Nov 202017

At the latest meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, there was new movement on copyright limitations and exceptions.

Argentina and Brazil tabled language that adds more specificity to the limitations and exceptions that may be offered to the new exclusive rights of broadcasters that the proposed Broadcast Treaty would require. But the proposal fails to follow the most recent best practices in international law by requiring exceptions, protecting fair use and safeguarding the digital environment. Continue reading »

Nov 142017

Today, PIJIP released new research on the impact of copyright balance. The release was announced at the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. The research finds that balanced copyright policies in other countries have had positive effects on net income, total sales, and value-added by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms. More generally, it finds that increases in PIJIP’s “openness score” are associated with higher revenues in the information sector, without harming traditional copyright-intensive industries.

This builds on previous research that has illustrated the benefits of fair use in the U.S., where fair use industries represent 16% of annual GDP and employ 18 million American workers. One study found that the U.S. would lose 425,000 jobs and $44 billion in GDP each year without strong safe harbors. Continue reading »

Nov 132017

Tuesday, November 14, 13:00 Luncheon; 13:20 Panel Discussion
@World Intellectual Property Organization, Room A, AB Building
Sponsored by: The Brazilian Delegation to WIPO,
and the American University Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property

Background and Purpose

There is an increasing recognition in both domestic and international copyright reform debates that all creators and users in all countries benefit from copyright systems that are balanced with both author and user rights. A key balancing feature of modern copyright law is sufficient flexibility to accommodate the shifting technologies and practices of the digital age. This is particularly true in the field of education, where the evolution of digital technologies has made distribution of educational materials more cost effective, and raised concerns in some sectors about market erosion. This panel discussion will focus on the challenges and opportunities that digital technologies pose for copyright and educational materials distribution and what the best role for WIPO to play in the field might be. Continue reading »

Nov 082017

By HU Yuanqiong  – Advocates of access to medicines movement would not feel unfamiliar with the issue of patent evergreening on chemical medicines while monopoly could get prolonged through applying for multiple patents on small changes of the same medicine. The similar tricks have also been practiced on other medical products, such as vaccines. As a traditional public health intervention, vaccines have been costing more money in recent years when a couple of newer generation of products are exhausting governments’ budgets largely due to their monopoly situations. Recent researches have suggested that patent thicket and evergreening, among others, have played an instrumental role. Continue reading »

Nov 072017

Abstract: With the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled in 2013, the international copyright community has shown its willingness to take further steps in the harmonization of limitations and exceptions in the field of copyright. However, the Marrakesh Treaty is only the tip of the iceberg. Its preparation and negotiation took place against the background of a much broader debate over the introduction of so-called “ceilings” in international copyright law: binding rules that set a maximum level of permissible protection. While the Marrakesh Treaty had success and became reality, the bigger project of regulating the ceilings of copyright protection in an international instrument is still pending.  Continue reading »

Oct 262017

[Desmond Oriakhogba, reposted from University of Cape Town IP Unit, Link] On 4 October 2017, Nigeria deposited during the 57th meeting of the WIPO general assembly in Geneva four ratification instruments concerning the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) of 1996, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) of 1996; the WIPO Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances of 2012 (Beijing Treaty); and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled of 2013 (Marrakesh Treaty) with the WIPO. The ratification instruments were signed by the President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria (President Muhammadu Buhari) on 24 August 2017.

Consequently, Nigeria has now accepted and undertaken to respect and implement the obligations under these treaties. However, the treaties do not have any force of law within the Nigerian territory unless domesticated (s12 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999) either by an enforcement and domestication Act or by including its provisions in the Copyright Act, Cap C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 through an amendment. This piece argues that as we celebrate the ratification of the treaties, there is, however, a great need to pause and ponder on the effect of implementing ‘the standards stipulated in the treaties’ in Nigeria. What impact will the standards in the treaties have on creativity, innovation and access to information for educational purposes in Nigeria? Put broadly, what effect will they have on the knowledge economy and the overall development in Nigeria? Continue reading »


TRIPS Council: Fears That Non-Violation Complaints Could Undercut Flexibilities In IP Trade Rules

 Posted by on October 20, 2017  Comments Off on TRIPS Council: Fears That Non-Violation Complaints Could Undercut Flexibilities In IP Trade Rules
Oct 202017

[Catherine Saez, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] World Trade Organization committee members this week were asked to recommend to the upcoming ministerial conference whether to lift or indefinitely prolong a moratorium shielding intellectual property from complaints between members not involving a breach of a WTO agreement. Short of a consensus, the intellectual property committee will have to reconvene next month to try to find agreement. Separately, a two-year extension was granted to countries not yet having ratified the public health amendment to WTO IP rules. Continue reading »


EIFL Marrakesh Guide Launches in Spanish

 Posted by on October 12, 2017  Comments Off on EIFL Marrakesh Guide Launches in Spanish
Oct 122017

Electronic Information for Libraries press release, Link (CC- BY)

EIFL is delighted to announce that our popular library guide to the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities is now available in Spanish, bringing to eight the total number of languages for the guide. The Marrakesh Treaty, which entered into force in September 2016 with respect to those countries that have ratified the treaty, gives organizations like libraries the right to reproduce printed works in accessible formats like braille and audio, and to exchange these works across national borders. EIFL has been a strong advocate for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty and its implementation into national law. Continue reading »

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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »