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The World Intellectual Property Organization treaty to facilitate access to books in special formats for visually impaired people will enter into effect, as the 20th member state acceded to the treaty today.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today (29 June) released its annual report on the eligibility of African nations for unilateral trade benefits offered by the US. While some countries were praised for progress on intellectual property protection, others were found to be weak in this area, but none were removed from eligibility for that reason. Overall, reporting on IP rights varied widely in the report.
This week in the World Intellectual Property Organization patent law committee, the African Group submitted an updated proposal for a work programme on patents and health that would help developing countries tailor patent law to their circumstances.
The Russian IP industry is in the center of a massive scandal, caused by the yesterday’s arrest of Sergei Fedotov, director general of the Russian Authors' Society (RAO), a public association, which is responsible for the collection and distribution of royalties among rights holders, on the suspicion of multi-million dollar theft and withdrawal of funds to abroad.
A top Ecuadoran official said today at the United Nations in Geneva that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s health is deteriorating after four years confined in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, while the United Kingdom and Sweden are ignoring the findings of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which called for Assange’s release. The Ecuadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs also said Ecuador will carry on issuing compulsory licences for medicines as it sees fit, underlining the increasing role of intellectual property and the greater privatisation of knowledge.
WHO's Marie-Paule Kieny writes: Amid public outcry, political battles and media articles, no one seems to understand how, exactly, medicines prices are set. For years, pharmaceutical research companies have cited the large investment of time and resources that go into bringing a drug to market. More recently, they argue that their medicines are actually saving money by preventing expensive medical interventions like surgery and hospitalization.But whatever the argument used, the price setting mechanisms for commodities that are inextricably linked to people’s health and survival must be made more transparent so that we can, as a global community, devise effective solutions.
US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has issued highlights of her plan to boost the nation's competitiveness in and attention to technology, internet and innovation if elected. The platform hits many of the latest issues and buzzwords in those fields, continuing existing programs but also pushing further in some areas. Among the plans: appoint a chief innovation advisor, reduce frivolous patent litigation, support allowing the US Patent and Trademark Office to keep its fees, boost access to orphan copyrighted works and open licensing, support multi-stakeholder internet governance, and keep the internet open worldwide. Clinton also gave a nod to personal privacy online and took a jab at the SOPA bill that was defeated for over-reaching on behalf of IP rightsholders.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said today that the European Union would not include national parliaments of EU member states in the final decision on the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA). Juncker's CETA statement was made during the post-Brexit meeting of EU heads of state in Brussels today (28 June), several German newspapers reported quoting the German News Agency (DPA).
De minimis non curat lex – the law does not concern itself with trifles. This venerable legal principle is applied throughout the world, but not in one part of US copyright law. Copying any part of a sound recording, no matter how tiny, is actionable copyright infringement, according to an eleven year-old US appellate court ruling. Following that ruling, pop star Madonna found herself sued because her hit song, Vogue, allegedly copied a fraction of a second of another song. That copyright infringement suit was thrown out on 2 June, however, when a different appellate court ruled that de minimis infringements of sound recordings do not create any liability. Now US copyright law is in a muddle.
The World Health Organization has named veteran health crisis expert Peter Salama of Australia the next head of the Health Emergencies Programme, a high-profile position for the UN agency's leadership against outbreaks and disasters.
The World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) is meeting this week. Among the possible agenda items: updates to the international patent system, exceptions and limitations to patents, quality of patents, patents and health, confidentiality of client-patent advisor communications, and technology transfer. A recent developed country proposal relates to increased work-sharing among patent offices. Also on the table this week is a new proposal to study the assessment of inventive step by patent practitioners.
The Russian government has officially adopted a package of measures aimed at tightening state control for the observance of intellectual property rights in the country. This will take place through the introduction of a new system of IP management and implementation of other measures, according to recent statements of Oleg Fomichev, Russia’s deputy minister for economic development.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) should not wait 8 or 10 years before its next Internet Ministerial, said OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria at the closing session in Cancun Mexico yesterday. Gurria called for a faster pace for government and regulators to adapt to the digital markets. Better data on the data economy will help, as reflected in the new Cancun Declaration.
Britons' 23 June decision to pull out of the European Union has caused shock waves in the UK and Europe, and the vote is still being digested. Early reactions from members of the intellectual property community show that the impact of Brexit on IP policies and issues in Britain and Europe is far from clear.
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) last week hosted a meeting of experts in Harare, Zimbabwe, to review the Draft Regulations for the Implementation of the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants.
John Sullivan writes: It's obvious that this acquisition isn’t necessarily about the IP assets of LinkedIn. However, let’s have a closer look at LinkedIn’s portfolio to see if there are any hidden gems inside that would represent a nice fringe benefit to what already looks like a mutually beneficial acquisition.
The intergovernmental South Centre has raised the level of its activity on issues of relevance to the intellectual property community in recent weeks.
Beware “digital protectionism.” That was one of the key messages of United States Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, speaking at the official opening of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial on the digital economy in Cancun, Mexico.
Jaguar Land Rover has sued carmaker Jiangling Motor in a Chinese court for allegedly copying its Evoque SUV, but observers say the solution to car clones lies outside the courtroom.
On the eve of the third internet-related Ministerial Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) starting on 22 June in Cancun, Mexico, the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) published a think report on “One Internet.” Calling for a new “social compact” for the internet, the 140-page report that was fed by 50 research studies has a number of well-known recommendations, some surprisingly technical and some interesting ones.