May 192017
 

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Joint letter signed by 43 civil society organizations

Dear Ministers: As organisations representing health professionals and health advocates from countries that are signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), we write to convey our deep concerns about reports that some of the remaining TPP parties are considering resurrecting the TPP following the U.S. withdrawal, and to reiterate concerns raised with you previously regarding its negative impacts on people’s right to health, access to affordable medicines, and the ability of governments to regulate health-damaging activities of corporations. Continue reading »

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May 022017
 

There is increasing attention in international trade and copyright forums to the question of how international law should protect and promote copyright user rights. I presented the following options at this year’s Creative Commons Global Summit as examples of provisions that (at least partially) promote the organization’s mission of promoting “nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.”

Existing models included in trade and other international agreements primarily serve two ends –

  1. protecting rights of countries to enact “fair use” rights, e.g. from the challenge that such exceptions could be held to violate the Berne “3-step test” as not being sufficiently tailored to “specific” cases, and
  2. affirmatively promoting user rights in copyrights systems, either through broad mandates to achieve “balance” or through mandatory exceptions for some categories of use.

Continue reading »

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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 »

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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.

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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 »

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The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and Access to HIV Treatment in Vietnam

 Posted by on November 9, 2016  Comments Off on The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and Access to HIV Treatment in Vietnam
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 »

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Australia Should Reject U.S. Push for Even Longer TPP Medicine Monopolies

 Posted by on November 6, 2016  Comments Off on Australia Should Reject U.S. Push for Even Longer TPP Medicine Monopolies
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 »

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AARP, AFL-CIO, Oxfam, Consumers Union & MSF Letter to President Obama, re: Data Exclusivity for Biologics and the TPP

 Posted by on October 27, 2016  Comments Off on AARP, AFL-CIO, Oxfam, Consumers Union & MSF Letter to President Obama, re: Data Exclusivity for Biologics and the TPP
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 »

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The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and Pharmaceutical Regulation in Canada and Australia

 Posted by on October 26, 2016  Comments Off on The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and Pharmaceutical Regulation in Canada and Australia
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 »

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Oct 172016
 

sean - 150x150Senior copyright industry experts described the Trans Pacific Partnership and other recent free trade agreements as likely setting a “high water mark” for intellectual property commitments in trade agreements. The statements came as part of a symposium last week on Trading in IP: Copyright Treaties and International Trade Agreements sponsored by Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts.

Steve Metalitz, Partner at Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP and long-time Counsel to the International Intellectual Property Alliance, kicked off the discussion Continue reading »

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The Investment-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

 Posted by on September 27, 2016  Comments Off on The Investment-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
Sep 272016
 

yuAbstract: From the debate among presidential candidates on whether the United States should ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement to the arbitrations Philip Morris and Eli Lilly have sought through the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, the investment-related aspects of intellectual property rights have recently garnered considerable policy, scholarly, and media attention.

This growing attention, to some extent, has brought back memories about the time when the WTO TRIPS Agreement began to transform intellectual property law by redirecting our focus to the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. Whether the recent developments on the investment front represent yet another paradigm shift in intellectual property law remains an important academic and policy question. Continue reading »

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Sep 142016
 

cato institute logoThe Cato Institute has released a report that “presents a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) from a free trader’s perspective.” It notes that TPP is really more of a “managed” or “freer” trade agreement than an agreement that really promotes “free trade” in a classic sense. It finds that overall, the “terms of the TPP are net liberalizing,” but that some of the individual chapters – including the intellectual property chapter – are actually “protectionist.” Continue reading »

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