Sep 24: Plain Packaging for the Pacific Rim – The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Tobacco Control

[PIJIP] This week, Australia National University Professor Matthew Rimmer will speak at American University.  Dr. Rimmer argues that Big Tobacco has been engaged in a dark, shadowy plot and conspiracy to hijack the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and undermine tobacco control measures – such as graphic health warnings and the plain packaging of tobacco products. The event is free and open to the public, and will be webcast.  Click here for more.

Gilead’s Hepatitis C Medicines License – Troubling Territorial Exclusions, Illusory Exceptions, and Tiered Pricing Policy Fracture Global Access

[Brook Baker] Gilead has just released the text of its hepatitis C license.  Although there has been some praise for Gilead offering expanded generic access in 91 countries where over 100 million people living with hepatitis C live, there has also been mounting criticism over its exclusion of 51 middle-income countries with 49 million infected. This paper closely analyzes the license to see what its impact might be, paying close attention to its definition of covered patent rights and illusory mechanisms that might eventually allow supply in some excluded territories.  Click here for more.

See also:

  • International Treatment Preparedness Coalition. A Step Back for Millions of People with Hepatitis C. (Link)
  • Statement by the Malaysian Treatment Access and Advocacy Group (MTAAG) and the Third World Network. (Link)
  • MSF Access Campaign Response to Gilead’s Deal with Generic Companies for Sofosbuvir and Ledipasvir.  (Link)
  • James Love, KEI. The Gilead HCV license: Glass half empty, or half full? (Link)

Pharmaceutical CEO: This Controversial Deal Will Be Great for Us…And You

[Steven Knievel] In an op-ed appearing in Forbes on Tuesday, the CEO of Eli Lilly, a U.S. pharmaceutical corporation, paints a glowing picture of how the proposed Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) would benefit consumers on both sides of the Atlantic – but it’s pure fantasy. It is not surprising that Eli Lilly is cheerleading this controversial deal. This is the same pharmaceutical firm that is using the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – TAFTA’s predecessor – to challenge Canada’s legal standards for granting patents and demand $500 million in taxpayer compensation. Click here for more.

New State-Level Policy Brief on Open Educational Resources

[Nicole Allen]  A new briefing paper on state-level open educational resources policy was released yesterday by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), a non-partisan think tank that provides education policy advice to U.S. states. Entitled “Open source textbooks can help drive down the overall cost of college,” the brief provides an overview of trends in OER policy to address the rising cost of college textbooks. Click here for more.

WIPO Assemblies: Heavy Agenda With Potential Decisions On Normative Agenda

[Catherine Saez] The Assemblies of the World Intellectual Property Organisation member states opened this morning in a new conference hall for a 10-day marathon with many decisions to be taken on the programme of work of the organisation for the year to come, its governance, and the need to address issues left opened by several committees. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry opened the week by highlighting the successes of the organisation while underlining the challenges in the normative agenda. He mentioned platforms of cooperation developed by WIPO as a parallel track presenting opportunities for advancing international cooperation. The 54th Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO is taking place from 22-30 September. Click here for the full story on IP Watch.

Demystifying the Role of Copyright as a Tool for Economic Development in Africa: Tackling the Harsh Effects of the Transferability Principle in Copyright Law

[Joel J Baloyi] Abstract: … It is argued, however, that the transferability principle has had the inadvertent effect of stifling copyright-based entrepreneurship, and thus economic development in these countries. Because of the conditions of impoverishment prevailing in these countries, authors find that they do not have the material resources to economically exploit their copyright works. They thus have no option but to assign their copyrights to others, mainly foreign entities, resulting in an endless cycle where they can never act entrepreneurially in respect of their copyrights. The paper seeks to explore this phenomenon and make proposals of possible solutions. Click here for the full paper on SSRN.