Last week, 23 civil society groups released the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms at the Internet Governance Forum. The Declaration was drafted by a committee led by Edetean Ojo , Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, which announced the Declaration as “a Pan-African initiative to promote human rights standards and principles of openness in internet policy formulation and implementation on the continent. The Declaration is intended to elaborate on the principles which are necessary to uphold human and people’s rights on the internet, and to cultivate an internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals.”
As Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators began this week’s round of talks in Hanoi, the International Chamber of Commerce issued a white paper urging the inclusion of strong trade secret provisions in the agreement.
“Trade Secrets: Tools for Innovation and Collaboration” argues that trade secret theft has been growing since the 1990s, both within countries and across borders. Stronger protection is needed in order for businesses to operate within today’s systems of collaborative innovation and cross-border development.
Inside U.S. Trade reports that Taiwan is taking steps to develop a system of patent linkage, which would prevent generic firms from gaining marketing approval for their products while originator products are still under patent. The country wants to join the Trans Pacific Partnership at a later date, and it expects that patent linkage will be one of the requirements for countries wishing to acceded to the Agreement.
Eleven European and worldwide NGOs have issued a “Call to EU Ministers of Health and CEOs of Abbvie, BMS, Gilead, Janssen and Merck/MSD regarding Universal Access to Curative Hepatitis C Treatment in the EU and Beyond.”
The letter asks governments to “allocate human, technical and financial resources to prevent, diagnose and treat hepatitis C, establishing strategies and actions plans to eliminate the pandemic; [and] to meaningfully involve health professionals, experts, community, patients and people injecting drugs – the most affected group by HCV.” It asks pharmaceutical companies to “engage urgently in meaningful negotiations to ensure universal access to state of the art treatment to everyone living with hepatitis C. This should be done in a way that is sustainable and affordable to different health systems in Europe according to their individual capacity and in consideration of the overall financial constraints that they face.” The letter concludes: “If all bona fides negotiations fail, we believe that, as a last option, countries have the right to use compulsory licences.”
[Lotti Rutter, Treatment Action Campaign, Link, (CC-BY-SA)] On World Hepatitis Day, 26 organisations and individuals from around the world have called on the South African Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to address the public health threat of hepatitis, by implementing hepatitis B immunisation at birth, and reforming national patent laws to promote access to more affordable hepatitis therapies.
Inside US Trade reports that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators are “down to a dozen issues” in the intellectual property chapter. However, these are among the most difficult issues remaining. The remaining unsolved issues include intellectual property and access to medicines (which is really a set of different issues), where countries are still split on what the obligations should be for low and middle income countries. Additionally, Congressional Democrats recently met with Froman, where they produced a memo warning that the TPP doesn’t reflect the May 10th agreement on data protection, linkage, and patent term extensions in developing countries.
[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)] Today, Creative Commons and Creative Commons U.S.A. are sending a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supporting the Department of Education’s (DOE) adoption of the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Open Educational Resources, and asking the Department to require open licenses for works funded by its grants.
The full letter is available here. An excerpt follows:
Readers of this blog may be interested in checking out the text of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, which was signed on July 8. The intellectual property chapter contains many of the copyright, trademark, and enforcement provisions under debate in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. It also contains provisions on plant varieties and geographical indications. (Patents are included, but are not covered as extensively as other forms of IPR).
The Intellectual Property section of the American Bar Association has called on Congress to craft new legislation to fight infringement by “Predatory Foreign Websites” (PFW). In a white paper titled A Call for Action for Online Piracy and Counterfeiting Legislation, the group makes a number of recommendations, including the creation of a private right of action allowing rightholders to seek civil remedies. Specific civil remedies should include: “(1) injunctions directing financial payment processors to freeze the assets of PFWs and to cease doing business with such websites; (2) injunctions preventing online advertisers from paying PFWs or from displaying further ads on those websites; (3) injunctions requiring search engines to remove PFWs from paid, sponsored links; (4) injunctions requiring website hosts to cease hosting PFWs;
Last week, the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) hosted a panel on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and access to medicines at the Capitol building. Videos of presentations have been posted to YouTube by Knowledge Ecology International. This blog is a quick writeup of the panel (see also, my notes on the TACD panel on TTIP, access to knowledge and digital rights.)
Yesterday the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) held an event on Capitol Hill about the trade agreement currently under negotiation by the US and the EU – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Videos of presentations have been posted to YouTube by Knowledge Ecology International. This blog is a quick writeup of the first panel, which discussed the agreement’s potential impact on access to knowledge and digital rights.
The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue is holding a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Stakeholder Forum today, featuring a morning panel on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Health Action International’s Joel Lexchin asked European Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero if the proposed ISDS rules would allow court rulings over intellectual property to be grounds for a dispute by a drug company against a government. He noted that this issue has held up the completion of the EU’s trade agreement with Canada.