Jul 272015
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

This post contains a brief summary of, and excerpt from, a report published by the Third World Network. Click here for the full report.  (eds.)

This document summarises some of the ways in which the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) can harm human rights. The analysis below only examines the impact on recommendations and comments by United Nations (UN) Special Procedures mandate-holders[1] and other United Nations human rights bodies,a so there are other human rights which are likely to be adversely affected by the TPP which are not covered here. Continue reading »

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Jul 242015
 
Photo by C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

Photo by C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | CONTACT:
Nicole L’Esperance (Blumenauer), 202-225-4811
Aaron Hunter (Davis), 202-225-1686
Patrick Malone (Himes), 202- 225-5541

Washington, DC – As Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators meet in Hawaii, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Susan Davis (CA-53), Jim Himes (CT-04), and other Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives who recently voted to grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) urged U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman to ensure Intellectual Property (IP) provisions in the TPP protect timely and affordable access to medicines. Continue reading »

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Jul 242015
 

public knowledgeSee also, Public Knowledge press release and this letter in PDF (CC-BY-SA)

Dear Ambassador Froman: All  consumers  are users of  intellectual property. The  average American  interacts with  hundreds,  if  not  thousands,  of  IP-protected  products  and  goods  each  day.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership must not weaken or otherwise disrupt the protections afforded to American consumers.

The United States  is  a global  leader  in  intellectual property, not only because of the  rights  enjoyed  by  creators  of  knowledge  goods,  but  also  because  of  those  rights granted to consumers. Preserving these rights must be central to any trade negotiation. Continue reading »

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Jul 232015
 

roffe-escudero-seubaPedro Roffe, Sergio Escudero and Xavier Seuba

The following is an excerpt from the executive summary of a forthcoming paper. The paper was written under an IISD project funded under the Knowledge Partnership Programme  of  DFID India and IPE Global Pvt Ltd. The views are strictly those of the authors.

The report addresses recent developments in the area of intellectual property rights (IPRs) since the adoption of the TRIPS Agreement (1994) with particular emphasis on trends in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and plurilateral initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), ACTA and the new agenda of the European Union (EU) on intellectual property. Continue reading »

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Jul 222015
 

msf logo[Médecins Sans Frontières press release, Link] At the International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference today, the international medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned that middle-income countries (MICs), which will be home to 70% of people living with HIV by 2020, face increasing threats to their ability to access affordable generic medicines, which are crucial to countries’ ability to reach the global UNAIDS 90/90/90* targets. Continue reading »

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Jul 202015
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Inside U.S. Trade reports that USTR has “effectively wrapped up” negotiations with Vietnam and Singapore and “will seek to bring TPP ‘to some kind of a conclusion’ when ministers meet later this month in Hawaii.”  Froman has delivered an “ultimatum” to Malaysia.

Reps. Schakowsky and DeLauro joined MSF, AARP and others at a press briefing on IP and Access to Medicines. Rep. Schakowsky told the press that “What is clear is that it is U.S. negotiators who are pushing to tilt the balance between intellectual property rights and public health even more toward the brand-name drug companies.” Continue reading »

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Jul 142015
 

Palmedo300x300This post presents data comparing branded antiretroviral medicine prices in countries which have entered into free trade agreements with the U.S. containing TRIPS-Plus intellectual property obligations, to the prices for the same drugs in other countries. According to publicly available data from the World Health Organization’s Global Price Reporting Mechanism (GPRM), prices of branded antiretrovirals negotiated by large institutional purchasers (like UNITAID and the Clinton Foundation) were more than twice as high between 2004 and 2014 when the sale took place in countries with U.S. FTAs. If one controls for per capita income, inclusion in international HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines, and the year of purchase, the average difference between the negotiated price of branded drugs in countries with and without FTAs in force is 57%. The price differences vary greatly by drug. Continue reading »

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Jul 072015
 

effbig[Reposted from EFF Deeplinks Blog, Link, (CC-BY)] A draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership‘s “Intellectual Property” chapter from May 11, 2015 hasrecently been leaked to journalists. This is the fourth leak of the chapter following earlier drafts of October 2014, August 2013, and February 2011. The latest leak is not available online and we don’t have a copy of it—but we have been briefed on its contents. Continue reading »

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Jul 062015
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Inside U.S. Trade reports that Trade Ministers have scheduled Trans Pacific Partnership Ministerial for the end of July in Hawaii. Chief negotiators will meet prior to the Ministerial to try to iron out remaining areas of disagreement.

Jiji press reports that there are six unresolved areas where “negotiations are not proceeding smoothly.” Data exclusivity for biologics is one such area.  The story quotes a Japanese negotiator saying “Unless Washington shortens the requested protection period, there is little chance of an agreement.” Continue reading »

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Jun 182015
 
(cc)  rakka

Photo by rakka (CC-BY)

The effects of patenting pharmaceutical products on access to medicines in developing countries are relatively recent as these countries have only been mandated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) rules to grant patents on pharmaceuticals since 2005. As a result there are a limited number of empirical studies documenting these effects.

However, patents grant the patent holder a monopoly on the market that allows the blocking of price-lowering generic competition and the raising of prices which restricts affordable access to medicines. Where patent and other intellectual property (IP) barriers do not exist, generic competition has proven to lower prices of medicines. The attached memo provides numerous examples where intellectual property rules stronger than those required by TRIPS have raised the cost of medicines. Continue reading »

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Jun 152015
 

sessionsEarlier this month, Senator Jeff Sessions wrote President Obama to ask him to make a section of the Trans Pacific Partnership public – the section that creates a “new transnational governance structure known as the Trans Pacific Partnership Commission” which would “have the authority to amend the agreement after its adoption, to add new members, and to issue regulations impacting labor, immigration, environmental and commercial policy.”

The senator was frustrated by the secrecy surrounding the text. To read it, he had to visit the secret reading room in the basement of the Capitol Visitors center where legislators can read the text, while being watched by security guards. He is unable to discuss anything he has read with advisers, staffers, or the people he represents. Continue reading »

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Jun 122015
 

OCTOBER 11, 2010 - Law professor David Levine. (Photo by Kim Walker)Congress appears poised to pass Trade Promotion Authority, otherwise known as ‘fast track,’ for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). If this happens, it will likely close the door to any possibility of meaningful public input about TPP’s scope and contours. That’s a major problem, as this “21st century trade agreement” encompassing around 800 million people in the United States and eleven other countries, will impact areas ranging from access to medicine (who gets it) to digital privacy rights (who has them). But, unless you are a United States Trade Representative (USTR) “cleared advisor” (which almost always means that you represent an industry, like entertainment or pharmaceuticals), or, under certain limited circumstances, an elected official, your chief source of TPP information is WikiLeaks. In other words, if Julian Assange gets his hands on a draft TPP text, you might see it, once he decides that it should be made public. Of course, you’ll have to hope that the copy that you see is current and accurate. Continue reading »

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