Feb 232015
 

australia flagAuthors: Deborah H Gleeson, Hazel Moir and Ruth Lopert

Summary:  Intellectual property (IP) protections proposed by the United States for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) have sparked widespread alarm about the potential negative impact on access to affordable medicines. The most recently leaked draft of the IP chapter shows some shifts in the US position, presumably in response to ongoing resistance from other countries. While some problematic provisions identified in earlier drafts have been removed or mitigated, major concerns remain unresolved.

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Feb 132015
 
Map: Australian Dept. For. Affairs & Trade

Map: Australian Dept. For. Affairs & Trade

This week, the 16 Asian and Pacific countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are meeting in Thailand.  This trade agreement will include Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. According to the RCEP’s Guiding Principles stated at the beginning of the negotiations in 2012, the agreement will include an intellectual property chapter to promote “cooperation in the utilization, protection and enforcement” of IPR.

Japan’s proposed intellectual property text, which was leaked and has been posted online by KEI, includes numerous TRIPS Plus provisions.  (South Korea is reported to be advocating for TRIPS-Plus provisions too.) Many of the provisions would be especially harmful to the Indian generic industry, which supplies the majority of medicines used by people in developing countries. Continue reading »

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Feb 052015
 

budgetLast week the Obama Administration released its Budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes a number of policy proposals designed to save money for both the government and taxpayers. Its proposal to shorten the monopolies granted to brand name biologic drugs – and thereby hasten generic competition – would directly clash with the provisions the Administration seeks in the Trans Pacific Partnership. Continue reading »

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Feb 042015
 

hatch-schumerLast week the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the Obama Administration’s trade policy, in which U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman was the sole witness.

Prepared statements from Chairman Orin Hatch, Ranking Minority Leader Wyden, and Ambassador Froman, and video of the full hearing are here. Actually, most of the hearing is on the video, but the committee edited out the protestors who disrupted the hearing. Democracy Now has the video and transcript of the protest here.

During Q&A, many of the Senators brought up enforcement of trade agreements as a very important area for USTR to focus its energies.   Two Senators, in particular, indicated they wanted the U.S. to be been more active in trade disputes over intellectual property, through either FTA frameworks or bilateral measures: Continue reading »

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Feb 042015
 

janekelsey2008-200x300US demanded additional legislation on copyright before it would certify Australia’s FTA compliance 

In August 2014 a memorandum and supporting documents published on the website www.tppnocertification.org exposed how the United States uses a process called ‘certification’ to require other countries to implement the US’s interpretation of those other countries’ obligations under their free trade treaties.

Unless those countries’ comply, the US will not exchange the diplomatic notes that are necessary to bring the agreement into force. A number of examples showed how the US has used certification to intervene actively in other countries’ legislative processes in recent years. Continue reading »

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Jan 302015
 

af-daAuthors: Andrea Filippetti and Daniele Archibugi

Abstract: There is a heated debated – in academia and in policy circles – about the usefulness of a stronger global regime of intellectual property rights (IPRs). Supporters of strong IPRs argue that they will increase investments in R&D and innovation and disseminating it across countries. Continue reading »

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Jan 232015
 

D11_046_118January 26, 2015 | 9:30 – 2:30
American University School of International Service
Printable agenda & directions (PDF)

Co-hosted by the AU School of International Service and AU Washington College of Law’s Program on International Organizations, Law and Diplomacy

The event will be streamed live at http://bit.ly/1ExHnX9. Continue reading »

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Dec 222014
 

mrIn his visit to the G20 in Brisbane, President Barack Obama sought to promote his ambitious Pacific Rim trade agreement — the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He told an audience at the University of Queensland:

We’ll keep leading the effort to realize the Trans-Pacific Partnership to lower barriers, open markets, export goods, and create good jobs for our people. But with the 12 countries of the TPP making up nearly 40 percent of the global economy, this is also about something bigger. It is our chance to put in place new, high standards for trade in the 21st century that uphold our values. So, for example, we are pushing new standards in this trade agreement, requiring countries that participate to protect their workers better and to protect the environment better, and protect intellectual property that unleashes innovation, and baseline standards to ensure transparency and rule of law. Continue reading »

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Dec 192014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Dear Mr. President:  The organizations signing this letter want to express our deep concerns regarding some of the provisions under negotiation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). These provisions could seriously impact access to affordable medicines by delaying generic competition as well as impacting governments’ ability to advance public health policies in the U.S and around the world.

While we have different perspectives and interests, we are united by our shared concerns regarding access to affordable medicines and the need to ensure competition in the pharmaceutical market in the U.S. and abroad.

Click here for the full letter (PDF).

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Dec 152014
 

vietnam-5-x-3-flag-4070-pAuthors: Hazel V. J. Moir, Brigitte Tenni, Deborah Gleeson, and Ruth Lopert

Abstract:   In the Trans Pacific partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations, the United States has proposed expanded patent protections that will likely impact the affordability of medicines in TPPA partners. This includes antiretroviral (ARV) medicines used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Continue reading »

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Dec 142014
 

effbigGroups Demand That Negotiators Release Text of Secret Trade Deal

[EFF Press Release, Link, (CC-BY)]  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined dozens of civil society groups from around the world in calling for the release of the secret text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a massive proposed trade agreement that could quash digital rights for Internet users everywhere in the name of intellectual property protection. Continue reading »

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Dec 082014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

President Obama gave a talk on the stat of the economy last week at the Business Roundtable,  group of American CEOs that promotes pro-business public policies.  The full transcript of his talk, including questions and answers is here.

As part of a longer answer to a general question on the global economy, Obama mentioned bilateral talks with China.  He said that his administration is “pushing hard” on China to strengthen intellectual property, and asked the member companies of the Business Roundtable to “help us by speaking out when you’re getting strong-armed.” Continue reading »

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