TPP, RCEP and the Crossvergence of Asian Intellectual Property Standards
[Peter Yu] Abstract: The debate on convergence and divergence has garnered considerable attention from policymakers and commentators involved in regulatory developments in Asia. The recent completion of the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the still ongoing negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have added fuel to this debate. Given the different leadership in these two mega-regional agreements and the exclusion of many RCEP parties from the TPP negotiations, it will be interesting to see how the agreements will affect the future efforts to set regional intellectual property standards. It will also be curious to see whether the draft and finalized standards could reveal policy preferences of the participating countries. Click here for more.
Shrinking Transparency in the NAFTA and RCEP Negotiations
[Jeremy Malcolm and Jyoti Panday] Provisions on digital trade are quietly being squared away in both of the two major trade negotiations currently underway—the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade talks. But due to the worst-ever standards of transparency in both of these negotiations, we don’t know which provisions are on the table, which have been agreed, and which remain unresolved. The risk is that important and contentious digital issues—such as rules on copyright or software source code—might become bargaining chips in negotiation over broader economic issues including wages, manufacturing and dispute resolution, and that we would be none the wiser until after the deals have been done. Click here for more.
USTR Launches Review Of IP In Thailand After Reported Improvements On Enforcement
[William New] The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced an “out-of-cycle” review of Thailand’s intellectual property policies after what USTR said were reports of improvement on several IP issues including trademarks and enforcement. Another area of the review will be pharmaceuticals. USTR Robert Lighthizer announced the review of Thailand’s status under the US “Special 301” process that unilaterally assesses trading partners’ treatment of US intellectual property rights. Lighthizer was meeting in Washington, DC with Thailand’s Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn to “discuss ways to increase trade and reduce the trade deficit between the United States and Thailand.” Click here for more.
Using Fair Use to Preserve and Share Disappearing Government Information
[William Cross] Access to government information is a fundamental principle in a democratic society… Libraries and archives have historically served as stewards of government documents, and in recent years, these institutions have paid special attention to the unique vulnerability of information during changeover in presidential administrations. Since 2008, these efforts have been spearheaded by archivists through projects like the End of Term Web Archive. In 2017, these issues have particular currency as contested information has been removed from numerous government websites and government officials are increasingly relying on commercial social media platforms such as Twitter to communicate with the public. In response, many librarians, scholars, archivists, and other members of the public have come together to preserve government information with projects such as DataRefuge and Libraries+ Network. Click here for more.
International Coalition Joins Together to Halt Potentially Harmful Copyright Reform
[SPARC Europe] SPARC Europe is leading and collaborating with an international coalition in an effort to halt the adoption of harmful provisions found in the current draft of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, and certain amendments, which could threaten Open Access and Open Science. The coalition has written an open letter directed at the EU’s Legal Affairs Committee, which was delivered 6th September. In the letter, we urge for the removal of proposals that would restrict access to research and place administrative and legal burdens on institutional repositories. We also request improvements on proposals related to text and data mining, copyright in an education setting, and preservation and access to works for non-commercial endeavors. Click here for more.
CAP Applauds Government Decision to Issue Government Use License for Hepatitis C Drug, Which Can Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives
[Consumers Association of Penang] The Consumers Association of Penang welcomes and applauds the Malaysian government’s decision to issue a government use license that will enable the government to import medicines for Hepatitis C treatment at the lowest possible prices and cure the hundredsof thousands of Malaysians infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV).According to various reports and reliable sources, this decision was taken by the Cabinet on 4 August 2017. The government’s action to issue the government use license is perfectly legal under Section 84 of the Malaysian Patents Act to address barriers imposed by patents that lead to prohibitive drug prices, and is in line with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), specifically its TRIPs Agreement (Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement). Click here for the full statement on consumer.org.my.