Oct 062014
 

BrookBaker[Cross posted from Equilibri.net] U.S. business interests and government officials are trying to sell the idea that heightened intellectual property protections in India are essential to foreign investment, innovation, and achievement of public health goals.

Instead, heightened intellectual property rights will make India consumers captive to Big Pharma’s extortionate pricing….

Unfortunately, the joint communiqué issued at the end of Prime Minister Modi’s US visit shows deference by the US and Indian governments to Big Pharma’s pressure… Continue reading »

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Sep 302014
 

india-flag[September 23, 2014] We, the undersigned organisations and individuals, understand that ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to the United States, the government has decided to review India’s positions on intellectual property rights (IPRs). We are concerned about the timing that has been chosen to undertake a Ministry-level exercise on India’s IPR policy and apprehend the proposed exercise could become a hostage to the pressures of the US government and companies. Continue reading »

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Mar 122014
 

ictsd-160px[International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Link] US-India trade ties have continued to worsen in recent weeks, with Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma accusing Washington this week of “high and unacceptable protectionism.” The remarks from New Delhi’s top trade official comes after months fraught with tension, with the two sides openly sparring on topics ranging from renewable energy policies to patent protections. Continue reading »

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Mar 052014
 

sc[South Centre News Service, Link]  The South Centre calls on WTO Members to Respect the Legitimacy of the Use of TRIPS Flexibilities for Public Health in light of new threats of unilateral trade measures by the United States against India over its Intellectual Property Laws and Regulations Continue reading »

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Jan 292014
 
Sen. Orrin Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch

This morning, Sen. Orrin Hatch spoke about international intellectual property issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  He was the keynote at the organization’s launch of the second edition of its Global Intellectual Property Index.  A video of the event is here, and Sen. Hatch takes the podium at 9:45.

Sen. Hatch argued that American history has shown strong intellectual property (IP) leads to prosperity. Research has shown that increased IP leads all countries to enjoy greater foreign direct investment, technology transfer and innovation. However, the “lesson is lost” in the developing world where countries try to develop through “short cuts” that “undermine” and “steal” U.S. innovation.  India is the biggest battlefront, and Indian compulsory licenses based on nonworking are a big problem. Hatch warned that nothing in India’s patent laws limit compulsory licenses to pharmaceuticals, and he warned that other fields of technology such as cell phones or jets could be subject to compulsory licenses too.  Continue reading »

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Jan 032014
 

ustr-logoLast week, The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) submitted a report to Congress on the state of China’s compliance with WTO rules, including  those on intellectual property (the TRIPS Agreement).  The report states that “China has established a framework of laws, regulations and departmental rules that largely satisfies its WTO commitment.” [p.17]  However, USTR wants China to strengthen laws that exceed the level required by TRIPS, and the report describes its efforts to strengthen the laws, and the enforcement of those laws, especially online.  Continue reading »

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Jul 012013
 

maybardukLast Thursday the Energy and Commerce committee of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing entitled, “A Tangle of Trade Barriers: How India’s Industrial Policy is Hurting US Companies.” The hearing is part of a recent big business push which aims to support specific industry complaints against India by lumping them together, in order to claim that India is generally flouting international rules. The strategy could benefit Big Pharma by diverting attention away from access to medicines concerns. Continue reading »

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Jun 272013
 

capitol building - USG photoToday a Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the topic: “A Tangle of Trade Barriers: How India’s Industrial Policy is Hurting U.S. Companies.”  Much of the hearing focused on intellectual property and pharmaceuticals, though other issues such as SOEs and subsides to local solar power firms were also discussed.  All of the Committee Members who asked about IP – with the exception Henry Waxman – seemed to accept as a matter of fact that India’s use of compulsory licenses and restriction on patentability were a barrier to trade and a possible trade violation.  Continue reading »

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Jun 192013
 

baker-croppedOn June 18, 2013, 170 Members of Congress wrote to President Obama complaining about Indian trade policy and more particularly India’s intellectual property “climate.”  Under the umbrella of claiming that policies of the Government of India favor domestic producers over U.S. Exporters – in other words, that India is protectionist – the Members of Congress claimed that “the intellectual property (IP) climate has become increasingly challenging in India.” Continue reading »

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May 132013
 

sean - 150x150In this year’s Special 301 report, the United States Trade Representative listed Ukraine as a “Priority Foreign Country” (aka PFC), triggering a 30 day countdown to initiate an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act to determine trade sanctions. 19 USC 2412(2)(A). This is only the second time that the U.S. has threatened a WTO-member country with sanctions as a PFC. And thus it is an appropriate time to ask what restrictions the World Trade Organization places on the operation of the Special 301 program. As described more fully below, any sanction of Ukraine, including removal of General System of Preferences (GSP) benefits, would likely violate WTO rules. Indeed, the listing of Ukraine as a PFC, and the more general operation of “watch lists” threatening sanctions for intellectual property matters, could be challenged under the WTO even prior to any sanction actually going into effect. Continue reading »

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Mar 212013
 

US-EUIn this year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama announced talks for a Transatlantic Trade and   Investment Partnership with the European Union. This agreement will likely include provisions on intellectual property (IP), which are often controversial . If IP provisions are included, they will likely reflect language in existing treaties. Below is a comparison of language between two of the most substantive and recent free trade agreements (FTAs) adopted by the US and the EU for one controversial area of IP: liability for internet service providers (ISP) for infringing content.

Continue reading »

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Jan 242013
 

sean at podiumOur Colombian Colleagues Marcela Palacio Puera, Andres Izquierdo, and Carolina Botero have drawn our attention to the breaking news that the Colombian Constitutional Court has struck down the Free Trade Agreement Copyright implementation bill known as “Lley Lleras 2” on procedural grounds. Continue reading »

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