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IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

The Politicization Of The US Patent System

The Washington Post story, How patent reform’s fraught politics have left USPTO still without a boss (July 30), is a vivid account of how patent reform has divided the US economy, preempting a possible replacement for David Kappos who stepped down 18 months ago. The division is even bigger than portrayed. Universities have lined up en masse to oppose reform, while main street businesses that merely use technology argue for reform. Reminiscent of the partisan divide that has paralyzed US politics, this struggle crosses party lines and extends well beyond the usual inter-industry debates. Framed in terms of combating patent trolls through technical legal fixes, there lurks a broader economic concern – to what extent ordinary retailers, bank, restaurants, local banks, motels, realtors, and travel agents should bear the burden of defending against patents as a cost of doing business.


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    Opponents Say Inclusion Of IP Issues Would Set Back WTO Talks

    Published on 10 June 2008 @ 2:33 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Kaitlin Mara
    A small group of countries opposing the inclusion of intellectual property-related issues in World Trade Organization negotiations has issued their response to an earlier “non-paper” that had called for IP issues to be integrated with the upcoming horizontal, or all-inclusive, negotiations at the WTO.

    “We … wish to express our strong opposition to this proposal, and our conviction that it would substantially set back efforts to arrive at a viable way forward for the Doha negotiations,” the group said in the new non-paper, issued 6 June. “We are united by a joint concern that the current delicate stage in the DDA [Doha Development Agenda] negotiations should not be unnecessarily disrupted by efforts to rush, revisit, reinterpret or change our existing negotiating mandates.”

    The paper is referring to a 26 May proposal, in the form of another “non-paper” seeking to ensure that three major IP issues are on the table for the horizontal trade talks (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 9 June 2008).

    The text of the new non-paper can be downloaded here: TRIPS non-paper [doc].

    The three IP issues are: the creation of a register for geographical indications (GIs, product names associated with a specific place and characteristics) for wines and spirits; the extension of high-level protection to GIs other than wines and spirits, and the possible amending of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement in line with commitments to preserve biodiversity made under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

    The new non-paper said it rejected the “artificial parallelism” the earlier paper created between the GI extension issue and the so-called CBD amendment because significant divisions exist on a variety of details even within each of the proposals.

    “Each of the TRIPs issues cited in the non-paper has its own terms of reference, and particular subject matter,” the paper said. “Many technical issues remain, and the extent and interest of members in the content and potential outcomes for each issue varies considerably.” It cited GI-extension, where it asserted that “even basic objectives are far apart, discussions have revealed no consensus, and the suggested draft modalities text presented by the demandeurs prejudges an outcome.”

    In a footnote, the paper protests that the earlier paper referred to supporters as “proponents of TRIPS issues,” and asserted that there are members that have made proposals on TRIPS issues that do not support the earlier paper linking this with GIs.

    The new non-paper opposing IP-issue discussion in Doha was signed by nine members, including the United States, Chile, and Australia. The older non-paper supporting inclusion of IP issues has the support of almost all GI extension supporters and CBD amendment supporters, representing more than 100 members.

    However, a few countries that have supported inclusion of a TRIPS issue did not sign the first non-paper. Concern was expressed by an interested party that the paper assumed disclosure proponents and GI extension proponents were trying to find agreement between them. It is not necessarily the case that a supporter of one issue would support the other or a trade-off, the source said.

    Some countries take the view that the Doha process should encompass only agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA). But the earlier non-paper proponent argued that agriculture and NAMA are not unrelated to other issues on the table. For example, the European Union may view GIs as a trade-off for concessions in agriculture. The process can only be considered horizontal, the source said, if all issues are included.

    In their non-paper, the opponents acknowledged that some members need “assurances” that TRIPS “implementation” issues such as GI extension and the CBD amendment “will not be left behind.” But they argued that to mix “these distinct, divisive and highly technical TRIPS issues” into the current “highly sensitive context” would “go well beyond those assurances.”

    It was not clear from the paper what alternative assurances might be suggested by the opponents. But proponents have repeatedly asked when their issues would come up if not now.

    Kaitlin Mara may be reached at kmara@ip-watch.ch.

     


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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