Jun 132016
 
image: 未知との遭遇 (CC-BY)

image: 未知との遭遇 (CC-BY)

[TWN, Link] Letter sent by 38 Civil Society Groups to India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Lao, Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan, South Korea

As civil society organisations concerned with access to medicines, to educational resources, to environmentally sound technologies (ESTs), and to other public goods and cultural creations and further concerned with farmers’ rights, food security and industrial development, we call on countries negotiating the RCEP agreement and to protect the flexibilities available under the WTO TRIPS agreement for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).  Continue reading »

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May 312016
 

EAForum[Kyla Tienhaara and Belinda Townsend, East Asia Forum, Link] On 2 May 2016, US President Barack Obama published an op-ed in the Washington Post in an attempt to bolster support for the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP has become a political football in the US election primaries, with all of the leading candidates for President expressing their opposition to it.

Obama was alluding to the latest round of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), recently held in Perth. This agreement includes China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, India and the 10 countries that make up ASEAN. Obama seems to be concerned that RCEP won’t mirror the TPP’s stance on issues like intellectual property protection. Continue reading »

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May 172016
 

colombia flag - better cropping[Joint Letter Signed by 122 Experts – PDF in English and Spanish, with Signatures] Dear President Santos:  We are lawyers, academics and other experts specializing in fields including intellectual property, trade and health, writing to affirm that international law and policy support Colombia´s right to issue compulsory licenses on patents in order to promote public interests including access to affordable medicines. Continue reading »

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May 092016
 

aust productivity commPrevious infojustice posts about the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements have focused on its recommendation that Australia adopt fair use in its copyright law (here and here).  This post highlights the findings regarding the extension of terms for pharmaceutical patents. Australia’s law, in effect since 1999, grants extensions to pharmaceutical firms to make up for time during which the patented drug is awaiting marketing approval.  Total patent term may be extended up to a total of 25 years. Continue reading »

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Apr 222016
 
image: 未知との遭遇 (CC-BY)

image: 未知との遭遇 (CC-BY)

Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) has leaked draft texts of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) chapters on intellectual property and investment.  The drafts are dated October 2015. RCEP is a large trade deal being negotiated by the ASEAN nations (Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and their current FTA partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand). Negotiations are happening this week in Perth, Australia.

Though RCEP is sometimes presented as a sort of non-U.S.-influenced alternative to the Trans Pacific Partnership, many of the same types of provisions are found in the IP and investment chapters.  Continue reading »

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Apr 192016
 

clinton-sandersThe Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition (PFTC) has released questionnaires completed by candidates Sanders and Clinton on their views on the Trans Pacific Partnership. The questionnaires consist of ten questions and allow the candidates to give detailed answers.  Topics include intellectual property and medicines, labor, environment, and fast track. Both candidates’ fully completed questionnaires are available in the PFTC press release. Question 4, on intellectual property and access to medicine, and each candidates’ full answer, are reproduced below: Continue reading »

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Apr 132016
 

msf big square cropped[Joint civil society letter, Link]  Dear Member of Congress: As organizations concerned with public health in the United States and across the world, we are alarmed by the implications for access to medicines of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed by the U.S. and 11 other countries on February 4th, 2016. The intellectual property (IP), investment, and pharmaceutical and medical device reimbursement listing provisions included in the TPP would do more to undermine access to affordable medicines than any previous U.S. trade agreement. We therefore urge you to reject the TPP in its current form. Continue reading »

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Apr 042016
 

WCL main logoThe following submission was made last week by Peter Jaszi, Michael Carroll, Sean Flynn and Meredith Jacob to the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It was in response to a consultation document released by the Ministry on the implementation of TPP intellectual property obligations. Continue reading »

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Mar 252016
 

US-EUThe European Union has published its report on the 12th round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment (TTIP) negotiations, held in Brussels Februiary 22-26.  The full document is available here.  The section reporting on the intellectual property negotiation (pp. 15-16) follows:

3.5 Intellectual property rights, including Geographical Indications

Given the efficiency of the respective systems, the EU’s intention in this area of negotiations is not to strive towards harmonisation but to identify issues of common interest where we can address divergences. The latest discussions continued to explore what elements a TTIP IPR chapter could include. Continue reading »

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Mar 152016
 

chienAuthor: Colleen Chien

Abstract: One of the purposes of the Trans‐Pacific Partnership (TPP) is to harmonize standards and create a uniform climate for trade and investment. As lawmakers deliberate the terms of the deal, they must consider what the long‐term impact of agreeing to its sweeping provisions will be. As they do so, they should keep in mind that the gaps between the agreed‐upon principles and local implementation, and the differences between local implementation – some of them by design – are often quite great. Drawing upon the existing literature, this short essay provides a survey of the extent of harmony and disharmony in the 20 years that have passed since ratification of the TRIPS agreement, with a focus on its patent provisions. Continue reading »

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Mar 092016
 

NewZealandNew Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (Link)
Submissions are due by 5pm on Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Submission template (MS Word)
Discussion paper (PDF)

Summary: On 9 March 2016, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced the release of a consultation document that seeks feedback on how the Government proposes to implement the intellectual property changes required to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. Continue reading »

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Mar 082016
 

plosBaker BK (2016) Trans-Pacific Partnership Provisions in Intellectual Property, Transparency, and Investment Chapters Threaten Access to Medicines in the US and Elsewhere. PLoS Med 13(3): e1001970. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001970

Introduction:

A new Pacific-Rim trade agreement threatens future access to affordable medicines in the United States and abroad. Buried in 6,000-plus pages of text, annexes, and side letters, there are multiple provisions—complex in their articulation, but simple in their effect: they dramatically increase monopoly protections for the transnational originator pharmaceutical industry. Continue reading »

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