[Médecins du Monde press release, Link]  Today, Doctors of the World – Médecins du Monde (MDM) has filed a European patent challenge against the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug, sofosbuvir. In recent months, Médecins du Monde and its partners have raised the alarm around the problems caused by the cost of new treatments against hepatitis C and of sofosbuvir [2] in particular. The U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Gilead holds a monopoly for sofosbuvir and is marketing a 12-week course treatment at extremely high prices – 41 000 euros in France and 44 000 euros in the United Kingdom – thereby hindering access to the drug for People Living with HCV. Continue reading »

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Feb 052015
 

budgetLast week the Obama Administration released its Budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes a number of policy proposals designed to save money for both the government and taxpayers. Its proposal to shorten the monopolies granted to brand name biologic drugs – and thereby hasten generic competition – would directly clash with the provisions the Administration seeks in the Trans Pacific Partnership. Continue reading »

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Feb 042015
 

hatch-schumerLast week the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the Obama Administration’s trade policy, in which U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman was the sole witness.

Prepared statements from Chairman Orin Hatch, Ranking Minority Leader Wyden, and Ambassador Froman, and video of the full hearing are here. Actually, most of the hearing is on the video, but the committee edited out the protestors who disrupted the hearing. Democracy Now has the video and transcript of the protest here.

During Q&A, many of the Senators brought up enforcement of trade agreements as a very important area for USTR to focus its energies.   Two Senators, in particular, indicated they wanted the U.S. to be been more active in trade disputes over intellectual property, through either FTA frameworks or bilateral measures: Continue reading »

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Jan 052015
 

ITC[Updated Jan 5]  The U.S. International Trade Commission has released its report on Indian trade, investment and industrial policies, including but not limited to intellectual property rights.  The full report is here and the the press release is here.

The report was based on “a survey of U.S. companies doing business in India; a quantitative analysis of the effects on the U.S. economy; and qualitative research, including a hearing and fieldwork, to produce case studies and examples that help illustrate effects of the policies on particular companies or industries.”  Continue reading »

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Dec 222014
 

india-flagTwo departments within India’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have released a new Open Access Policy. Under the new policy, researchers who receive funding or use resources from from these departments can still publish in any journals they wish, but they will need to deposit copies of the final papers and supporting data in institutional repositories where the information can be accessed by the public: Continue reading »

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Dec 142014
 

ifla-logo[International Federation of Library Associations, Link, (CC-BY)]  IFLA’s response to the Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet”

Access to information…Intellectual Property reform…access to open data…affordable access to ICTs. These are some of the important issues IFLA and those of us in the greater library and information community are grappling with in a variety of ways.

IFLA has been working with the international library community—as well as civil society and member states—to develop its position and help ensure that crucial elements such as access to information are included in the UN post-2015 Development Agenda. Throughout this process, it is important that libraries are seen as being part of the conversation. Continue reading »

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Dec 082014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

President Obama gave a talk on the stat of the economy last week at the Business Roundtable,  group of American CEOs that promotes pro-business public policies.  The full transcript of his talk, including questions and answers is here.

As part of a longer answer to a general question on the global economy, Obama mentioned bilateral talks with China.  He said that his administration is “pushing hard” on China to strengthen intellectual property, and asked the member companies of the Business Roundtable to “help us by speaking out when you’re getting strong-armed.” Continue reading »

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Nov 172014
 

indonesia-flagAhmad M. Ramli, the Law and Human Rights head of Indonesia’s Intellectual Property Rights Directorate General, recently told the Jakarta Post that the government will introduce tough new IPR enforcement measures next year.  According to the story, he “said that the government would increase its efforts to combat copyright piracy across the archipelago. They planned to increase the detention period for violating intellectual property rights from the current four years to 10 years. Perpetrators would also be fined Rp 4 billion (US$ 327,895). ‘We will also detain merchants of fake products for four years,’ he said, adding that they would apply sanctions against every mall permitting outlets to sell fake products.” Continue reading »

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Nov 102014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

The 12 heads of state of the nations negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) met in Beijing today, where they issued a statement indicating they have”instructed our Ministers and negotiators to make concluding this agreement a top priority.”  However, their statement did not discuss a deadline or timeframe.

They also released a “Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders,” which aimed to show that the pace of negotiations has “accelerated” and negotiators have made progress in many areas. On the topic of intellectual property negotiations, however, the report hints that negotiators are having trouble (they are “working hard” through a “challenging” area). Here is the full bullet on this part of the negotiations: Continue reading »

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