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IP-Watch Summer Interns

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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    World Health Organization Issues Statement On Generic Drug Seizures

    Published on 13 March 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The World Health Organization on Friday issued a statement on a high-profile debate over Dutch authorities’ recent delay of several shipments of legitimate generic pharmaceuticals passing through the European country on their way to patients in developing countries. The goods were said to be held on mistaken suspicion of being counterfeit medicines.

    “Recent events related to the handling of medicines in transit and the potential consequences for the supply of medicines in developing countries are of major concern to the organisation,” it said in a statement posted to its website on 13 March. “Ensuring that the interests of trade and health are appropriately managed, also means that the flow of legitimate medicines, including generic medicines, is not impeded.”

    WHO also said it considers access to medicines to be critical; said it is conducting ongoing consultations on the matter even as it appears to be under bilateral discussion between the parties involved; and said it remains open to providing assistance on request of the member states.

    “WHO considers equitable access to safe and affordable medicines as vital to the attainment of the highest possible standard of health by all,” the statement said.

    The issue has garnered international attention, especially after a shipment from India to Brazil was stopped in the Netherlands, and have escalated with the revelation that the seizures include a shipment bound for Nigeria ordered by UN drug purchasing agency UNITAID that involved former US President Clinton’s foundation. Concerns arose that authorities are acting on behalf of developed-nation patent holders to interfere with generics trade, and questions have been raised about the rights of a transit country (IPW, Public Health, 6 March 2009).

    The United Nations body said in its statement that it is “continuing to follow developments and consulting with member states and relevant international intergovernmental organisations.” It also said it “understands” that there is ongoing dialogue among the parties concerned to resolve the matter.

    “Given the public health impact of this issue, WHO remains ready to provide, upon request, technical and policy support to member states,” it said. WHO has been somewhat reluctant in the past to become actively involved in trade matters.

    WHO was coming under increasing pressure by non-governmental organisations to respond to letters of 18 and 19 February sent by 17 [note: corrected] key public health and consumer advocacy groups such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Oxfam concerned about interrupted or higher priced supplies of essential medicines in poor countries. On 13 March, the group Knowledge Ecology International posted to its blog asking about WHO’s silence, compared with the fast reply by the World Trade Organization to a similar letter on the same day.

    [Editor's Note: the post to KEI's blog contained comments from nearly a dozen NGOs, including MSF, Oxfam, the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), IQsensato and Health Action International. The comments suggested that WHO's inaction: shows a lack of leadership and an inability to stand up on politically sensitive issues, is suggestive of a larger systemic problem, and is tantamount to consent to an anti-competitive effort by brand-name producers and customs and trade officials to embargo generic drugs.]

    WHO said in its statement that its member states “reaffirmed their commitment to these principles” in May 2008, with the adoption of a resolution on a global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property (WHA61.21). The resolution expressed the governments’ commitment to “improving the delivery of and access to all health products and medical devices by effectively overcoming barriers to access,” WHO said.

    The issue was raised in the meeting of the WHO Executive Board in January 2009 and was a subject of discussion in the recent WTO Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    William New may be reached at wnew@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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