RCEP IP Chapter: Section by Section Comments in Brief
[Kimberlee Weatherall] This note comments on each provision of the leaked RCEP IP chapter (dated October 2015) in brief. …It argues that like so many negotiating (and unfortunately, final) texts of recent IP chapters in trade agreements, there are proposals here that would, if adopted, constitute a radically unbalanced text promoting strong rights while providing little or no protection for other stakeholders in the IP system. Like the TPP text, provisions that suggest a degree of balance are mostly optional/exhortatory, where provisions for the benefit of right holders are mostly mandatory. Click here for more.
Reflections on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Round in Jakarta
[Jane Kelsey] These are some reflections on RCEP round in Jakarta for those who weren’t there. Japan has become the US in drag, asserting its commitment to implementing the TPPA no matter what and pushing TPPA positions (and sometimes worse) even in areas it initially opposed in those negotiations, such as SOEs and intellectual property. Presumably this is to impress Trump in the hope the TPPA can be resurrected or a bilateral US Japan deal can rise from its ashes, with Japan surrendering once again to the American superpower. Australia and New Zealand continue their mantra that RCEP must be a ‘high quality’ agreement and continue to demand massive commitments from developing countries. They got a lot of pushback this week. Click here for more.
Senate Passes Historic Endorsement of Open Government Data
[Alex Howard] Amidst unanswered questions about the future of open government in the United States, the Senate has provided a unanimous endorsement of a set of enduring principles that the Sunlight Foundation has advanced and defended for a decade: that data created using the funds of the people should be available to the people in open formats online, without cost or restriction. On Dec. 10, 2016, S.2852, the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, passed the Senate with an amendment by unanimous consent. The OPEN Government Data Act has been a core priority of the Sunlight Foundation in Washington in 2016. We are thrilled that the Senate has acted to move it and grateful to the bill’s co-sponsors for their support for open government. Click here for more.
Event: The Rise and Fall of Major Trade Deals
[PIJIP] American University Washington College of Law will host an event featuring a keynote address on the rise and fall of major trade deals by Professor Jean-Baptiste Velut (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle), to be followed by two panel discussions. This event will analyze the geopolitical and economic origins of the mega trade deals like CETA, TPP and TTIP, their far-reaching implications and the factors behind their demise potential – as illustrated by the near collapse of the AACC ratification process, the stalemate of TTIP and Donald Trump’s promised to abandon the TPP negotiations. The event is free and open to the public, and will be webcast. Click here for more.
UN General Assembly Resolution: TRIPS Flexibilities, High-Level Panel On Medicines Access
[William New] The United Nations General Assembly this month is considering a resolution committing to elevate health issues to the highest levels of foreign policy. The resolution includes references and commitments related to dozens of existing instruments and tools aimed at improving health, including a full range of those on access to medicines, such as patent flexibilities under trade rules, and the recent report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on access to medicines and innovation. Click here for more on ip-watch.org.
Academic Publishing Houses Lose Appeal Against Delhi University & Photocopy Shop
[Prashant Reddy] Academic publishing houses, OUP and CUP have suffered yet another defeat in their litigation against Delhi University and a photocopy shop when a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court ruled against them in an appeal on December 9, 2016. The crux of the lawsuit was whether the practice of photocopying copyrighted material and compiling them in course-packs was copyright infringement under Indian law. Given that universities and students have been photocopying copyrighted material for several years without any restrictions, the lawsuit had provoked an angry backlash from students and academics – both of whom then organised themselves into an association and intervened in the case. Click here for more.
Patent Trolls and Small Business Employment
[Ian Appel, Joan Farre-Mensa and Elena Simintzi] Abstract: We analyze how frivolous patent-infringement claims made by “patent trolls” affect small firms’ ability to create jobs, raise capital, and survive. …Financing appears to be a key channel driving our findings: in states with an already established VC presence, the passage of anti-troll laws leads to a 19% increase in the number of firms receiving VC funding. Consistent with this financing channel, we find that the effect of patent laws on employment is driven by states with above-median VC presence. Our findings suggest that measures aimed at curbing the recent explosion in patent litigation may play an important role in reducing both real and financing frictions faced by small businesses. Click here for more.