Intellectual Property Watch

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Original news and analysis on international IP policy
Updated: 17 min 42 sec ago

TRIPS Council Debates: Tobacco Packaging, Non-Violation Disputes, Innovation, Health Waiver, UNCTAD

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 08:04
This week's meeting of the World Trade Organization body governing intellectual property issues addressed a long agenda, reflecting continued divergence on regular items, such as complaints that do not involve breach of a WTO agreement, a health waiver, and sustained discussions on plain packaging for tobacco products.
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European Commission Holds Consultation On Patents And Standards

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 09:31
The European Commission Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry is gathering stakeholder input on standardisation and intellectual property rights, in order to assess the current framework on patents and standard and look at how it should evolve. Standard-setting cuts across many organisations at the national, European and international levels. Views are being sought until January 2015.
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UK Opens Access To 91 Million Orphan Works, UKIPO Says

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 06:33
The United Kingdom today launched a new licensing scheme aimed at opening access to more than 91 million creative works whose owners or copyright holders are not known or not found. The UKIPO (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) press release follows: “A new licensing scheme launched today could give wider access to at least […]
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First Innovation Fair Hosted At WTO, Draws Diverse Projects With IP In Mind

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 04:09
The World Trade Organization hosted an Innovation Fair on 28 October, gathering inventors, supporting agencies, and patent offices. A number of inventions were displayed and explained, from concrete walls to motorisation for bicycles.
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Draft Revision To Provide Higher Protection To GIs Fine-Tuned At WIPO

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 08:55
The contracting parties of the agreement protecting appellations of origin at the World Intellectual Property Organization are meeting this week to fine-tune a draft revision of this agreement to include geographical indications. The end of the week is scheduled to be devoted to a preparatory committee of a high-level negotiating meeting in 2015 to adopt the revision.
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WHO Ebola Vaccine Meeting Draws Commitment From Pharma, Donors; MSF Sees Need For Concrete Actions

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 10:55
A high-level meeting convened by the World Health Organization yesterday on the issue of access to and financing of Ebola vaccines resulted in a set of commitments, though not with sufficient urgency for those working on the ground. The pharmaceutical industry committed to scale up production, while donors pledged funds without disclosing how deep their pockets might be.
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New To Copyright: Canada’s Idea For Political Advertising Exception

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 08:29
The Canadian Conservative government is considering a new copyright exception for political advertising that would be unique in the world and address an issue already covered by Canada's constitutional rights, copyright experts said.
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WIPO Launches Guide On Use Of IP For Arts And Cultural Festivals

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 07:02
The World Intellectual Property Organization announced the publication of a practical guide on how best to use intellectual property for organisers of arts and cultural festivals.
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USPTO Director-Nominee Lee Calls For ‘Responsible Stewardship’ Of Patent System

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 16:59
In perhaps her first big speech since being nominated by President Obama to head the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Michelle Lee today told an industry meeting today to use the patent system responsibly and with balance. The agency is embarking on a new global effort to streamline processes and improve quality. And for the first time in a long time, she said, USPTO has the financial resources to do it.
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The Indian Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 And Its Functioning So Far

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 08:49
It’s been a little over two years since the Copyright Act, 1957 was extensively amended in 2012 with far-reaching ramifications for all categories of stakeholders. The amendments purported to introduce a level playing field for different categories of right holders in the entertainment industry, recognise the access needs of users of the copyrighted works in general and visually impaired population of the country in particular, align the copyright regime of the country with rapid advances in technology and streamline copyright enforcement and administration. To gauge the influence of the amendments on copyright regime in India as well as to see if their implementation so far has been in sync with the legislative intent, this article seeks to evaluate the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 as well as their working, writes Abhai Pandey.
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Life Sciences Stakeholders Assess Accessing Emerging Markets

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 06:22
PARIS –Life sciences stakeholders at a recent conference explored matters associated with market access in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and in the Middle East and North Africa regions.
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Ebola Vaccine Candidates Centre Of Attention; Clinical Trials, IP Negotiations Start

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 08:57
Today, the World Health Organization gave a press briefing to update journalists on what to expect in the near future on Ebola treatments and vaccines.
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Review of “Digital Depression: Information Technology And Economic Crisis”

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 08:44
Information and communication technologies (ICTs), and in particular the internet, have revolutionized and disrupted all aspects of human activity, and even behaviour. This has resulted in many academic publications and much discussion, including in intergovernmental bodies, regarding various issues, including how best to govern the internet.Dan Schiller’s book helps us to understand the background of these events, which have affected economic and political power relations, and how US policies have consistently favoured capital over labour, and have resulted in transfers of vast sums from developing countries to developed countries, writes Richard Hill.
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USTR’s Investigations On IP Rights Against India: Is There A Tenable Case?

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 08:47
On 14 October, the US Trade Representative (USTR) began the out-of-cycle review (OCR) of India’s intellectual property (IP) laws, the mandate which it gave itself in the 2014 Special 301 Report. Like several years in the past, the USTR once again included India in the Priority Watch List, but this time, India’s IP laws are being subjected to the additional scrutiny through an OCR. It is to be seen whether the OCR sets the stage for naming India as a Priority Foreign Country, viewed by the USTR as worst offender of intellectual property rights, in the next Special 301 report. USTR’s inclusion of India for the OCR was a reflection of the influence that the domestic lobbies have on the country’s engagement with its partner countries, and about USTR's consistency with World Trade Organization rules, writes Biswajit Dhar.
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The TPP’s New Plant-Related Intellectual Property Provisions

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 13:06
The newly-released Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intellectual property (IP) chapter would help seed conglomerates like Monsanto prevent farmers from saving and using seeds that contain patented plant materials, even when such use is for their own personal consumption. The TPP language would also prevent breeders from using plants seeds that contain patented plant materials to research and develop new varieties. Most plant variety protection (PVP) systems allow farmers to save and reuse seeds (for noncommercial purposes) and permit breeders to use protected plant varieties to research and develop new varieties. In contrast, patents on plant-related inventions, as outlined in the TPP, may have few exceptions. This new text constitutes a huge step in the wrong direction, changing the plant IP regimes of many of the negotiating countries to the detriment of their populations, writes Public Citizen.
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Leaked TPP Draft Reveals Extreme Rights Holder Position Of US, Japan, Outraged Observers Say

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:56
Critics poring over a newly leaked alleged draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) intellectual property chapter say it shows the United States is taking an all-out lurch toward greater protection and less access, causing outrage among public interest groups.
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UNCTAD Forum: Local Drug Manufacturing A Key To Universal Health Coverage

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 07:49
Local production of medicines in developing countries is key to advancing universal health coverage, but other factors need to be considered, such as the involvement of all stakeholders and policy coherence in governments, according to speakers attending the World Investment Forum this week. Several speakers called for a paradigm shift in global health.
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USTR Sets Deadline For Comments On Review Of Indian Protection Of US IP

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 21:36
Comments must be submitted in the new two to three weeks for an extraordinary review by the United States government of India's protection of US intellectual property rights.
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Preparations Begin For Lisbon Revision At WIPO; Procedural Question Raised

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 08:56
The 28-member Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration is en route to being revised to include geographical indications and allow international organisations to join the agreement. But some other member countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which oversees the agreement, are raising procedural questions and intend on having a say on the revision. [Update: new proposal now available]
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IT Innovation Supporting Home-Grown Solutions In Uganda

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 06:14
With the world’s youngest population, fast-rising access to internet and rapid spread of the use of mobile phones, Ugandans are starting to embrace information and communication technology innovations. This is confirmed by the increasing number of mobile and web applications with working prototypes developed in the country.
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