Intellectual Property Watch

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Original news and analysis on international IP policy
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USTR’s Investigations On IP Rights Against India: Is There A Tenable Case?

4 hours 6 min ago
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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Special Report: Russia Modernises Its Intellectual Property Law

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 08:27
As of 1 October, major amendments of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (the RF Civil Code) came into force concluding the most recent and extensive legislative revision since Part I of the Code was adopted in 1994. Changes affected substantive and procedural norms including Part IV codifying provisions on intellectual property rights. This report takes stock of some of the introduced novelties.
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EU Legislation On Nagoya Protocol Becomes Effective; What Effect On Indigenous Peoples’ Rights?

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 07:09
The entry into force of an international treaty facilitating access to genetic resources and ensuring the fair sharing of potential commercial benefits has prompted the applicability of a European Union regulation relating to the treaty. This led a researcher to call on the treaty members to ensure its implementation protects the rights of indigenous and local communities.
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UPOV Governing Body Meets This Week Amid Civil Society Concerns Over Harmonisation

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 08:58
The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is holding meetings of its governing and technical bodies this week. In particular, the UPOV Council is expected to renew Francis Gurry's mandate as the organisation’s secretary-general, approve technical documents, and confirm the conformity of a Tanzanian plant breeders' rights act.Meanwhile, civil society has sounded the alarm over what it considers to be efforts to harmonise the application and examination procedures by the seed industry. Separately, a civil society study, carried out on three developing countries claims that UPOV 1991 might be threatening the global right to food.
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“Trade Matters” For BRICS In Africa, So Does Internet Connectivity

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 07:36
Last week’s World Trade Organization Public Forum hosted dozens of panels on the general theme of "why trade matters." A panel focusing on the role of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) found that the new BRICS Development Bank could foster infrastructure development in Africa, while another panel said that removing barriers to internet connectivity is key to economic growth.
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Nagoya Protocol Enters Into Force, Will Be Tested In Months To Come

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 08:42
The Nagoya Protocol, a treaty expected to ensure greater access to genetic resources and a mandatory fair benefit-sharing of the benefits that could be derived from those resources, will enter into force on 12 October, almost four years after it was agreed.
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Protect Your Ideas – Top Ways To Guard Your Intellectual Property

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 08:30
With the ever-increasing ease in which information can spread, it is becoming harder to secure your intellectual property or product ideas and ensure they are not unfairly recreated or produced by someone else. Whether you are a small start-up or a multinational organisation, taking steps to protect your intellectual property should be a priority within your business.
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IP Increasingly Seen As Enabler For Innovation Finance, IP Offices Say

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 08:11
“Intellectual property is a substantial chunk of business investment,” Tony Clayton, chief economist in the United Kingdom IP Office, told a side gathering at the recent World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly. “It really does matter.”
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Interview – New CISAC Director Speaks On Expectations, Vision For The Future

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 07:25
The Paris-based International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC) represents 230 collective management organisations in 120 countries, collecting fees on behalf of “creators.” In the past year, CISAC has become active advocating the case of creators at the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).CISAC organised a side event to the annual WIPO General Assembly in September (IPW, WIPO, 29 September 2014). Intellectual Property Watch’s Catherine Saez sat down with new CISAC Director General Gadi Oron after the side event, to ask him about his vision for the organisation.
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Formal IP System Does Not Fit Africa, LDCs Need Technological Capacity, Speakers Say

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 08:14
On the last day of the World Trade Organization Public Forum, a panel discussed the relationship between intellectual property and innovation in Africa, in particular in the informal sector. The formal IP system does not seems to fit, and least-developed countries need a sound technological base to be able to use the IP system. Separately, a European Patent Office study shows that Africa has a vast yet untapped potential in renewable energy.
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Global Value Chains In Africa: Set Of Preconditions Needed To Be Profitable, Panel Says

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 07:39
At the World Trade Organization Public Forum last week, a panel explored opportunities for Africa in global and regional value chains. A certain level of development needs to be achieved so that countries can benefit from global value chains, speakers said.
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Right Of Reply To IP-Watch Article: ‘EPO Internal Strife Spills Over Into European Parliament, Human Rights Court’

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 07:00
This letter is published under the legal right of reply of an individual referenced in a previous article published in Intellectual Property Watch. It is published upon her request.
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Uganda Government Moves Towards Top-Level Domain Management

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 06:15
The use of internet continues to grow rapidly in Uganda. The Uganda Communications Commission’s quarterly report reveals that the country had over eight million internet users by the end of first quarter of 2014.Now, the government of Uganda is involved in a struggle over who should have the custodial rights to manage the .ug domain, the country’s Country Code Top-Level Domain, (ccTLD), which is currently run by a third party.
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At WTO, Experts Discuss Solutions To Drugs Innovation Crisis; IP Not In The List

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 07:45
The Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) organised a panel at the World Trade Organization Public Forum this week on new approaches in university management of intellectual property. The panel gathered a diverse panel of experts giving their take on possible solutions to less innovation and higher prices of drugs, and the role of publicly-funded research.
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