[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
Journal: Bulletin of the World Health Organization,
Abstract: Africa has the highest disease burden in the world and continues to depend on pharmaceutical imports to meet public health needs. As Asian manufacturers of generic medicines begin to operate under a more protectionist intellectual property regime, their ability to manufacture medicines at prices that are affordable to poorer countries is becoming more circumscribed.
In recent years, the number of bilateral and regional trade negotiations has been increasing. Many of these negotiations involve both developed and developing countries, and the ensuing free trade agreements often contain extensive provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights. These provisions usually impose a higher level of protection for intellectual property rights than is required under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS Agreement. These so-called “TRIPS-plus” provisions delay generic market entry and competition. As such, they run counter to UNITAID’s efforts to increase the affordability of, and access to, medicines and other medical products.
Reposted with permission from Third World Network, Link
Alexandra Bhattacharya and K M Gopakumar (Geneva)
Developing countries, during a discussion in WIPO on quality of patents, questioned the value of work-sharing arrangements among national/regional patent offices as a method of improving the quality of patents, and opposed efforts by developed countries to mainstream “work-sharing” in WIPO.
The 20th session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents is meeting in Geneva from January 27-31, 2014.
Sean Flynn, American University Washington College of Law, 202-274-4157, firstname.lastname@example.org
Margot Kaminski, Yale Law School, email@example.com
David Levine, Elon University School of Law, 336-279-9298, firstname.lastname@example.org
The release of a Trade Promotion Authority bill yesterday, including provisions to increase Congressional oversight of the trade negotiation process, is a welcome sign that Congress may be preparing to increase its oversight over international trade, including trade laws that alter or restrict our domestic intellectual property laws. Unfortunately, the bill does not go far enough to ensure public transparency and participation, and does little to ensure that the products of such negotiations promote the public interest.
On December 11, the Medicines Patent Pool announced a new licensing agreement for a 2013 WHO recommended second-line antiretroviral, atazanavir (ATV). At this point, it is important for IP activists, generic companies, and countries to understand both the express territorial coverage of the license (110 countries) and its “effective” territorial coverage as well (144 countries plus the possibility of compulsory licensing expansion). Because royalty payments are actually limited to situations where granted patents are in effect – and with some exceptions even then, it is also important to identify the limited circumstances where royalties will be imposed. Finally, it is important to analyze some of the licensed or patent-free availability or ritonavir or cobicistat for co-formulated boosting.
[MPP Press release, Link (CC-NC-ND)] The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb have signed a licensing agreement to increase access to a key HIV medicine, atazanavir, in 110 developing countries. These countries represent 88.5 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries.
“This agreement will allow manufacturers world-wide to produce more affordable versions of atazanavir, and to combine atazanavir with other medicines to make treatment easier and more accessible in developing countries. Together with Bristol-Myers Squibb, we will be expanding access to an important HIV medicine,” said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool.
Open letter to WTO Leadership signed 162 Civil Society Groups. Original, with signatures.
The undersigned organizations are writing to express concerns regarding intellectual property commitments being forced on Yemen as part of its WTO accession package that will be presented for formal adoption, to the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, 3-6 December 2013.
By Luisa Fernanda Guzmán Mejía (CC-BY)
Cross posted from Digital Rights – LAC; Link
After approving the Marrakesh Treaty, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will resume the Development Agenda. Now is the time for reviewing the needs of libraries and archives, but will there be political will to do so?
Libraries and archives have the mission to collect, preserve and provide access to knowledge and information. Undoubtedly, they are guarantors of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and access to information. These institutions contribute for improving education, research and employment, and as a source of entertainment; moreover, they promote the flow of ideas and freedom of thought, creativity and innovation. Due to their important role, they are central axis of cultural ecosystem.
In the midst of the controversy surrounding the release of a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiating text on intellectual property by Wikileaks yesterday, over 80 law professors of intellectual property law and related disciplines have written to President Obama, Members of Congress and the United States Trade Representative calling for the creation of a public process to vet the TPP’S intellectual property proposals.
The letter specifically notes that “even in light of yesterday’s release by WikiLeaks,” public debate on the agreement’s proposals “beyond speculation would be impossible since there has not been any official release of text.”
[UN Development Programme, Link] This study focuses on policy options available to South Africa through reform of three interrelated areas of law affecting access to HIV treatment and other essential medicines: patent, competition and medicines law. The recommended reforms are aimed at safeguarding public health by optimizing the use of public health related TRIPS (the agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) flexibilities and therefore, the policy space available to countries within their international legal obligations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Potential drawbacks and challenges are highlighted, as are strategies for adoption that draw on the experiences of other low- and middle-income countries.
[by Jonathan Band and Peter Jaszi] The Marrakesh Treaty, adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization this past summer, provides Contracting Parties with great flexibility concerning the implementation of its obligations. Article 4(2) sets forth one way a Contracting Party may meet its obligation under Article 4(1) to permit the making and distribution of accessible format copies domestically. Likewise, Article 5(2) sets forth one way a Contracting Party may meet its obligation under Article 5(1) to permit the cross-border exchange of accessible format copies.