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Intellectual Property Watch
Original news and analysis on international IP policy
Updated: 19 min 55 sec ago
New generic top-level domain names seem set to be a constant source of discussions and dissension. The domain “.pharmacy” has been awarded to a United States pharmacy association with industry backing, stirring concerns among civil society and others. But the association insists it will work in an impartial manner to ensure safety of online pharmaceutical sales.
A European Union-funded initiative is seeking to strengthen the links between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the research community on environmental technologies.
Is Europe the most innovative region in the world? In a well-regarded report, Switzerland has again been deemed the world’s most innovative nation, followed by the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. But the annual Global Innovation Index also shows a persistent innovation divide between developed and developing countries, and this year focuses on the human factor in innovation.
The Medicines Patent Pool has announced seven new sub-licensing agreements to produce generic HIV medicines in order to make more affordable versions available to developing countries.
Unfertilised human eggs that can't develop into human beings are generally not “human embryos” within the meaning of the EU directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions, a 17 July European Court of Justice Advocate General opinion said. The opinion is good news for researchers into stem cell therapies, said a member of the industry group IP Federation, who added he hopes it will be upheld by the ECJ. But one biotech civil society member said the ruling, if it stands, could be abused.
Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, today hailed open knowledge in government, science, the internet, and education, and called again for "urgent reform" of copyright.
A joint United Nations commission on food safety this week has set several new standards on level of lead, arsenic and drugs appearing in food.
According to a report released today by the United Nations programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), around 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus. But if the right steps are taken, the epidemic could be ended by 2030, it says.
As the governments of the largest emerging economies gather this week in Brazil, a civil society coalition has issued a call for them to lead change in the global system of internet governance in light of revelations of mass surveillance. The groups provide suggestions for constructing a system that ensures human rights, equity and social justice for all people.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today released a report criticising government mass surveillance, including the coercion of companies to release individuals’ information without their knowledge or consent. This activity is “severely hindering” accountability in human rights violations, and that governments must prove the legality of their actions, she said.
The Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources will enter into force on 12 October, following the ratification of 12 more countries last week.
The World Intellectual Property Organization is currently engaged in an unprecedented process for the selection of the new top management team to serve under recently re-elected Director General Francis Gurry. The open call for applicants resulted in some 360 applications from around the world, including from the upper echelons of WIPO itself, according to sources.
A World Health Organization report launched yesterday showed progress has been achieved in the fight against non-communicable diseases but it has been uneven, as some 38 million people die each year from those diseases.
At the recent University of Geneva summer course on internet law, one panel addressed challenges and strategies for internet intermediaries facing an increased burden of intellectual property rights protection online.
The International Seed Treaty held a celebratory high-level event recently to mark the tenth anniversary of its entry into force.
The last World Intellectual Property Organization meeting before the annual General Assembly in September ended today, meeting the same fate as many others this year. The committee addressing the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge could not agree on recommendations to be transmitted to the Assembly, leaving it to the full membership in September.
The European Commission today launched the first call for projects of the EU Innovation Investment Package agreed last year. The investment package comprises seven public-private partnerships and four public-public partnerships, for a total investment of more than €22 billion euros.
The World Intellectual Property Organization committee on genetic resources and traditional knowledge routinely holds an indigenous panel during the first day of its meeting. This week, several of the panellists called for delegates working on potential treaties to consider the particular status of indigenous peoples.
A new draft text on future work was issued this morning by a facilitator to the discussions of the World Intellectual Property Organization committee seeking to protect genetic resources and traditional knowledge.
The participation of representatives of indigenous and local communities in the World Intellectual Property Organization committee working to prevent misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge is in jeopardy due to the thorough depletion of the voluntary fund allowing such participation. Some governments are acting to save the committee's credibility.