Intellectual Property Watch

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Original news and analysis on international IP policy
Updated: 28 min 43 sec ago

The Legal Implications Of Medicinal Marijuana As A Geographical Indication For Jamaica

2 hours 31 min ago
Although there are ongoing negotiations to revise the Lisbon Agreement for the international recognition of GIs, there is currently no uniform reciprocal legal recognition for non-wine and spirit GIs in international jurisdictions. Jamaica’s Cannabis (hereafter marijuana), is identified by its government as one of the country’s products which is domestically GI registrable, writes Marsha Cadogan.
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Design Law Seminar In Geneva Discusses Current Issues And Concerns

4 hours 14 min ago
Experts gathered in Geneva recently to discuss current issues and future developments in the protection of industrial designs and its importance, and give practical advice on suitable ways to protect and enforce the design rights.
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At EPO, Patent Oppositions To High-Priced Gilead Hepatitis C Drug Pile Up

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 12:44
According to a public health advocacy group, there are now as many as 10 oppositions filed at the European Patent Office against the Gilead company's patent on sofosbuvir, a treatment for hepatitis C. The group has compiled a table showing the filings with links to the documents.
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Why The Request By Least Developed Countries For An Extension Of The Transitional Period For Granting And Enforcing Medicines Patents Needs To Be Supported

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:20
Ellen 't Hoen writes: On 24 February 2015 Bangladesh on behalf of the 34 Least Developed Country members (LDCs) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) submitted a request for an extension of the transitional period under article 66.1 TRIPS with respect to pharmaceutical products until the country is no longer classified as LDC.[1] The original extension, set to expire on 1st January 2016, specifically removes the obligation for LDCs to comply with Section 5 (Patents) and Section 7 (Protection of Undisclosed Information) of Part II of TRIPS, including any obligation to enforce rights under these provisions.It is a little known fact that since the adoption of the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, LDCs have frequently used the extension in day-to-day procurement of low cost generic medicines, in particular to access medicines needed for the treatment of HIV.
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South Africa Awaits Patent Reforms With Hope, Concern

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 08:29
CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s new policy on patents could go to the Cabinet for approval soon, says Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF), one of the organisations spearheading the Fix the Patent Laws campaign in the country.
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Ebola Crisis Has Severe Impact On AIDS Response In Sierra Leone, UNDP Report Says

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 06:15
According to an internal report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Fund Partnership team, the Ebola epidemic has virtually halted national HIV efforts in Sierra Leone. In particular, patients stopped their treatments and the supply chain was disrupted.
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UK To Revamp Law On “Groundless Threats” Of Infringement Suits

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 14:21
Recommendations for key reforms to laws against “groundless threats” of infringement lawsuits in patent, trademark and design rights cases won general UK government backing today. IP lawyers said the government's stance will go far toward resolving longstanding concerns.
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Tobacco Plain Packaging Discussion Lights Up Again At WTO

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:11
The issue of plain packaging for tobacco products as a health measure has been smouldering at the World Trade Organization since Australia decided to implement legislation requiring plain packaging in 2012. Now, as more countries seek to enact similar legal provisions, some tobacco producing countries continue to try to stub them out, including at the WTO intellectual property committee.
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WTO Least-Developed Countries Request Waiver Of IP Rights On Pharma Products

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:23
This week at the World Trade Organization intellectual property committee meeting, least-developed countries submitted a request to extend a waiver allowing them not to enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products. The countries have extended the waiver before, but this time they are seeking to make it indefinite, until they are no longer considered LDCs.
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New Quiet Initiative To Improve Drug Access In Middle-Income Countries, Change Country Classification System

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 08:45
This week a confidential high-level expert meeting was convened in Geneva to start work on a potential change in the country classification used by global health actors to remedy the growing problem of access to medicines in middle-income countries.
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Medicines Patent Pool Nails Down Another Key Paediatric Drug

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 13:44
The Medicines Patent Pool today announced it has struck a licence with MSD, the North American-based Merck pharmaceutical company, to boost access to and innovation on raltegravir, a child-approved HIV medicine. The outcome is particularly significant because it opens options for very young children.
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WIPO Members Propose Changes To Draft Legal Instrument Protecting GIs

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:46
In the run-up to the May high-level negotiating meeting to amend a World Intellectual Property Organization treaty to enhance the protection of geographical indications, member countries were invited to suggest changes to the basic negotiating text. Ten countries issued proposed changes by the 1 February deadline, some asking for full participation of WIPO members in the negotiations of the 28-member treaty.
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US Again Target Of Complaints Of Persistent Non-Compliance At WTO DSB

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 08:44
Discussions at the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body meeting yesterday again included the long-running dispute on a rum brand with Cuba accusing the United States of persistent non-compliance, and other WTO members – such as China and the European Union - urging the US to finally repeal its bill. The US measure was ruled inconsistent with the WTO intellectual property rules 13 years ago, and critics warn that the US recalcitrance is harming the dispute settlement system.
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Status Of WTO Wines And Spirits Register Discussed

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 07:00
World Trade Organization delegates were convened this week to discuss an international register for wines and spirits in the context of the organisation’s agreement on intellectual property. The discussion, dating back nearly 20 years, has long involved different views on the register, which were reaffirmed this week, according to sources in Geneva.
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In 21st Century No One Should Die For Lack Of Access To Medicines, Participants At UN Forum Say

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 09:56
Last week’s 2015 Social Forum led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to facilitate access to medicines. In particular, the functioning of the intellectual property system was put into question. A number of recommendations were drawn by the secretariat after having been identified by participants.
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TRIPS In Question During Social Forum Discussion On Access To Medicines

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 07:11
Intellectual property rights are hindering access to medicines by maintaining monopolies and high prices, according to speakers at an annual United Nations forum on human rights last week. Flexibilities enshrined in the World Trade Organization intellectual property agreement are hampered by political and economical pressure, they said, and a new system should be devised for pharmaceutical products.
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The Year In Biotech/Biodiversity: Patentability, Plant Varieties, Treaty Implementation

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 07:29
Intellectual property-related developments expected this year could profoundly impact the fields of biotechnology and biodiversity. In addition, ongoing issues relating to plant variety protection and public health are expected to be at the forefront of discussions this year. The following is a look at many of the top issues to come.
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Geneva Climate Change Talks Conclude With Formal Negotiating Text

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 12:46
Following seven days of negotiations, 194 nations convened in Geneva agreed the negotiating text that is the basis for the accord they hope to reach in Paris at the end of 2015, to come into effect in 2020.
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The Role Of Social Media In M&A Transactions

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:36
Despite the ever-increasing use of social media by businesses, social media assets are often overlooked in merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions. When addressing a company’s assets in a purchase agreement, social media assets tend to be explicitly addressed only very briefly, or not at all. It is important to address such assets explicitly, as they do not always constitute intellectual property rights covered by IP representations and warranties.
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US Congressional Leaders Blast WIPO Lisbon Treaty Negotiations

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 19:18
The top bipartisan members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives responsible for trade, legal and intellectual property issues today sent a strongly worded letter to World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry demanding that all WIPO members be permitted to fully participate in an upcoming treaty negotiation and raising concern about the trade and economic impact of currently proposed text. The treaty negotiation among a small group of WIPO members is expected to raise the level of protection of geographical indications, which are a key dividing point between Europe and the United States.
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