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The establishment of the WTO Agreement on TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) and the proliferation of plurilateral, bilateral and regional agreements have significantly contributed to the increasing complexities of the intellectual property system. The emergence of new actors, reflecting conflicting expectations and the adoption of new trade agreements that often exceed the standards set by the TRIPS agreement, have resulted in a new density of rules that have further fragmented the international system. These developments have unavoidably called for further analysis by academics and stakeholders.
“Ever-Greening of Patents” has been an expression that has been extensively used in debates related to the global pharmaceutical industry at least since the last two decades. Interestingly, this term has never been statutorily defined and hence has been applied most freely by professionals, policy makers and politicians alike. It would be appropriate to objectively examine whether patents in any jurisdiction can ever be “ever-greened”. A fitting initiation to this debate is the very concept of what a patent is from the very first principles, writes Prabuddha Ganguli.
From the BBC: Uniform packaging rules for tobacco will be introduced in the United Kingdom on Friday after a legal challenge against the new law was dismissed by the High Court.
The recent decision involving Moneyweb and Media24 (Moneyweb (Pty) Limited v Media 24 Limited & Another  ZAGPJHC 81) is an important one for copyright lawyers in South Africa because it is the first time that two provisions relating to news reporting of the Copyright Act 1978 (the Act) have been judicially considered, namely, sections 12(1)(c)(i) and 12(8)(a). In fact, it is the first time that the application of the fair-dealing provision, section 12(1), has received any judicial consideration, whether in the context of news reporting or otherwise.
[From the Washington Post] BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s government is giving pharmaceutical giant Novartis a few weeks to lower prices on a popular cancer drug or see its monopoly on production of the medicine broken and competition thrown open to generic rivals.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Plain packaging is considered unattractive among marketers, loss-making for industries, and a healthy life promoter for governments and the public. The potent mix to balance profits, safeguard jobs and cut illnesses has made it a controversial solution to curb smoking. As it grows in popularity around the world, how is plain packaging faring in Africa?
The United States International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent government agency, today released an 800-page analysis of the economic impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement completed last year. The USITC report on the TPP is available here [large pdf]. The TPP was completed on 5 October 2015 by the US Trade Representative’s office, along […]
Innovation And Access: Fission Or Fusion? Interview with David Taylor, Professor of Pharmaceutical and Public Health Policy, University College London, UK
In the light of the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, this series of sponsored articles challenges experts to give their views on the policies that best support the development of solutions to societies’ greatest challenges and how enabling policy environments, including IP systems, influence the development and flow of new technologies and services in different sectors, fields of technology, and jurisdictions. The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors. Below is an interview with David Taylor, Professor of Pharmaceutical and Public Health Policy, University College London, UK.
Next week the annual assembly of World Health Organization member states will take place with a heavy agenda and its largest attendance ever. The lack of new antibiotics to address bacterial resistance, global shortages of vaccines and medicines, the fight against substandard drugs, and a framework to guard against undue influence of outside actors on the work of the WHO are part of a picture where there is an increasing blur between developed and developing countries in terms of access to medicines. And then there is the matter of electing a new WHO director general.
At its annual Assembly next week, the World Health Organization will seek member state approval of US$160 million over two years to establish its role as a global coordinator for health emergencies. The 69th World Health Assembly is taking place from 23-28 May. The provisional agenda [pdf] is here. A preliminary journal [pdf] lays out […]
Article 58, a process introduced by the European Commission to help speed up the time low and middle-income countries take to approve new drugs, could be in for a massive overhaul. A revamp has been proposed because it is underused - just a handful of products have gone through the Article 58 process since its launch in 2004. The most recent is an antiseptic chlorhexidine gel that prevents new-born umbilical cord infections in developing countries. A joint project between GSK and Save the Children, it was approved late last month.
It is difficult to understand whether the prospect of a treaty protecting rights of broadcasters is getting nearer or farther away at the World Intellectual Property Organization, as some countries are still calling for a diplomatic conference to finish the treaty, while others are saying agreement on core issues such as what and who the treaty should protect seems elusive. And the committee discussion of copyright exceptions and limitations was nourished by non-governmental entities explaining the need for those exceptions.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released a report that examines specialised intellectual property courts around the world.
A number of World Health Organization member states attended a meeting last week aimed finding ways to sustainably finance research and development for medical products, especially those for poor populations lacking means to pay high prices. According to the outcome document and a WHO official, they heard many viewpoints from experts and made progress but much was left for the World Health Assembly later this month.
NAIROBI, KENYA -- A recent report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is calling for faster establishment of a Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation (PAIPO) to bring about what it sees as badly needed IP policy coherence on the continent.
Since the late twentieth-century shift from the liberal university to the neoliberal university (the latter distinguished by the managerial class installed to leverage and extract value from academic research, plus polish the brand of the franchise), the publications’ ecosystem for academics, foremost in the Arts and Humanities, has been altered beyond recognition. Notably, it has exponentially expanded while at the same time suffering maximum constriction in the form of what legal scholars have called the “great copyright robbery” (Bernt Hugenholtz, 2000), writes Gavin Keeney.
Dozens of civil society organisations this week sent a letter urging European telecommunications regulators to preserve internet neutrality in their current negotiations about the future of the internet in Europe.
The bipartisan heads of several United States congressional subcommittees have sent a letter urging the Obama administration to obtain the full and uncensored United Nations report on an investigation into possible misconduct by the head of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Meanwhile, procedural wrangling may be taking place within WIPO on who has the right to suppress or see the report.
Support from information and communication technology for implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 is the programmatic topic of the first post-WSIS+10 edition of the World Summit Information Society Forum (WSIS Forum), taking place this week.
One controversial issue from early days of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) could come to final closure ten years later: the decoupling from US oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages the central root zone for the domain name system. Meanwhile, the next round of new internet domains is being teed up, the head of the domain name system oversight body has said.