SUBSCRIBE TODAY!
Subscribing entitles a reader to complete stories on all topics released as they happen, special features, confidential documents and access to the complete, searchable story archive online back to 2004.
IP-Watch Summer Interns

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

Inside Views

Submit ideas to info [at] ip-watch [dot] ch!

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.

Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


Latest Comments
  • These obscured negotiations appear to this reader ... »
  • The EU or the US are not the banana states for whi... »

  • For IPW Subscribers

    A directory of IP delegates in Geneva. Read more>

    A guide to Geneva-based public health and intellectual property organisations. Read More >


    Monthly Reporter

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter, published from 2004 to January 2011, is a 16-page monthly selection of the most important, updated stories and features, plus the People and News Briefs columns.

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter is available in an online archive on the IP-Watch website, available for IP-Watch Subscribers.

    Access the Monthly Reporter Archive >

    US, WIPO Officials Assess Patent Reform, PCT, Copyright Priorities

    Published on 10 May 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    NEW YORK – Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the United States are “hotlining” colleagues to ascertain if there is any objection to moving patent reform quickly through the US Senate, a representative of a major stakeholder in the debate said here Friday. Meanwhile, the US Copyright Office is working to get its priorities through a restructured Congress, and a World Intellectual Property Organization official warned of a possible divide in WIPO’s norm-setting activities.

    Philip S. Johnson, chief patent counsel for the Johnson & Johnson company, told those attending the 7 May American Intellectual Property Law Association’s (AIPLA) spring meeting that there is “fairly widespread stakeholder acceptance” of S. 515 as it stands now, with the manager’s amendment introduced in March. Some of the “worst” provisions that have slowed patent reform have been stripped from the bill, he added. While thus far there are no strong lawmaker objections to the bill, it is estimated that four to five lawmakers may like to at least put a hold on the bill for now, Johnson added. At least two of those members are from Idaho. The Obama administration supports the bill. A letter to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders from US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is available here.

    The next step is procedural, and since there is very little free Senate floor time left, with Congress still dealing with health care reform and other legislative issues, some lawmakers are trying to remove whatever procedural barriers there may be to passing patent reform. Most of the House action has been “back channel” talks with members of the Senate Judiciary Staff, Johnson said.

    “I would say it’s uncertain what will happen to the bill. There’s certainly a huge amount of support,” Johnson continued. “It would be a bipartisan bill and one that’s related to job creation that would cost the government nothing – that is, no out-of-pocket expenditures.”

    He added: “From that standpoint it’s a no-brainer but I’ve learned that nothing in Washington is a no-brainer.”

    With the manager’s amendment, S. 515 would, among other things: create a first-inventor-to file system in the United States aimed at simplifying the patent examination process and reduce costs; a new post-grant review procedure to be handled by administrative patent judges with estoppel; a strengthened inter-partes reexamination procedure; and a one-year grace period. The United States would like to see the rest of the world move toward a uniform grace period.

    “This would be the first time a clear incentive would be provided if we want to get the rest of the world to become harmonised with us,” Johnson said.

    However, there is no anti-diversion language in the bill that would prevent fees collected by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over its anticipated budget from being diverted to other non-USPTO uses by Congress. This has raised the ire of the USPTO, AIPLA and other organisations and stakeholders working to increase the efficiency of the agency.

    “I think to the stakeholder community who will be paying those fees, this is not acceptable,” Johnson said.

    At last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on USPTO issues, some House members asked USPTO Director David Kappos whether the patent office would consider a standalone fee-setting bill with an anti-fee diversion measure if a broader patent reform bill remained stuck. Kappos declined to say yes or no, instead reiterating that he would like to forge ahead and get the broader patent reform bill passed.

    “There may be some sort of standoff if fee-setting is not part of a comprehensive bill,” Johnson said Friday.

    Meanwhile, the USPTO has revamped or instituted several pilot programmes aimed at increasing efficiency and transparency of the examination process: the examiner count system, first action interview pilot; and a patent application backlog reduction pilot.

    “There seems to be an emphasis on getting examination right the first time,” said Manny Schecter, chief patent counsel for IBM. “The PTO, we need to keep honest with the way they report the progress of these pilots.”

