LDCs Members have submitted a duly motivated request for an unconditional extension of the 2002-2016 pharmaceutical transition period (covering patents and data) and for relief from the requirements of TRIPS Article 70.8 and 70.9 (mailbox and marketing exclusivity provisions). This expert analysis confirm LDCs’ need and entitlement to the requested extension.
[Mike Isbell, Renée Ridzon, and Karin Timmermans, UNITAID/WHO , Link ] Executive summary: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major global health problem. With 80−150 million people worldwide chronically infected with the virus, the prevalence of HCV is higher than that of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Worldwide, 4−5 million people are coinfected with HIV and HCV. Each year, 500,000−700,000 people die of HCV-related liver disease, and evidence indicates that the HCV burden is increasing. While the HCV epidemic is global in scope, the HCV burden varies considerably between regions. There are six major genotypes of HCV, with genotypes 1 and 3 together accounting for more than three quarters of HCV infections.
[Cross-posted from Afro-Leo, Link (CC-BY)] A report entitled ‘Copyright policy and the right to science and culture’ authored by the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed has been released (download it here, ref A/HRC/28/57 ).
The document summary reads: “In the present report, the Special Rapporteur examines copyright law and policy from the perspective of the right to science and culture, emphasizing both the need for protection of authorship and expanding opportunities for participation in cultural life. Recalling that protection of authorship differs from copyright protection, the Special Rapporteur proposes several tools to advance the human rights interests of authors. The Special Rapporteur also proposes to expand copyright exceptions and limitations to empower new creativity, enhance rewards to authors, increase educational opportunities, preserve space for non-commercial culture and promote inclusion and access to cultural works. An equally important recommendation is to promote cultural and scientific participation by encouraging the use of open licences, such as those offered by Creative Commons.”
[Reposted with permission from the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog. Link] On December 15th, the Ninth Circuit heard en banc oral arguments in a contentious copyright case: Garcia v. Google. The core questions in the case are interesting enough: whether performer Cindy Lee Garcia can claim copyright protection for her five-second performance in the film Innocence of Muslims, and whether Google should consequently be enjoined from showing the movie. The case raises important questions about online speech, about creativity, and about the recourse available for people who allege harm stemming from online content. A number of professors, myself included, wrote and joined amicus briefs on Google’s behalf. For a great write-up of the en banc hearing, check out Cathy Gellis’s summary over on techdirt.
[Jeremy Phillips, Afro-IP, Link (CC-BY)] By Marrakesh Notification No. 5: Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, WIPO has announced the deposit by the Government of the Republic of Mali, on 16 December, of its instrument of ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty (which won’t come into force till the required number of ratifications or accessions is reached in accordance with Article 18 of the Treaty — that’s three months after 20 eligible parties have deposited their instruments of accession or ratification).
[International Federation of Library Associations, Link, (CC-BY)] IFLA’s response to the Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet”
Access to information…Intellectual Property reform…access to open data…affordable access to ICTs. These are some of the important issues IFLA and those of us in the greater library and information community are grappling with in a variety of ways.
IFLA has been working with the international library community—as well as civil society and member states—to develop its position and help ensure that crucial elements such as access to information are included in the UN post-2015 Development Agenda. Throughout this process, it is important that libraries are seen as being part of the conversation.
[Electronic Information for Libraries, Link, (CC-BY)] In June 2013, member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled”. Libraries are key to the success of the treaty for two main reasons. Throughout the world, libraries have a long history serving people with print disabilities, and only blind people’s organizations, libraries and other so-called “authorized entities” can send accessible format copies to other countries.
Licence will support the work of the recently launched Paediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI) to Develop Better Adapted Medicines for Children Living with the Virus
GENEVA, December 1, 2014 – On World AIDS Day, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and AbbVie announced a licensing agreement for lopinavir (LPV) and ritonavir (r), top World Health Organization-recommended medicines for children. The licence will enable other companies and organisations to re-formulate and manufacture specially designed LPV/r and r paediatric treatments for distribution in low- and middle-income countries where 99% of children with HIV in the developing world live.
[Prepared by Kenneth Crews for the 29th Session of the SCCR, Link] INTRODUCTION: A study of copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organization and delivered in 2008, provided a foundation for the subsequent consideration and evaluation of the issues by delegates from the WIPO member states. The original study was conducted by Dr. Kenneth D. Crews on behalf of WIPO, and he was again commissioned to be the principal investigator for the present 2014 report. This report offers a significant update and expansion of the 2008 study. First, the combined 2008 and 2014 studies offer analysis of the copyright laws from all but one of the WIPO member countries. Second, this 2014 project identifies countries that have revised their relevant statutes since completion of the 2008 report. These statutory revisions confirm an ongoing need for legal change and reveal specifically the relevant copyright issues on which lawmakers in diverse countries have taken legislative attention.
The following is an excerpt from Pacific Trade & Human Rights, a joint report by the World Health Organization, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Development Programme. The lead authors are Lloyd Lipsett, Miranda Forsyth, Selim Raihan, and Wesley Morgan.
This case study on Vanuatu highlights the human rights dimension of the connection between trade agreements, intellectual property rights (IPR) and traditional knowledge (TK) in Pacific Island Countries. IPR are linked to the enjoyment of a range of economic, social and cultural rights, the rights to health, education, and food in particular.  However, it is often very challenging to get a comprehensive understanding of the exact nature of the relationship between IPR and human rights in a particular country or region, as local contexts have a profound effect on their inter-relationship.
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.
[Reposted from TWN News, Link] Member States at the recently concluded 46th General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted a “no decision” outcome when consensus failed on four key issues.
This occurred on past midnight of the last day of the session that was held from 22 to 30 September 2014.
Despite intensive informal consultations over several days and evening some nights, the WIPO General Assembly concluded at 12.30 am without any decision on four areas viz. the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (Agenda item 16), Design Law Treaty (Agenda Item 15), the Standing Committee on Copyrights (Agenda item 14), and Matters Concerning External Offices and the establishment of WIPO External Offices (Agenda item 12).