TTIP Stakeholder Statement: Protect Intellectual Property from Investor-State Dispute Settlement
[Sean Flynn] There is an increasingly urgent need to revise the EU and US ISDS templates to protect IP policy decisions from the ISDS chapters of trade agreements. Both the US and EU have been tinkering with their models of late. But both revised models fail to ensure a key domestic sovereignty protection that has been the core of international IP law for 130 years – the exclusive use of state-to-state dispute resolution for enforcement of international IP commitments. Click here for more.
Update on IP Watch’s FOIA Case Seeking Release of USTR Documents from the TPP Negotiations
[Brianna van Kan, Ben Picozzi, and Rebecca Wexler] On April 3, 2015, Intellectual Property Watch (IP-Watch) completed its written arguments to the federal district court in Manhattan in a case that could compel the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to release basic information regarding USTR’s negotiations over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. In particular, IP-Watch’s lawsuit and summary judgment motion asks U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos to order USTR to release documents that relate to the intellectual property provisions of the TPP—including USTR’s final negotiating positions, the portions of the draft agreement that the U.S. has proposed or adopted, and communications between USTR and the industry representatives who sit on Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs). Click here for more.
Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Innovation: Evidence from TRIPS
[Margaret Kyle and Yi Qian] Abstract: We examine the effect of pharmaceutical patent protection on the speed of drug launch, price, and quantity in 60 countries from 2000-2013. The World Trade Organization required its member countries to implement a minimum level of patent protection within a specified time period as part of the TRIPS Agreement. However, members retained the right to impose price controls and to issue compulsory licenses under certain conditions. Click here for more.
Canada Quietly Announces It Will Lengthen Copyright Terms for Sound Recordings by 20 Years With No Public Consultation
[OpenMedia] Canadians got an unpleasant surprise in the budget yesterday when the government announced that it would be extending copyright for sound recordings by 20 years, up from Canada’s current term of life of the creator plus 50 years. The move comes after the flawed implementation of Canada’s Notice and Notice system, which has left Canadians exposed to abusive and misleading copyright notices from foreign media giants. Click here for more.
PIJIP Table Comparing Trade Promotion Authority Legislation from 2002, 2014, and 2015
[PIJIP] The table linked below compares the full text of Title XXII of the Trade Act of 2002, (the last Trade Promotion Authority law, which expired in 2007); the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014; and the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. It includes the text of each, and highlights areas where they differ. This table is an update of an earlier 2-column table by Terence P. Stewart of the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart. PIJIP Fellow Alexandra Resh updated it with the new information. Click here for the full table.
Article 19: UN Expert’s Report Subjects Copyright to Human Rights Scrutiny
[Article 19] ARTICLE 19 has welcomed the annual report of Farida Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, presented to the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council in March 2015. The Special Rapporteur’s final report subjects copyright laws and policies to a thorough human rights analysis, referencing “the Right to Share” Principles, developed by ARTICLE 19 and a group of international experts. The report draws on Article 27 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Article 15(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which protect both authorship and cultural participation, and questions the assumption that strong copyright enforcement is synonymous with advancing either of these interests. Click here for more.
Guidelines on Patentability and Access to Medicines
[Germán Velásquez] Until recently, the link between the examination of patents carried out by national patent offices and the right of citizens to access to medicines was not at all clear. They were two functions or responsibilities of the State that apparently had nothing to do with each other. Examining the growing literature on intellectual property and access to medicines, it seems that the analysis of one actor has been left out: the patent offices. And the reason is clear: patent offices are administrative institutions. Patentability requirements are not defined by patent offices, but frequently by the courts, tribunals, legislation or treaty negotiators. There is now greater understanding that the examination of patents and the role played by patent examiners are key elements that could contribute to or obstruct access to medicines. Given the impact of pharmaceutical patents on access to medicines, patent offices should draw up public policies and strategies that respond to national health and medicine policies. Click here for more.