    USPTO Strategic Plan

    Sharon Barner, deputy director of the USPTO, detailed her agency’s strategic plan – the details of which are included in the USPTO’s proposed fiscal 2011 budget. But, she said, “The devil is in the details.” She said the agency has a “long way to go” to getting a draft plan ready to roll out, but that plan will be available for comments from agency employees and management, a well as stakeholders. Barner expects the feedback and drafting process to be finished by the end of the year.

    Barner highlighted a few priorities, including reducing patent pendency and backlog – a problem for which, she said, “we cannot simply hire [examiners] our way out of.” By redirecting some agency funds from other patent business units, the USPTO could hire some examiners this year; the agency is operating on “life support,” she said – echoing what Kappos has previously told Congress – since its 2010 appropriations level was about the same as its collections in 2009. One move the agency is making is to re-hire former, highly-performing examiners to decrease training time and attrition rates. USPTO attrition rates are “significantly reduced” as compared to this time last year, Barner said, and the agency is on pace to cut attrition by 50 percent in 2010.

    Barner also said the trademark office is working on a long-term strategy of managing workload and personnel, and that the USPTO is working to find technological solutions that could increase the efficiency and quality of the patent process.

    Copyright Office Priorities

    Meanwhile, the US Copyright Office is trying to push other legislative priorities. There no longer exist any congressional subcommittees dealing solely with copyright issues, which may partially explain why little copyright legislation has moved this year, explained Michele Woods, senior counsel for policy and international affairs at the agency. However, passing a performance rights bill is still a priority for the office, as is eventually passing orphan works legislation.

    Congress has passed temporary extensions of Satellite Home Viewers Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA), which allows satellite subscribers to receive local stations from their satellite carriers. A Senate measure calls for a 10-year licence but it is expected Congress will pass a five-year extension instead.

    “There is a hope that relatively soon, within a few months, we will actually get a final version” of that bill, Woods said.

    The Copyright Office is also working with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on various issues, including limitations and exceptions. WIPO is considering a treaty for the visually impaired, which would increase accessibility to works in forms accessible by this population on a cross-border basis. The United States would like to do something in the interim, and is working on other possible ways to address the cross-border transfer issue, Woods said. She added that disability rights are a “big priority” for the Obama administration. Woods also said there is new movement within WIPO to revive work on an audiovisual treaty regarding work-for-hire.

    View from WIPO

    On the issue of norm-setting at WIPO, Deputy Director General for Patents James Pooley (a former US patent attorney) said the process has been challenged by a “North-South divide.”

    “There is a general but very, very substantial difference” in opinion between industrialised countries and regions like the United States and Japan on one hand, and Brazil and Africa on the other, he added. The “mutual distrust is palpable and it interferes with real communication … and trying to find areas of common interest which we know are there.”

    Pooley credited the new administration at the USPTO with much of the progress made at WIPO on several fronts, alluding to the fact that the previous administration was not as cooperative.

    “The USPTO has signalled loud and clear its commitment to WIPO, the PCT and the multilateral process,” he said, adding that he is grateful for the “new opportunities this new attitude represents.” The PCT is the Patent Cooperation Treaty administered by WIPO.

    WIPO this year will launch a major project to connect with current and potential PCT customers on the advantages of using the system and how to improve it, he said.

    Pooley said that the Group B+ countries next month will meet to consider “international proposals made in view of improving the PCT system” (referring to their 18 May Working Group II, third session, in Washington, DC). Up to now, Group B+ has dealt almost exclusively with issues relating to harmonisation of substantive patent law. Group B refers to the developed country members of WIPO.

    Pooley also said WIPO’s Development Agenda is still in the works but said there is a “developing mistrust” between countries. It shouldn’t be an “us-them proposition … we’re all in this together,” he said, adding that the developing countries need to become “real players in the game” for the benefit of all countries when it comes to enhancing the world’s intellectual property capacity.

    Liza Porteus Viana may be reached at lizapviana@gmail.com.

     


    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.

     

     
    Your IP address is 54.204.68.109