Feb 072017
 

[Reposted from blog.ffii.org]  The following is an excerpt from the full working paper Multilateral Investment Court Assessment Obscures Social and Environmental Impacts, available here

Copyright does not work well in the digital world; the patent system is inefficient. Our societies could benefit from reform. 33 The WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other international agreements limit possibilities for reform. Expansive interpretation of international treaties would further limit our policy space. Continue reading »

Dec 152016
 

These are some reflections on RCEP round in Jakarta for those who weren’t there.

Japan has become the US in drag, asserting its commitment to implementing the TPPA no matter what and pushing TPPA positions (and sometimes worse) even in areas it initially opposed in those negotiations, such as SOEs and intellectual property. Presumably this is to impress Trump in the hope the TPPA can be resurrected or a bilateral US Japan deal can rise from its ashes, with Japan surrendering once again to the American superpower.

Australia and New Zealand continue their mantra that RCEP must be a ‘high quality’ agreement and continue to demand massive commitments from developing countries. They got a lot of pushback this week. Continue reading »

Dec 132016
 

CC-BY-SA. Image by 未知との遭遇

This note comments on each provision of the leaked RCEP IP chapter (dated October 2015) in brief.  Patent is omitted, where I defer to others with expertise in that area of international IP law.  It argues that like so many negotiating (and unfortunately, final) texts of recent IP chapters in trade agreements, there are proposals here that would, if adopted, constitute a radically unbalanced text promoting strong rights while providing little or no protection for other stakeholders in the IP system. Like the TPP text, provisions that suggest a degree of balance are mostly optional/exhortatory, where provisions for the benefit of right holders are mostly mandatory. An exception is the enforcement provisions which are, consistent with other agreements, mostly put in terms so as to require authority to make certain orders or grant certain remedies, rather than a requirement to actually make orders.

Click here for the full working paper.

Dec 082016
 

Authors: Belinda Townsend, Deborah Gleeson, and Ruth Lopert

Abstract: The inclusion of elevated standards of intellectual property protection in the recently negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement has raised serious public health concerns regarding access to medicines. A lesser-known trade agreement under negotiation in the Asia Pacific region is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Continue reading »

Nov 302016
 
Map: Australian Dept. For. Affairs & Trade

Map: Australian Dept. For. Affairs & Trade

Joint letter from 316 civil society groups based in countries negotiating RCEP [Printable PDF]

Dear Trade Ministers & Negotiators from the RCEP countries: This is an urgent call by 316 civil society organisations from across the Asian and Pacific countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes the 10 ASEAN Member States with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

This letter comes at a very important political moment, when in the aftermath of the US elections it seems clear that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will not be ratified by the USA, in spite of its big push since February 2016 when the agreement was signed by the 12 countries. Continue reading »

Nov 212016
 

apecMuch of the news covering last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation  (APEC) conference discussed the TPP, RCEP and FTAAP, but there was also work to establish new intellectual property norms.

The main outcomes reported by the Chair include an agreement among the trade Ministers “to foster cooperation in intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement, and raise SMEs awareness of IP commercialization. They encouraged the completion of the APEC Best Practices in Trade Secrets Protection and Enforcement on the basis of consensus at the earliest possible time.” Continue reading »

Nov 092016
 
Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Authors: Hazel Moir, Brigitte Tenni, Deborah Gleeson & Ruth Lopert

Abstract: In the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement negotiations, the USA successfully pursued intellectual property (IP) provisions that will affect the affordability of medicines, including anti-retrovirals (ARV) for HIV. Vietnam has the lowest GDP per capita of the 12 TPP countries and in 2013 provided ARVs for only 68% of eligible people living with HIV. Using the current Vietnamese IP regime as our base case, we analysed the potential impact of a regime making full use of legal IP flexibilities, and one based on the IP provisions of the final, agreed TPP text. Continue reading »

Nov 062016
 

aftinettextlogo_0[AFTINet Press Release, Link] “The Australian government should reject the push from US Republican Congress members to increase biologic medicine monopolies by seven years, even more than the extra three years which has already been agreed in the TPP text,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today. Continue reading »

Oct 272016
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Click here for a printable PDF

Dear President Obama: As organizations that represent millions of Americans, including consumers, retirees, and patients, and that provide medical care globally, we are concerned about recent reports that your Administration is working behind the scenes to craft Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) implementing legislation and possibly enter into side letters that would  mean even more lengthy monopoly protections for biologics than the already onerous provisions in the TPP agreement. It is our understanding that this could bind the United States to a 12-year market exclusivity period for biologics and block the U.S. and other countries from reducing the amount of time expensive biologic drugs are protected from competition from less expensive biosimilar drugs. Continue reading »

Oct 262016
 

lexchin-gleesonAuthors: Joel Lexchin and Deborah Gleeson

Abstract: The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a large regional trade agreement involving twelve countries. It was signed in principle in February 2016 but has not yet been ratified in any of the participating countries. The TPP provisions place a range of constraints on how governments regulate the pharmaceutical sector and set prices for medicines. Continue reading »

Oct 252016
 

yuVanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 50, 2017 Forthcoming; Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-50

Abstract: In the past few years, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has garnered considerable media, policy and scholarly attention. Rarely analyzed and only occasionally mentioned is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This Agreement is currently being negotiated among Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Launched in November 2012 under the ASEAN 6 framework, the RCEP negotiations build on past trade and non-trade discussions between ASEAN and its six major Asia-Pacific neighbors. Continue reading »

Oct 202016
 

heesobnamSouth Korea has a civil law tradition based on the modern European civil law systems.

The civil law tradition was one of the obstacles when civil societies and lawmakers tried to introduce flexible and open-ended fair use exceptions into the Korean Copyright Act (“KCA”) in 2005 and 2009. According to opposers, the fair use doctrine, developed under the rules of equity in common law countries such as the U.S., did not fit with the Korean civil law system. Continue reading »