Global Internet Takedown Orders Come to Canada: Supreme Court Upholds International Removal of Google Search Results
[Michael Geist] The Supreme Court of Canada released its much-anticipated Google v. Equustek decision today, upholding the validity of an injunction requiring Google to remove search results on an international basis. The 7-2 decision (Justices Côté and Rowe dissented, finding that there were alternatives available, the order is ineffective, and expressing concern that the “temporary” injunction was effectively permanent) is not a surprise – last week’s Facebook’s decision suggested a willingness to side with the weaker Canadian litigant against Internet giants – but the decision will ultimately grant Google more power, not less. Click here for more.
Copyright Balance as a NAFTA Negotiating Objective: Testimony to the Trade Policy Staff Committee
[Mike Palmedo] My name is Michael Palmedo, and I work for the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) at the American University Washington College of Law. We have an interdisciplinary project that studies the economic effects of legal provisions in copyright laws, specifically copyright limitations that are relied upon by various firms in the information and research sectors. I manage the economic side of this research, which is partially funded by Google. In this testimony, I will share information from our research indicating that the promotion of balanced copyright systems promotes U.S. trade interests, and should therefore be included in the NAFTA renegotiation objectives. Click here for more.
US Pressure on India to Grant More Patents on Pharma Products ‘Appalling’, Say Health Advocates
[Shreerup Mitra] Top health advocates have called the attempt by the US to pressure India to grant additional patents on drugs and vaccines as “appalling” and are writing a letter to a US lawmaker to register their protest. On 23 June, four American lawmakers including Richard Neal (D-MA), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Orrin Hatch wrote to US president Donald Trump to use the then-impending Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s Washington visit to address New Delhi’s “inadequate” protection of patents, trademarks and copyrights, and the “arbitrary” style of pricing medical products. Click here for more on FirstPost.com.
Copyright Office Proposes Modest Fixes to DMCA 1201, Leaves Fundamental Flaws Untouched
[Mitch Stoltz] The U.S. Copyright Office just released a long-awaited report about Section 1201, the law that bans circumventing digital restrictions on copyrighted works. Despite years of evidence that the social costs of the law far outweigh any benefits, the Copyright Office is mostly happy with the law as it is. The Office does recommend that Congress enact some narrow reforms aimed at protecting security research, repair activities, and access for people with disabilities. Click here for more.
Canada Blinks in Face of US/Pharma Pressure
[Brook Baker] In a stunning reversal of policy, on June 30, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned decades of precedent making it easier for the biopharmaceutical industry to gain patents on medicines without any real proof of a claim that a putative invention has any meaningful utility. This reversal in AstraZeneca Canada Inc. v. Apotex, Inc. is particularly disconcerting because Canada had just won an investor-state arbitration award in the long awaited Eli Lilly v. Canada case upholding its more stringent promise/utility doctrine that had been used successfully to overturn two dozen secondary patents, particularly those claiming new uses of known medicines, where patent claimants failed to present evidence in support of the prediction of therapeutic benefit promised in their patent applications. Click here for more.
Data Exclusivity Exceptions and Compulsory Licensing to Promote Generic Medicines in the European Union: A Proposal for Greater Coherence in European Pharmaceutical Legislation
[Ellen F.M. ‘t Hoen, Pascale Boulet and Brook K. Baker] … Today a number of upper-income European Union (EU) Member States are contemplating the use of compulsory licensing in their efforts to reduce expenditure on pharmaceutical products. EU regulation of clinical test data protection and the granting of market exclusivity interfere with the effective use of compulsory licensing by EU Member States and can even prevent access to off-patent medicines because they prohibit registration of generic equivalents. EU pharmaceutical legislation should be amended to allow waivers to data and market exclusivity in cases of public health need and when a compulsory or government use license has been issued. Click here for more.
The Trump Administration Invites Public Comment for Review of Existing Trade Agreements
[Office of the U.S. Trade Representative] … Through written comments, Americans can help identify the impact of trade agreements, including any first-hand experience with unfair trade practices. The focus for solicited public comments includes, but is not limited to, the effects of a trade agreement, partnership, or program in the following areas: Harm to American workers, including the offshoring of factories and jobs and downward pressure on wage and income growth; Harm of intellectual property rights, the rate of innovation, or research and development in the United States; Unmet predictions on new jobs created, favorable trade balance effects, expanded market access, lowered trade barriers, or increased United States exports… Public comments must be received by July 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm. Click here for more.