Announcing the Institutional Partner for the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest 2015

[Nehaa Chaudhari] As you might know, the Centre for Internet and Society, India will be hosting the 4th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest at New Delhi, India. We’re pleased to welcome on board National Law University, New Delhi (“NLU-D”), as our Institutional Partner.  NLU-D will be the venue for the Congress, later this year. Click here for more.

Copyright for Creativity – A Manifesto for Change:  Will 2015 Be the Year of European Copyright Reform?

[Theresa Hackett]  “Copyright divide in numbers”, the graph on the first page of the newly launched ‘The Copyright Manifesto. How the European Union should Support Innovation and Creativity through Copyright Reform’ tells a story. In an illustration of the results of the European Union’s (EU) 2014 consultation on copyright, publishers, authors and collective management organizations express strong support for the current system, while end users and institutional users (such as libraries) are strongly in favour of copyright reform. So if copyright is supposed to benefit everyone, the copyright system sure isn’t working for everyone. Click here for more.

Marrakesh Treaty: Mali Takes the Plunge for Africa

[Jeremy Phillips, Afro-IP, Link (CC-BY)] By Marrakesh Notification No. 5: Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, WIPO has announced the deposit by the Government of the Republic of Mali, on 16 December, of its instrument of ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty (which won’t come into force till the required number of ratifications or accessions is reached in accordance with Article 18 of the Treaty — that’s three months after 20 eligible parties have deposited their instruments of accession or ratification).  Click here for more.

Disability Exceptions in Copyright Legislations

[Rishika, CIS-India] In the year 2006, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) conducted a study on different national approaches to copyright exception for persons with disabilities. Over 60 countries have an exception in their Copyright laws permitting conversion of works into accessible formats for the benefit of persons who cannot read print. The scope of the exception varies, in terms of the beneficiaries covered, formats permitted, restrictions on who can convert, etc. …In this report, we aim to provide an update to the 2006 WIPO study, whereby all relevant details, including whether the countries are signatories to the Treaty are given in a simplified manner. This is to ensure that the information is readily accessible in a simple and comprehensive table for all readers. Click here for more.

USTR Request for Public Comment and Announcement of Public Hearing for the 2015 Special 301 Review

[Federal Register Notice] … USTR is hereby requesting 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. Click here for more.

AJIC Journal Call for Articles: “African Intersections between IP Rights and Knowledge Access”

The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC), an accredited, peer-reviewed journal published by the LINK Centre at Wits University in Johannesburg, is calling for submissions to its 2015 Thematic Issue to be entitled “African Intersections between IP Rights and Knowledge Access”. Submissions, to Guest Editor Chris Armstrong, are due on or before 30 April 2015. Go to the Call for Submissions.

Gilead Denied Patent for Hepatitis C Drug Sofosbuvir in India

[Médecins Sans Frontières] The Indian Patent Controller has today rejected one of Gilead’s key patent applications which covered the drug sofosbuvir, used to treat hepatitis C (HCV). The oral drug, which first received regulatory approval in the US in November 2013, and has been priced by Gilead at US$84,000 for a treatment course, or $1,000 per pill in the US, has caused a worldwide debate on the pricing of patented medicines. A study from Liverpool University showed that sofosbuvir could be produced for as little as $101 for a three-month treatment course. Click here for more.

See Also:  Swaraj Paul Barooah, Spicy IP. Gilead to Appeal Sofosbuvir Patent Rejection.  Link.

Europe Releases its TTIP Proposals on Intellectual Property.

[Jeremey Malcolm] This week, the first batch of the TTIP documents that we had been promised by Europe has been released online. They take two different forms: two-page fact sheets for each of the 23 chapters, and for certain chapters the negotiating texts given to US negotiators, which in turn may be either actual textual proposals, or a more general statement of intent in the form of a position paper. What have we learned from these documents? As yet, not much. Click here for the full post on the EFF Deeplinks blog.

AU School of International Service Conference: Convergence and Divergence in Mega-Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreements

[PIJIP] This conference will explore the new challenges posed by bilateral trade and investment treaties such as TPP, CETA, and TTIP, against the background of the multilateral trade regime. Do these treaties replace or complement multilateralism in the WTO framework? The first panel will offer an overview of the various trade agreements, their possible convergence, and different geopolitical implications. The second panel will focus on key critical and controversial issues by addressing sectors such as IP, investment, and data privacy. The conference is a joint project of the AU School of International Service, and the AU Washington College of Law Program on International Organizations, Law, and Diplomacy. Click here for more.