The Remunerated Statutory Limitation for News Aggregation and Search Engines Proposed by the Spanish Government: Its Compliance with International and EU Law
[Raquel Xalabarder] In February 2014, the Spanish Government proposed a bill to amend the Spanish Intellectual Property Law. Among other amendments, the bill introduces an ancillary right in favor of press publishers for the aggregation of news and other copyrighted content available online by means of a statutory limitation that authorizes the aggregation of online contents subject to an unwaiveable equitable compensation, managed by the corresponding Collective Management Organization. Search engines are also authorized to link to this copyrighted content, this time without any remuneration. The proposed statutory license has been severely criticized from all sides: by Spanish consumers’ associations, aggregators, search engines and providers of internet services, in general, as well as by some press-publishers. The bill is now under parliamentary proceedings. Click here for more.
The Dangers of the Indian Government’s Flirtation with U.S. Pharma and the Risks for India’s Coherent, Pro-Public Health IP Policy
[Brook Baker] U.S. business interests and government officials are trying to sell the idea that heightened intellectual property protections in India are essential to foreign investment, innovation, and achievement of public health goals. Instead, heightened intellectual property rights will make India consumers captive to Big Pharma’s extortionate pricing. Unfortunately, the joint communiqué issued at the end of Prime Minister Modi’s US visit shows deference by the US and Indian governments to Big Pharma’s pressure. Click here for more.
See also: Joint September 30 Statement by Indian Civil Society on the Proposed Indian IP Policy and the Prime Minister’s Visit to the US. (Link)
Tackling the Proliferation of Patents: How to Avoid Undue Limitations to Competition and the Public Domain
[Carlos Correa] Abstract: The steady increase in patent applications and grants that is taking place in developed and some developing countries (notably in China) is sometimes hailed as evidence of the strength of global innovation and of the role of the patent system in encouraging it. However, such an increase does not correspond to a genuine augmentation in innovation. It points instead to a major deviation of the patent system away from its intended objective: to reward those who contribute to technological progress by creating new and inventive products and processes. Firms are increasingly using patents for strategic purposes. Click here for more.
Learning from ACTA: TTIP Proponents Need to Embrace Democracy
[Sean Flynn] As the 7th Round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) gets underway behind closed doors in Chevy Chase, Maryland, it is an opportune time to ask what proponents of a successful TTIP should learn from the latest failed trade agreement negotiation involving the U.S. and Europe – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Click here for more.
Oxfam and HAI: How the European Trade Agenda Continues to Undermine Access to Medicines
[Oxfam press release] This paper argues that European Union trade policies should not be used to bolster pharmaceutical companies’ profits by extending their monopolies on medicine prices to supposedly reward research. Instead, the incoming European Commission must defend a trade and R&D model that is coherent with its development and public health objectives, and that supports innovative R&D models that create new, affordable medicines. This should begin by ensuring that the ‘regulatory harmonization’ to be enshrined in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will not lock in regulations that serve corporate interests over those of the public, setting new global standards that will later be imposed on developing countries. Click here for more.
Labor Secretary Perez Calls TAACCCT Open License Requirements “Indispensable”
[Mike Palmedo] Last week the U.S. government announced the disbursement of funds for two separate grant programs that will create openly licensed educational materials – the Labor Department’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program (TAACCCT), and the Education Department’s First In the World (FITW) program. After the official launch of the TAACCCT funding round, SPARC’s Director of Open Education Nicole Allen and I talked briefly to Labor Secretary Perez about TAACCCT’s open licensing requirement. Secretary Perez said that the license requirements are “indispensable” and said that open license requirements need to be scaled up. Click here for more on TAACCCT launch | Click here for more on FITW.
WIPO: Failure to Reach Consensus, “No Decision” Adopted On Four Issues
[K.M. Gopakumar] Member States at the recently concluded 46th General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted a “no decision” outcome when consensus failed on four key issues. This occurred on past midnight of the last day of the session that was held from 22 to 30 September 2014. Despite intensive informal consultations over several days and evening some nights, the WIPO General Assembly concluded at 12.30 am without any decision on four areas viz. the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (Agenda item 16), Design Law Treaty (Agenda Item 15), the Standing Committee on Copyrights (Agenda item 14), and Matters Concerning External Offices and the establishment of WIPO External Offices (Agenda item 12). Click here for more.