[Ip-health] Infojustice Roundup - February 9, 2015

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Feb 9 11:42:27 PST 2015

Infojustice Roundup 


Response of Indian Patient and Civil Society Groups to the Prime
Minister's Statement on IPRs


[Joint statement by Indian NGOs] Following Prime Minister Modi's
statement at the US-India Business Council yesterday that "India is
ready to accept suggestions made by a joint working group with the
United States on intellectual property rights," patient and civil
society groups have responded: "It is now clear that the Indian
government is willing to sell the interests of Indian patients in order
to please US based pharmaceutical companies. If this is the outcome of
President Obama's visit then the fears of Indian patient groups and
civil society that this visit would adversely affect the health of
millions are more than realised," said Amit Sengupta, Convenor, Jan
Swasthya Abhiyan. Click here for more.


See also: 

*         Sean Flynn.  U.S. Law Professors Call for India IP Policy to
Promote Balance and Focus on IP's Ends. Link.

*         KM Gopakumar for the Hindu Business Line. IP policy should
drive research for self-sufficiency in pharma. Link
ve-research-for-selfsufficiency-in-pharma/article6865914.ece> .




People Living with Cancer Join the Fix the Patent Laws Campaign


[Treatment Action Campaign] On World Cancer Day , People Living With
Cancer - a South African support group representing thousands of
patients - publicly signed on to support the Fix the Patent Laws
campaign. The campaign aims to ensure access to affordable medicines for
all people living in South Africa including those affected by cancer.
The campaign was started in November 2011 by the Treatment Action
Campaign, Doctors without Borders and SECTION27. "Often the price tags
on cancer drugs in this country are unacceptably high. Newer, more
effective medicines can be so expensive that sometimes they are
completely unavailable to patients in the public sector," said Linda
Greef of People Living With Cancer. Click here for more.



Copyright policy and the Right to Science and Culture


[Carolyn Ncube]  A report entitled 'Copyright policy and the right to
science and culture' authored by  the Special Rapporteur in the field of
cultural rights, Farida Shaheed has been released (download it here, ref
A/HRC/28/57 ). The document summary reads: "In the present report, the
Special Rapporteur examines copyright law and policy from the
perspective of the right to science and culture, emphasizing both the
need for protection of authorship and expanding opportunities for
participation in cultural life. Recalling that protection of authorship
differs from copyright protection, the Special Rapporteur proposes
several tools to advance the human rights interests of authors. The
Special Rapporteur also proposes to expand copyright exceptions and
limitations to empower new creativity, enhance rewards to authors,
increase educational opportunities, preserve space for non-commercial
culture and promote inclusion and access to cultural works. An equally
important recommendation is to promote cultural and scientific
participation by encouraging the use of open licences, such as those
offered by Creative Commons." Click here for more.


Further evidence of risks from US Certification in TPP: Australia's
experience in the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement


[Jane Kelsey] In August 2014 a memorandum and supporting documents
published on the website www.tppnocertification.org exposed how the
United States uses a process called 'certification' to require other
countries to implement the US's interpretation of those other countries'
obligations under their free trade treaties. Unless those countries'
comply, the US will not exchange the diplomatic notes that are necessary
to bring the agreement into force. A number of examples showed how the
US has used certification to intervene actively in other countries'
legislative processes in recent years. Click here for more.


Senators Hatch and Schumer Seek More Action by USTR in Bilateral Trade
Disputes Over Intellectual Property Protection


[Mike Palmedo] Last week the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on
the Obama Administration's trade policy, in which U.S. Trade
Representative Michael Froman was the sole witness... During Q&A, many
of the Senators brought up enforcement of trade agreements as a very
important area for USTR to focus its energies.   Two Senators, in
particular, indicated they wanted the U.S. to be been more active in
trade disputes over intellectual property, through either FTA frameworks
or bilateral measures: Click here for more.


The Globalization of Intellectual Property Rights


[Andrea Filippetti and Daniele Archibugi] Abstract: There is a heated
debated - in academia and in policy circles - about the usefulness of a
stronger global regime of intellectual property rights (IPRs).
Supporters of strong IPRs argue that they will increase investments in
R&D and innovation and disseminating it across countries. Detractors
respond that this would imply another burden on developing countries,
making slower and more difficult their catching up. The introduction of
the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS) in 1994 has even further polarized these positions. We argue
that the relevance of IPRs in facilitating or obstructing technology
transfer has largely been exaggerated. Innovation-based development is
neither hampered nor facilitated by strong or weak IPRs, but rather by
the willingness to invest resources in R&D, education, and
infrastructures. While TRIPS have effectively represented an attempt to
generate a global regime of IPRs, its economic effectiveness has been
rather limited since enforcement and policing of IPRs infractions are
still firmly in the hands of national authorities. Click here for the
full paper on SSRN. <http://infojustice.org/archives/33832> 


On Biologic Drugs, Obama's 2016 Budget Violates the Provision the
Administration Seeks in the Trans Pacific Partnership


[Mike Palmedo]  Last week the Obama Administration released its Budget
for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes a number of policy
proposals designed to save money for both the government and taxpayers.
Its proposal to shorten the monopolies granted to brand name biologic
drugs - and thereby hasten generic competition - would directly clash
with the provisions the Administration seeks in the Trans Pacific
Partnership. Click here for more.




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