The Marrakesh Treaty Enters Into Force – A Major Step in Ending the Book Famine for Blind and Visually Impaired People

[Teresa hackett] On 30th September 2016, the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities enters into force. The treaty is a game-changer for people who are blind or partially sighted, as well as for libraries that serve people with print disabilities. From now on, in all countries that are party to the treaty, accessible format copies such as Braille, audio, digital and large print can be made on-demand and shared across borders, enabling institutions such as libraries to serve all their users equally – same book, same day. Click here for more.

See also:

  • WIPO Director General Hails a Success for Visually Impaired People and International Community as Marrakesh Treaty Enters Into Force.
  • IP Watch. Big Week For WIPO Marrakesh Treaty On Access For Visually Impaired; Human Rights Side Under Focus.

Submission by Academics, Experts, Scholars and Pro-Access Advocates to South Africa’s Intellectual Property Consultative Framework

[Joint submission authored by Yousuf Vawda, Andrew Rens, Andrew Rens, Brook Baker, Tobias Schonwetter, and Achal Prabhala; and co-submitted by 44 others] …In crafting an IP policy framework affecting, among other things, medical technologies, policy and lawmakers must address the tension that exists between the protection of IP rights and human rights – the rights of the public to have access to medicines and other health technologies necessary for their well-being. If there had been any doubt about how to resolve this tension, then the issue must surely have been settled with the release of the Report of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines on 14 September 2016 (the Panel Report). Click here for more.

The Investment-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

[Peter Yu] … the present article critically examines the investment-related aspects of intellectual property rights, including the use of ISDS to address international disputes involving intellectual property investments. It begins by exploring the growing trend of using investment law and fora to set international intellectual property norms. It further evaluates the ISDS mechanism, examining both its strengths and weaknesses. This article then examines the various upgrades that the TPP investment chapter has provided to the ISDS mechanism. It further outlines the conceptual and institutional improvements that could make ISDS even better than the mechanism provided in the TPP Agreement. The article concludes by exploring whether the TPP ISDS mechanism has provided any silver linings if it is to be adopted without modification. Click here for more.

The World Trade Organization Sets its Eyes on the Internet

[Jeremy Malcolm] This week, EFF has been at the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s annual Public Forum. …This year’s Public Forum, although notionally focusing on inclusive trade, has featured unprecedented interest in digital trade, with dozens of sessions dealing with this topic. Just a few of them, including the workshop “Boundaries and Best Practices for Inclusive Digital Trade” organized by EFF, have been summarized by the Geneva Internet Platform (you can also read slides from some of our workshop’s presentations below). Click here for more.

See also: Barbara Rosen Jacobson. Boundaries and Best Practices for Inclusive Digital Trade. Link.

Commentary to the U.S. Copyright Office Regarding the Section 512 Study: Higher Education and the DMCA Safe Harbors

[Christopher Anthony Cotropia and James Gibson] … To study the effect of the safe harbor provisions on such institutions, and particularly the nature, volume, and cost of the notice-and-takedown system, we surveyed colleges and universities about their copyright and DMCA practices. The results expose infirmities in the administration of the DMCA system, both within the world of higher education and within the U.S. Copyright Office, and suggest that colleges and universities need to (1) take better advantage of the safe harbors and (2) correct certain fundamental misunderstandings of important and essential aspects of the DMCA. Click here for more.

Patent Barriers to Medicine Access in South Africa: A Case for Patent Law Reform

[Catherine Tomlinson, Yuan Qiong Hu, Julia Hill and Claire Waterhouse] In this report, we present nine case studies that demonstrate how systemic shortcomings in South Africa’s patent laws negatively impact on access to medicines to treat a wide range of diseases in both the public and private sectors. The case studies illustrate how a flawed system can allow pharmaceutical companies to prolong their monopoly periods in South Africa for years – and sometimes even decades – after their patent protections have expired in other parts of the world, to the detriment of millions of patients. Click here for more.

TTIP and Affordable Medicines

[Tessel Mellema, Sophie Bloemen and Peter Maybarduk] The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations pose serious risks to Europeans’ access to medicines and affordable healthcare. TTIP is likely to help entrench a broken medical innovation system rather than seize today’s opportunities to advance medical innovation and affordable access to medicines for all. Click here for more. Click here for more.