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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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    US Panel Puts Google, Facebook, Communications Platforms On Human Rights Frontline

    Published on 5 March 2011 @ 1:05 am

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Recent events in the Arab region have brought the issue of access to the internet and social platforms sharply into the spotlight as governments have tried to block or limit internet access and cut millions of people from communication. A United States-hosted panel discussion in Geneva yesterday brought together representatives of Google, Facebook, and Access, a civil society group defending digital freedom.

    The US mission to the UN organised the 4 March a panel discussion on the internet freedom and the way to promote human rights in the digital age, in parallel with the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

    Although technology can enhance free speech and provide great opportunities, there are new risks and challenges such as technologies to shut down the internet, provide disinformation or invade the privacy of activists, said Michael Posner, assistant secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour at the US mission.

    Posner encouraged multistakeholder initiatives such as the Global Network Initiative, including a range of participants from companies such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, civil society organisations such as Human Rights Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and investors and academics.

    Asked about the impact of Google and Facebook in the Egyptian civil movement, Peter Barron, Google’s director of communications and public affairs for Northern Europe, said that the most important point is that it was not the technology that caused the revolution. “It was the people’, he said, adding that Google was in favour of freedom of expression.

    Richard Allan, Facebook’s director of policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said that the platform is filled with content that users shared with each other. At turbulent times, he said, the value of a communications platform becomes even more significant, with connectivity to friends and family inside and outside the country seen as crucial. Allan said Facebook championed the idea of keeping the internet access open in countries, whatever the circumstances.

    Communication platforms are on the front line of human rights defence, said Brett Solomon, executive director of Access. Google and Facebook are ahead in that, he said, and added that it was important to prevent companies from taking sides in a conflict, such as some telecommunications companies, which complied with the Mubarak regime in Egypt.

    Access provides a censorship map of the world on its website.

    According to Allan, governments have the power to block access in two ways. They can ask internet service providers to block access or can block all access to the internet altogether. The only way out is
    for the platform to go to the governments and ask that the service be unblocked.

    Asked about the situation in Libya, Barron said that Google has traffic graphs in given countries and as of 3 March in the evening, the traffic internet in Libya was nil. However, Solomon said that access to internet through satellite might not be showing on that graph, and people might be using phone lines, as they are ways around total shutdown of the internet, he said.

    On China, Barron said Google had agreed to censor some content in China in the hope that eventually the internet would be open but “it did not turn out that way,” he said, and the platform had to devise a new approach to China.

    According to Posner, the growing demand of Chinese people for freedom of speech, and exchange of information is, in the long run, going toward an open internet in China. Egypt has been an interesting case, Posner said, of the consequences of shutting down the internet. For a modern country, it is “shutting yourself out from the world,” he said, and in the case of Egypt, it did not last long.

    Allan said Facebook is a private company and does not have a role in discussing political issues. “We just want to have a platform that is available and secure”, he said.

    According to a 4 March press release, Access compiled information from different sources, such as the Open Net Initiative, Reporters Without Borders, and Freedom House. It found that 28 percent of countries engage in some filtering, according to Open Net Initiative, 57 percent of countries are rated “not free” or “partly free” by Freedom House, and 17 percent are ”enemies of the internet,” according to Reporters Without Borders.

    Masking Facebook

    The NGO also launched a campaign to ask Facebook to secure its site and anonymise and protect their users, since they allege Facebook has ”empowered repressive regimes and identity thieves who exploit vulnerabilities in Facebook’s website and Terms of Service everyday.”

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


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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.

    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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