I released a statement earlier today opining that the today’s leak of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) chapter proposed for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement (available at https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/WikiLeaks-TPP-Investment-Chapter.pdf) would give new rights to private companies to challenge limitations and exceptions to copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property rights in unaccountable international arbitration forums. This note gives further background and analysis supporting that statement.
Today’s leak of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) chapter proposed for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement would give new rights to private companies to challenge limitations and exceptions to copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property rights in unaccountable international arbitration forums. The text contains the same provisions that are being used by Eli Lilly to challenge Canada’s invalidation of patent extensions for new uses of two medicines originally developed in the 1970s. The same language is also being used by Philip Morris to challenge Uruguay’s regulation of advertising on cigarette packages as an “expropriation” of their trademarks. But the TPP language goes farther. It includes a new footnote, not previously released as part of any other investment chapter and not included in the U.S. model investment text — clarifying that private expropriation actions can be brought to challenge “the cancellation or nullification of such [intellectual property] rights,” as well as “exceptions to such rights.”
I am writing to you as part of the International Policy team at the Washington-based digital rights group, Public Knowledge, to alert you to a free and open Spanish-language online course called “Open Internet” (Internet Abierto Y Libre) that we are launching early March 2015. This course may be of interest to you, your students, or grantees as an opportunity to build a deeper understanding of the intersection of human rights and the Internet, and we’d love if you could share this information throughout your networks.
I’m happy to announce that the website is now live where you can read posts, find great resources, and see the calendar of events. This site will be updated as folks add posts and videos as well as new events. You can visit the site here: http://fairuseweek.org/
TERA Associates has released a follow up to their 2010 study on the impact of “piracy” on creative industries in the European Union. The new study, entitled “The Economic Contribution of the Creative Industries to EU GDP and Employment,” makes three arguments:
1) That the creative industries include 8.3 million “core” creative jobs and 5.7 million “interdependent” and “non-dedicated support” jobs, totaling 14% of the EU27 workforce and contributing 6.8% of GDP (€ 860 billion).
2) That between 2008 and 2011, piracy “destroyed” € 27.1 – 39.7 billion in economic value, resulting in a loss of between 64,089 and 955,125 jobs. According to TERA’s forecast, these numbers are likely to climb to € 166-240 billion by 2015, with 600,000 to 1.2 million jobs lost.
3) That although economic depression and other factors may play a role in some sectoral changes, (such as retail), these job and economic losses are attributable to the failure of EU member states to adopt stronger IP enforcement measures.
The newly leaked May 16 draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter confirms previous reports that negotiators are discussing plans to postpone some of the TRIPS-Plus obligations on intellectual property and pharmaceuticals for some of the countries involved.
It includes as an addendum a “Proposal on Patent Pharmaceuticals Transition Periods” that would establish three “categories” of country, which are relatively high, middle, and low income. The relatively middle and low income countries would have transition periods that delayed their obligations related to patent extensions, linkage, and data exclusivity. After relatively short transition periods, all countries would have to apply the TRIPS-Plus rules that the World Health Organization warns may have “adverse impacts on access to medicines.” (p.72)
El Salvador has become the second country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. Minister of Economy Tharsis Solomon López submitted the notification on October 1.
So far, the only other country to ratify the treaty has been India, which ratified it on June 30.
Brand name pharmaceutical companies are advocating for inclusion of disciplines on public pharmaceutical reimbursement programs in the ongoing negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreements. This post answers some frequently asked questions by U.S. public health advocates about these proposals.
Why is pharmaceutical reimbursement policy being negotiated in trade agreements?
Co-published on atlantic-community.org.
As the 7th Round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) gets underway behind closed doors in Chevy Chase, Maryland, it is an opportune time to ask what proponents of a successful TTIP should learn from the latest failed trade agreement negotiation involving the U.S. and Europe – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
On August 18, a group of South African and international legal experts will work with South African filmmakers to better understand their rights as users as well as creators under copyright law. The meeting will focus on actions filmmakers can take to use and expand user rights in South Africa that are necessary to fully enable the vibrant filmmaking industry that already exists, and to support emerging artists.
Fannie Rascle — French journalist (@fannierascle) working for a website called novethic.fr, interviewed me today for an article about TTIP and transparency. Here are her questions and my answers.
European Union documents relating to TTIP could be made public after a European Court of Justice ruling yesterday : do you think it is an important decision ?
I am not an expert on that opinion. I read it to say that the Commission has to justify its decisions to not release documents related to international negotiations. I believe that the justification is weak for not having any method for a country to share with its own citizens proposals to change international law. The making of law should be the most public of our governmental activities.