Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest: User Rights Track Call for Papers

[PIJIP] The User Rights track of the Fourth Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, to take place in Delhi, India, December 15-17, 2016, seeks research contributions. The User Rights track will focus on how law and policy can play a key role in breaking down barriers to full participation in the digital economy through expansions of user rights — the rights of users to access, use and transform digital content to further social, economic, cultural and political purposes. Click here for more.

The Effects of TRIPS-Plus IP Provisions on Access to Affordable Medicines

[Jennifer Reid] The effects of patenting pharmaceutical products on access to medicines in developing countries are relatively recent as these countries have only been mandated by [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 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. Click here for more.

Unlocking the Gates of Alexandria: DRM, Competition and Access to E-Books

[Ana Carolina Bittar] Abstract: …Although the main goal of DRMs is to prevent piracy, this technique can adversely impact other interests, such as privacy and fair use. This result is apparent in the e-book market, where it affects competition. More specifically, since each bookseller uses a different proprietary DRM scheme on their ebooks, compatible with a limited number of reading platforms, consumers face problems with interoperability. For example, a Kindle owner cannot buy books from Barnes & Noble, and a Nook owner cannot buy books from Apple. This lack of interoperability can increase barriers to entry, switching costs, and network effects. Click here for more.

National IPR Policy Series : India’s National IPR Policy – What Would WIPO Think?

[Varun Baliga and Nehaa Chaudhari ] This note is a brief overview of the approach set out by the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) for the development of National IPR Strategies by various countries. This note also compares WIPO’s approach to the approach adopted by the IPR Think Tank (“Think Tank”) in the formulation of India’s National IPR Policy This note is only an academic exercise and is not to be construed as a recommendation of the procedure set out by WIPO for the development of National IPR Policies/Strategies. Click here for more.

European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Demands Ambitious Reform

[Greens-European Free Alliance] The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee today voted by a broad majority on a report reviewing the EU’s current copyright framework. The report is authored by Pirate Party MEP and vice-president of the Greens/EFA group Julia Reda. The vote follows intense debate, multiple delays and the consideration of over 550 amendments. Click here for more.