The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is currently investigating “Indian industrial policies that discriminate against U.S. imports… and the effect those barriers have on the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs.” The investigation was requested by Sen. Hatch, Sen. Baucus, Rep. Camp, and Rep. Levin, and the final report is due to be released in November. Last week it held a series of hearings, where it heard from U.S. business, Indian business, and civil society representatives.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation of Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the U.S. Economy held its second and third hearing on Friday, February 14. This blog contains notes on the third hearing, which was focused on IP and pharmaceuticals. Witnesses from PhRMA, Sonecon, Bayer, Knowledge Ecology International, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Public Citizen testified. Notes on the ITC investigation’s first panel are here, and notes on the second panel are here. Videos of the hearings have been posted here by Knowledge Ecology International.
The U.S. International Trade Commission’s investigation of Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the U.S. Economy held its second and third hearing on Friday, February 14. This blog contains notes on the parts of the second hearing related to intellectual property. Notes on the first are here, and notes on the third are here. Videos of the hearings have been posted here by Knowledge Ecology International.
Pallavi Shroff from the Confederation of Indian Industry opened her testimony describing strong growth of the overall Indian economy, of U.S. exports to India, and of American Drug companies’ market share.
Last August, Sen. Baucus, Sen. Hatch, Rep. Camp and Rep Levin requested that the Commission provide a report on “Indian industrial policies that discriminate against U.S. imports and investment for the sake of supporting Indian domestic industries.” The report, due November 2014, is supposed to address a series of questions, which include the effect of intellectual property policies.
Last Friday, an interagency committee led by the U.S. Trade Representative received comments for the 2014 Special 301 Review. This annual review is a process in which it identifies countries that allegedly “deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.” As part of the review, comments are accepted from the general public, and they have now been posted online. The next step of the review will be a public hearing on February 24. There will be private consultations with other stakeholders and government officials, and a final report will be issued “on or about April 30.”
This morning, Sen. Orrin Hatch spoke about international intellectual property issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He was the keynote at the organization’s launch of the second edition of its Global Intellectual Property Index. A video of the event is here, and Sen. Hatch takes the podium at 9:45.
Sen. Hatch argued that American history has shown strong intellectual property (IP) leads to prosperity. Research has shown that increased IP leads all countries to enjoy greater foreign direct investment, technology transfer and innovation. However, the “lesson is lost” in the developing world where countries try to develop through “short cuts” that “undermine” and “steal” U.S. innovation. India is the biggest battlefront, and Indian compulsory licenses based on nonworking are a big problem. Hatch warned that nothing in India’s patent laws limit compulsory licenses to pharmaceuticals, and he warned that other fields of technology such as cell phones or jets could be subject to compulsory licenses too.
Yesterday, the Cato Institute hosted a panel on the Investor-State dispute brought by Eli Lilly against Canada under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The panel featured Mark Schultz from the Southern Illinois University School of Law, Burcu Kilic from Public Citizen, and Christopher Sands from the Hudson Institute. The trade dispute surrounds a Canadian court case in which Eli Lilly’s patent for Strattera was found to be invalid because it did not met the Canadian utility standards. The company alleges that the utility standards applied by the court – which require the patent applicant to demonstrate ‘promised utility’ at the time of filing – amount to an “unlawful expropriation of Claimant’s investments.”
On January 2, the United States Trade Representative issued its Federal Register Notice for the Special 301 Review. It is seeking “written submissions from the public concerning foreign countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.” USTR will also host an open hearing for the 2014 Special 301 Review. Any interested party may testify, as long as notice of intent to testify is given by the deadline below.
[Andy for TorrentFreak, Link (CC-BY-NC)] ISPs have condemned negotiations on a potential update of Swiss copyright law that is being influenced by the U.S. Government and entertainment companies. According to the ISPs the secret anti-piracy discussions, from which they were excluded, have so far yielded “useless” proposals including web blocking and file-sharer warnings. “We reject the monitoring of Internet traffic on principle,” a spokesman said.
The U.S. pharmaceutical industry and its Big Brother Chamber of Commerce have launched an all-out disinformation campaign against the India Patent Act and decisions rendered thereunder. They have enlisted allies in the U.S. government, including Members of Congress, the United States International Trade Commission, Secretary of State Kerry, and even President Obama, to carry their claims to the highest levels of the Indian government. They have threatened to insist that the U.S. file a WTO trade complaints against India in 2014 and that India no longer be permitted to export duty-free products to the U.S. under the Generalized System of Preferences.
Abstract: Policy is made in small-scale situations mediated by language. This article examines the ways in which the United States Trade Representative establishes a mandate by esoterically interpreting canonical texts and then using that mandate to filter testimony. Its goal is to maintain a watch list of countries that disrespect intellectual property. This involves managing intertextual relations in ways that efface some perspectives and highlight others, while creating three subjectivities: industry, public interest, and foreign governments.
After losing two patent cases before the appellate courts of a Western democracy, should a disgruntled foreign multinational pharmaceutical company be free take that country to private arbitration claiming that its expectations of monopoly profits had been thwarted by the courts’ decisions? Should governments continue to negotiate trade agreements where expansive Intellectual Property-related investor rights and investor- state dispute settlement (ISDS) are enshrined into hard law?