[Ip-health] Infojustice Roundup - March 11, 2013

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Mar 11 12:39:36 PDT 2013

Infojustice Roundup


TRIPS Council: LDC Extension, Tobacco Plain Packaging Take Centre Stage


[International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development]  WTO
members this week discussed a proposal by least developed countries
(LDCs) to extend their transition period for implementing the
organisation's intellectual property rules, which is set to expire this
July. Members at the 5-6 March meeting of the Council for Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) also debated a proposed
New Zealand law that would require plain packaging for tobacco products;
a similar Australian policy is already facing three separate challenges
at the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body. Click here for more.


Second Annual Open Education Week Highlights Educational Opportunities
Available to Everyone


[OpenCourseWare Consortium]  The second annual Open Education week will
take place March 11-15, 2013.  Open Education Week is a five-day
celebration of the global Open Education Movement, featuring online and
local events around the world, video showcases of open education
projects, and information. Its purpose is to raise awareness of both the
movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide. Click here
for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/28949> 


Indian Negotiators Under Pressure to Give in to European Commission
Demands on IP Enforcement in the EU-India FTA


[Delhi Network of Positive People]  With the goal concluding the
agreement by early April fast approaching, negotiations have now reached
an intense phase with regular meetings to fast track its conclusion. The
Indian Prime Minister has reportedly asked the Indian Commerce Minister
to push the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion - in charge of
the intellectual property (IP) negotiations - to settle their
differences with the EU negotiators on IP so that it facilitates the
signing of the FTA next month. Click here for more.


TPP Negotiators Reported to Make Progress on IP Enforcement Provisions
in the Singapore Negotiations


[Mike Palmedo]  The eleven countries negotiating the TPP are in
negotiations in Singapore from March 4 through 13. Inside U.S. Trade
reports that intellectual property negotiators have "the main issue IP
negotiators are discussing here is enforcement... negotiators have made
more progress here than in past rounds," and chief negotiators have been
participating more with the chapter negotiations. Click here for more.


Foreign Ownership of Firms in IP-Intensive Industries


[Jonathan Band]  For decades, U.S. domestic and foreign IP policy has
been predicated on the assumption that U.S. firms dominated both
domestic and foreign markets for IP products. In an effort to evaluate
the standing of U.S. firms in IP intensive industries, this paper
identifies the "nationality" of the leading firms in several important
IP industries. The paper finds that for many industries, this assumption
of U.S. dominance is no longer correct.  This suggests that at times, IP
policies adopted by Congress and the Executive Branch may benefit
foreign corporations at the expense of U.S. consumers. Click here for
more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/28840> 


Chilean Constitutional Court to Decide on the Constitutionality of the
Patent Linkage Bill


[Anonymous guest from Chile]  On March 5, the Chilean Constitutional
Court (CC) decided to review the constitutionality of the patent linkage
bill currently being discussed in the Chilean Congress. This bill would
set forth a non-merit based preliminary injunction only eligible for
pharmaceutical patent holders. According to the Chilean general rules on
preliminary injunctions, they should only be granted by a court based on
the merits of the case (substantial likelihood of success on the merits
of the case and faces a substantial threat of irreparable damage or
injury if the injunction is not granted). Click here for more.


EU and US consumer groups' initial reaction to the announcement of a
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership


[Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, letter to US and EU trade chiefs]
The United States and the European Union have recently announced plans
to begin negotiations of a trade and investment agreement... We want to
highlight a number of topics... Intellectual Property Rights: Provisions
on intellectual property (IP) rights should ensure governments may enact
robust limitations and exceptions to rights, and limitations on
remedies. IP enforcement should be proportionate and respect the right
to a judicial remedy. In some areas, mandatory minimum exceptions should
be addressed, such as robust cross border exceptions for disabilities or
distance education. Access to medical technologies and knowledge should
not be undermined. Click here for the full letter.


Public Interest Exception to Data Exclusivity in the Trade Agreement
Between EU and Peru


[Mike Palmedo]  On March 1, the trade agreement negotiated among the
European Union, Peru, and Colombia went into effect in the EU and Peru.
The EC press office reports that Colombia is still in the process of
ratifying the agreement, and is expected to complete ratification this
year. The full text of the trade agreement is online and the
intellectual property provisions are found in Articles 202 through 257.
The FTA includes a public interest exception to data exclusivity for
pharmaceuticals. Click here for more.


EU-Thailand FTA Negotiations: What Fate for Access to Medicines?


[Joint press release from Health Action International, Oxfam
International, and Action Against AIDS Germany]  From  4-6 March, the
Prime Minister of Thailand and her negotiating team visit Brussels to
meet with EU officials and officially launch negotiations on a new Free
Trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Thailand... "The EU's position
on intellectual property protection in previous FTAs, including the
earlier failed negotiations between the EU and ASEAN, suggests that we
can expect that the EU will push for intellectual property standards in
the EU-Thailand FTA that go beyond Thailand's WTO obligations under
TRIPS and will limit access to medicines."- Tessel Mellema, HAI Europe.
Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/28847> 



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