Aug 252017
 

[Fifa Rahman for IP-Watch, Link (CC-BY-SA)]  Gilead’s announcement today that they would include four middle-income countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Belarus, Ukraine) in their sofosbuvir voluntary licence was a welcome surprise, and will enable millions access to their highly effective, but exorbitantly priced, drug.

The decision to include these countries, however, no doubt is a response to increasing pressure from within these countries to either issue a compulsory licence (CL) or a government use licence (GUL), invalidate the sofosbuvir patents, or block data exclusivity for the drug. Continue reading »

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Copyright and Education at WIPO

 Posted by on June 26, 2017  Comments Off on Copyright and Education at WIPO
Jun 262017
 

[Teresa Nobre, Worlds of Education, Link (CC-BY-NC)] JUNE 15, 2017: The World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is currently engaged in discussing, at an international level, limitations and exceptions to copyright, including for educational purposes.

As the name suggests, these legal provisions create exceptions or limits to the exclusive rights of authors in controlling the use of their works by others for certain purposes. A teacher can only play YouTube videos in class, translate poems or insert an artwork in a presentation if there are educational exceptions in place in his or her country (or if those materials are licensed with open licenses). Continue reading »

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A New Digital Trade Agenda: Are We Giving Away the Internet?

 Posted by on June 16, 2017  Comments Off on A New Digital Trade Agenda: Are We Giving Away the Internet?
Jun 162017
 

Burcu Kilic and Renata Avila. Cross posted from Open Democracy, Link (CC-BY-NC) 

As we enter the uncertain Trump era with respect to trade policies, one can only guess that big trade players will come back to the multilateral fora, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), as a reliable vehicle to foster their global trade agenda, especially as the free trade agreement (FTA) model fell apart after President Trump took office. Since the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) are on hold, a return to the multilateral WTO offers the best chance of progress on e-commerce rules. Continue reading »

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The Global Innovation Index 2017: Innovation Feeding the World

 Posted by on June 16, 2017  Comments Off on The Global Innovation Index 2017: Innovation Feeding the World
Jun 162017
 

The 2017 Global Innovation Index has been jointly published under a Creative Commons license by WIPO, Cornell University and INSEAD. The WIPO press release on its publication is here.  The “Key Findings” section is reproduced below.  Click here for the full report.

Key Findings

From the Global Innovation Index 2017, devoted to measuring the innovation performance of 127 economies and the theme ‘Innovation Feeding the World’, six messages emerge. Many of these messages are concerned with innovation as a driver of growth generally. One is concerned specifically with the role of innovation as a way to address the growing need for advances in agriculture and food value chains. Continue reading »

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Time to Unveil the Costs of Drugs

 Posted by on June 11, 2017  Comments Off on Time to Unveil the Costs of Drugs
Jun 112017
 

Tabitha Ha, Stop AIDS, Link

In the past month, I joined two major global gatherings for multiple stakeholders, including high-level government representatives, to tackle the issue of high drug prices as well as access to medicines more broadly. What struck me were the overwhelming calls for transparency, as a recognised democratic principle, to underpin the research and development (R&D) of medicines, especially when it comes to the costs of R&D, drug prices and being able to trace public funds involved in R&D.

The Fair Pricing Forum, held by the Netherlands and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in early May was notably attended by many governments from high-income countries who are increasingly struggling with the burden of high drug prices. Later in May, thousands of delegates descended on Geneva for the 70th World Health Assembly, where the debate on access to medicines and R&D continued to rage as part of the formal proceedings and in several side events. Continue reading »

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EU Compromise on Marrakesh Treaty Directive Comes with a Sting in the Tail

 Posted by on May 22, 2017  Comments Off on EU Compromise on Marrakesh Treaty Directive Comes with a Sting in the Tail
May 222017
 

Joint statement by the Internaiontal Federation of Library Associations and the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (Link, CC-BY)

IFLA and EBLIDA sincerely wish to be able to welcome wholeheartedly the compromise agreement on the Marrakesh Treaty Directive reached on 10th May by representatives of the Council of Ministers, the Commission and the Parliament. However, together with the European Blind Union, we reject entirely the notion in the agreement that the fundamental public interest activities of non-profit libraries and charities in creating and sharing accessible format books may, in some Member States, give rise to ‘compensation’ to rightholders. Continue reading »

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May 112017
 

Jeremy de Beer, Jeremiah Baarbé, Caroline Ncube
Open AIR Working Paper #4; LINK

Innovation policy is important for economic growth and human development.[1] Countries across Africa are, therefore, developing policy to encourage innovation.[2] Measures that address intellectual property (IP) in a locally relevant way are integral to the broader innovation landscape.

IP policy is complex and controversial because it seeks to balance protection of, and access to, knowledge. Policy that leads to either an absence or overabundance of proprietary IP rights may discourage innovation.[3] Domestic policymakers may look to research showing that strict IP protection economically advantages developed countries while disadvantaging developing countries.[4] Similarly, they may be presented with research supporting a contrary view.[5] Evidence-based IP policy-making is, therefore, not always easy.[6] Continue reading »

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Statement to SCCR 34 on Copyright in the Digital Environment

 Posted by on May 5, 2017  Comments Off on Statement to SCCR 34 on Copyright in the Digital Environment
May 052017
 

World Intellectual Property Organization
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
May 5, 2017

Chair: I would like to support that aspect of the GRUAC proposal that focuses on the role of limitations and exceptions in the digital environment as a top priority for this committee.

There is an increasing recognition that so-called non-expressive uses – uses necessary for technological processes that do not compete with the copyright owner – are necessary to enable the internet and the services that are offered over it. Continue reading »

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WHO Members Urged To Support Resolution Delinking Cancer Drug Prices From R&D Costs

 Posted by on May 3, 2017  Comments Off on WHO Members Urged To Support Resolution Delinking Cancer Drug Prices From R&D Costs
May 032017
 

[Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] A group of civil society organisations and health experts have sent a letter to delegates to this month’s annual World Health Assembly urging support for a study on the delinkage of the costs of research and development from the prices of cancer medicines. Member states reportedly met on the issue today and are still undecided. Continue reading »

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Statement to SCCR on Educational Exceptions to Copyryight

 Posted by on May 3, 2017  Comments Off on Statement to SCCR on Educational Exceptions to Copyryight
May 032017
 

World Intellectual Property Organization
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
May 3, 2017

Chair: You and I are from countries that have educational exceptions that are open to the use of any work, for any education related activity or purpose, and by any user —  subject to a fairness test that takes into account the rights of authors and rights holders.

This openness in the exceptions environment enables innovations that promote access to learning materials, including through new technologies and over the internet. Continue reading »

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Mar 222017
 

[Catherine Saez for IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] As the ratification by the European Union of an international treaty creating an exception to copyright for visually impaired people nears, a leaked text shows that the directive implementing the treaty in the EU might come with safeguards limiting the scope of the treaty, allegedly pushed by the publishing industry. Continue reading »

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Mar 122017
 

Carlos Correa
South Centre, February 2017
Research Paper #74

IP provisions in FTAs may have implications on a wide range of public policy areas. A vast academic literature has addressed the “flexibilities” available under the TRIPS Agreement and the negative impact of FTAs in relation to access to medicines. Continue reading »

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