[Ip-health] Infojustice Roundup - May 13, 2013

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon May 13 13:41:46 PDT 2013

Infojustice Roundup 

Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and Intellectual Property in Africa; and 3rd Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest


[Open A.I.R. Announcement]  In December 2013, delegates from national and international governmental entities, the private sector, civil society, and academia will gather for five days of interconnected events in Cape Town. Participants will engage with diverse perspectives and future scenarios for intellectual property (IP), innovation and development during the Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and IP in Africa (9-11 December) and the 3rd Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest (11-13 December). Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/29567> 


How Listing Ukraine as a Priority Foreign Country in Special 301 Violates the World Trade Organization Agreements


[Sean Flynn] In this year's Special 301 report, the United States Trade Representative listed Ukraine as a "Priority Foreign Country" (aka PFC), triggering a 30 day countdown to initiate an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act to determine trade sanctions. 19 USC 2412(2)(A). This is only the second time that the U.S. has threatened a WTO-member country with sanctions as a PFC. And thus it is an appropriate time to ask what restrictions the World Trade Organization places on the operation of the Special 301 program. As described more fully below, any sanction of Ukraine, including removal of General System of Preferences (GSP) benefits, would likely violate WTO rules. Indeed, the listing of Ukraine as a PFC, and the more general operation of "watch lists" threatening sanctions for intellectual property matters, could be challenged under the WTO even prior to any sanction actually going into effect. Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/29556> 


Has the UK Abolished Copyright? Analysis of New Orphan Work Legislation


[Andrés Guadamuz] Has the UK abolished copyright law with the passing of orphan works legislation? I'll answer quickly with Betteridge's Law of Headlines: NO. However, if you listen to some copyright maximalist outlets, and particularly to the photograph lobby, you would believe that all copyright has been abolished as of now. Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/29503> 


Obama Administration Releases Historic Open Data Rules to Enhance Government Efficiency and Fuel Economic Growth


[White House press release]  The Obama Administration today took groundbreaking new steps to make information generated and stored by the Federal Government more open and accessible to innovators and the public, to fuel entrepreneurship and economic growth while increasing government transparency and efficiency. Today's actions-including an Executive Order signed by the President and an Open Data Policy released by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy-declare that information is a valuable national asset whose value is multiplied when it is made easily accessible to the public.  The Executive Order requires that, going forward, data generated by the government be made available in open, machine-readable formats, while appropriately safeguarding privacy, confidentiality, and security. Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/29533> 


TPP Negotiations to Resume This Week in Lima, Peru


The seventeenth round of Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations begin on Wednesday, May 15, in Lima. Information on the round from the Peruvian Ministry of Commerce is online here <http://www.acuerdoscomerciales.gob.pe/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=105&Itemid=128> .  EFF has written <https://www.eff.org/es/deeplinks/2013/05/peruvians-president-our-digital-rights-are-non-negotiable>  that the intellectual property negotiations will include copyright issues such as "including online copyright enforcement, DMCA-style digital locks, and Internet intermediary liability." It is also expected that access to medicines issues will be addressed at this round.  Peruvian civil society groups have launched an online petition urging their President not to accept IP provisions that would compromise access to medicines, jeopardize the internet, freedom of speech, or innovation. The petition is available at http://www.nonegociable.pe/


The Interaction of the Proposed LDC Extension Request and the 2016 Pharmaceutical Product Extension


[Brook Baker] The current request of WTO LDC Members for an unconditional extension of the time period within which they must become compliant with the TRIPS Agreement covers all forms of intellectual property protection under TRIPS.  Even though it is true that some LDCs have signed other treaties that might impose some IP obligations, e.g., the Paris Convention on Industrial Property or the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, freeing themselves from the broader and stronger spectrum of IP mandates in TRIPS will enable their access to broad classes of essential public goods, including all medical commodities, educational and informational resources, agricultural resources, and green/climate control technologies. Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/29548> 


Do Pharmaceutical Firms Invest More Heavily in Countries with Data Exclusivity?


[Mike Palmedo] Countries may choose various methods of data protection in order to comply with the TRIPS Agreement. Policymakers should consider the effects of data exclusivity on prices and investment relative to other types of data protection. The data presented here suggest there is no relationship between whether or not a country has data exclusivity, and the amount of investment in the country by the pharmaceutical industry. On the other hand, empirical evidence in previous papers has shown that data exclusivity does drive prices higher. Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/29512> 


Incoming WTO Director General Urged to Make Access to Medicines a Priority


[MSF Press Release]  On the appointment of Roberto Azevedo as Director General of the World Trade Organization, international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned the WTO and incoming DG that access to medicines must become a priority. This includes allowing least-developed countries to remain exempt from introducing intellectual property rules, and maintaining the right of countries to use all flexibilities at their disposal to ensure access to affordable generic medicines.  Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/29520>  


Excerpts of Comments to USTR on Copyright and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership


[Mike Palmedo] By last Friday, 347 comments had been submitted to the US Trade Representative in response to its Request for Comments on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement (TTIP).  Numerous comments addressed intellectual property concerns (and many suggested that IPRs should be left out of the agreement all together).   Also, many comments highlighted the need for greater transparency in TTIP negotiations than has been the norm in other trade negotiations, such as ACTA.  The full docket will be made available on regulations.gov, though currently not all of the comments have been uploaded. Below are excerpts from some of the comments made that referred to copyright provisions that may be under negotiation. Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/29557> 


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