Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest 2015: Notes from the Inaugural Session

[Spadika Jayaraj] The 2015 Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest kicked off with its inaugural plenary session, on 14th December, 2015. With over 400 registered participants, ranging from established academics to activists to students gathered in the auditorium in National Law University, Delhi, Phet Sayo, a Senior Fellow at IDRC and a panelist at the session rightly observed that if a bomb were to go off at this venue, “there goes IP activism.”  Click here for  more.

Concluding Recommendations of the User Rights Track of the 2015 Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

[Joint Statement from Chairs of User Rights Track ] Through the past four Global Congresses we have re-energized a movement, created and shared evidence, and set common agendas for the infusion of public interest objectives into intellectual property policy making. We recommend that the Steering Committee for the Congress strongly consider seeking to host the next Global Congress in Geneva, Switzerland. We so recommend in order to: Intersect with policy makers with concrete recommendations of policy proposals, which we should be working over the next two years to formulate and justify; Re-energize and support open and multilateral processes as an alternative to closed and secretive forums in which IP policy is too frequently made; Click here for more.

The Dangers of the TPP to Mexican Legislation Regarding Intellectual Property

[Gisela Pérez de Acha and Pepe Flores] … TPP’s final draft has confirmed what was previewed on the leaks made by WikiLeaks: the agreement will promote negative changes on copyrights, access to culture or intermediary liability. This implies that local legislation must align to TPP’s dispositions, which in turn will bring significant impact on rights. In Mexico’s case, the consequences  on the matter of intellectual property will be devastating, promoting a scheme based on restrictions and sanctions out of proportion. Click here for more.

The High Price of Drug Patents: Australia, Patent Law, Pharmaceutical Drugs and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

[Matthew Rimmer] This week, the secrecy surrounding an independent Australian report on patent law and pharmaceutical drugs has been lifted, and the work has been published to great acclaim. On the 20th March 2014, the Australian Government published the final version of an independent policy report, the Pharmaceutical Patents Review Report, after much public pressure. The report has significant implications in respect of patent law, pharmaceutical drugs, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and trade policy – particularly in respect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The independent report has also highlighted the opportunity of great savings for the Australian health-care system through shortening patent term extensions. The economist Peter Martin has warned: “Australia’s enthusiastic approach to extending the life of pharmaceutical patents has cost the economy “billions of dollars”€ an independent review has found.”  Click here for more.

The Medicines Patent Pool and AbbVie Sign Licensing Agreement to Increase Access to Crucial HIV Treatments Throughout Africa

[MPP Press Release]  The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) today announced a new licensing agreement with AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, that seeks to address future demands for HIV treatment Lopinavir/Ritonavir (LPV/r) in South Africa and across Africa. The agreement has been reached in particular to help ensure sustainability of long-term supply of LPV/r, the most widely used second-line HIV treatment in South Africa and across Africa. Click here for more.

Protecting Trade Secrets: the Impact of Trade Secret Theft on American Competitiveness and Potential Solutions to Remedy This Harm.

[Sharon Sandeen, testimony to Senate Finance Committee] … You have heard from multiple presenters about the problems of trade secret misappropriation and cyberespionage from the perspective of large, multi-national corporations that have been victimized by the wrongful acquisition of their trade secrets. I will speak from a perspective that has not been adequately represented in discussions about the [Defend Trade Secrets Act], that of numerous start-up companies, entrepreneurs, mobile employees, and small and medium-sized businesses that are sued for trade secret misappropriation and forced to defend themselves, often when there are no legitimate trade secrets or little or no evidence of misappropriation. I am happy that over 40 law professors from across the country have joined me and my co-authors in expressing their concerns in two letters written in opposition to the proposed legislation. Click here for more.