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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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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.

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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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    Informal UN Climate Talks Indicate Continued Divergence On IP Issues

    Published on 28 August 2009 @ 5:30 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    With 15 scheduled negotiating days left before a meeting in Copenhagen meant to set the global sustainability agenda for the next several years, the head of the United Nations agency tasked with coordinating the global effort to fight climate change has issued an urgent call for more speed toward convergence on all parts of the upcoming climate change agreement, especially on IP-related text – lest the entire thing fall through.

    Opinions on intellectual property issues, like many other parts of the agreement, remain divided, according to documents from the informal meeting. Delegates will need to come up with compromise text soon if the agreement is going to go through as planned.

    “Serious climate change is equal to ‘game over,’” UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer told a press conference closing the August informal intersessional consultations. To say there are other things that need to be focussed on is “the way to a global disaster,” he said after the meetings intended to help spur the process forward. If negotiations “continue at this rate, we’re not going to make it.”

    Particular speed is needed in the areas of “adaptation technology and building skills in developing nations,” he added, according to a video of the press conference, shown to the right.

    It is under this category – technology and capacity building- that intellectual property rights appear in the negotiating text of the ad-hoc working group on long-term cooperative action (AWG-LCA).

    The AWG-LCA is one of two working groups aiming towards an updated global framework for combating climate change, an agreement on which is meant to be reached during a meeting of all parties to UNFCCC on 7-18 December in Copenhagen, Denmark. The AWG-LCA focuses on international action; the other working group focuses on commitments specifically for so-called “Annex 1” parties – developed countries – to the previous UN climate agreement, the Kyoto Protocol.

    At the informal intersessional meeting from 10-14 August in Bonn, members of the working group did find areas in which they felt the current text on intellectual property could be consolidated, but they are primarily changes to neaten the text by uniting similar concepts, according to a record of suggested areas of consolidation found during the informal meeting, available here [pdf]. Two alternative paragraphs that both talk about patent exemptions are consolidated into one paragraph, for example; and many paragraphs relating to patent pools – or collections of intellectual property assets for easier licensing – are merged.

    The IP section still remains heavily bracketed – that is, not yet having found consensus – and key differences in perspectives on IP policy are still reflected by the four optional texts in the negotiating document.

    The options differ as to whether technology transfer and capacity building can best be aided through the IP regime (with aid to least developed countries to cover the cost of new technology); whether IP poses a barrier and if environmentally critical or publicly funded innovations should be exempt from patents, or whether flexibilities should be employed; or whether a committee is needed to do further study as to when IP is a barrier to research and deployment of environmental technology.

    The current negotiating text of the AWG-LCA is available here [pdf], with options for intellectual property regulations available on pages 184-186 in paragraphs 187-189.

    A summary record [pdf] of the zeitgeist of the informal discussions on development and transfer of technology makes it even more clear that there is still work to be done to reach agreement on IP.

    While there is convergence over the need to protect incentives for innovation, divergence remains on “enhanced protection of intellectual property to enhance innovation,” as well as on what flexibilities to IP rights should be used to address climate change.

    These flexibilities include: compulsory licensing (government licensing of a technology before its patent is expired), patent pooling; preferential or differential pricing (for licences or technologies) or other forms of shared licensing.

    Other areas of divergence in IP flexibility are: suggested exemptions from patent rights for environmentally sound technologies, for vulnerable or least developed countries, and suggestions for limiting the length of patent protection. Opinions on reviews of IP regulations and proposals for a declaration on IP and environmental technology also diverge.

    There will be two more formal negotiating meetings of the two working groups before the Copenhagen gathering. The next will be from 28 September to 9 October in Bangkok. Following that is a 2-6 November meeting in Barcelona.

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

     

    Comments

    1. Jan Goossenaerts says:

      For additional insights on how tough the issues are, see: Matthew Rimmer, The road to Copenhagen: intellectual property and climate change; Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice 2009 published 10 September 2009, 10.1093/jiplp/jpp148 http://jiplp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/jpp148v1 ;
      and: Toyota Patent Trade Case May Threaten Hybrid Imports (Update1) Export, by: Susan Decker, Alan Ohnsman, Bloomberg.com (4 September 2009) at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=abn6ZQVtClP4 ;

      IMHO, a possible way out of an imminent impasse is an institutional innovation that i would call “Global Patent Pools” ; for related (background) literature, see: http://www.citeulike.org/group/4408 (on Patent Reform) and http://www.citeulike.org/group/4407 (on Knowledge Economy Reform); A concept paper on global patent pools is in the pipeline.

    2. Jan Goossenaerts says:

      In Science of today, Harold Mooney and Georgina Mace suggest that UNFCCC is more fortunate than other multi-lateral agreements that lack a pre-convention science assessment and have no provision for subsequent government-endorsed, independent science.
      This prompted me to create an opne group for references to (scholarly) publications related to UNFCCC. Open to all at http://www.citeulike.org/group/11578, one must join citeulike at http://www.citeulike.org/ , and become member of the group to contribute.


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    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.

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    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.

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