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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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    Medicines Patent Pool Director Ellen ‘t Hoen To Leave Next Month

    Published on 16 April 2012 @ 7:17 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Executive Director Ellen ‘t Hoen is departing the Medicines Patent Pool, the cutting edge UN spin-off project that works to lower prices on and stimulate new development of HIV medicines and other products through negotiating voluntary licence agreements. According to a release, ‘t Hoen has fulfilled the mission of guiding the organisation from a startup onto “firm footing” and has informed the Board that she will leave on 1 May.

    “It was agreed, when becoming Executive Director, that she would leave once she had established the Pool on a firm footing,” Medicines Patent Pool Chair Charles Clift said in a statement. “She has done this magnificently and also created a dedicated and highly skilled team which will allow a seamless transition to her successor.”

    ‘t Hoen, who is highly regarded in the public health field, will remain an advisor to the Medicines Patent Pool. The search has already begun for the next director, and the job announcement is posted here.

    Meanwhile, Medicines Patent Pool General Counsel Chan Park has agreed to serve as interim executive director. Chan will return to the general counsel post after the permanent position is filled, the release said.

    The Board strongly praised the work of ‘t Hoen, who previously held a high-impact role at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders).

    “Ellen has headed the initiative since 2009 when it began as an internal project at UNITAID,” Clift said. “From there she took it through to its establishment as an independent entity in 2010, and has developed the Pool to become an important player in the field of HIV treatment. Ellen took a germ of an idea and with her formidable skill, energy and commitment to public health, built it in a very short time into a strong and stable institution capable of delivering real improvements in access to medicines for people living with HIV today.”

    “Thanks to her efforts,” he said, “the Pool enjoys broad support from a range of stakeholders, including leading pharmaceutical companies, global health institutions, governments, NGOs, and communities of people living with HIV. In December 2011 the UNITAID Board showed its confidence in the Pool by confirming its commitment to a further four years of funding.”

    The Medicines Patent Pool’s mission is “to bring down the prices of HIV medicines and other products needed for the treatment and prevention of HIV, and facilitate the development and production of improved formulations, by providing access to intellectual property relating to these products.”

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. James Love says:

      Ellen ‘t Hoen will be a hard act to follow. She persuaded diverse governments to support the creation of the MPP, hired a very talented staff, and brought in the first licenses, the value of which will be likely be more fully appreciated down the road. She also created new standards for transparency of patent licensing, by publishing MPP license offers and company responses, and the full text of license agreements, while also providing the public opportunities to engage directly with the MPP staff. Her leadership will be missed.

    2. Medicines Patent Pool Names New Director | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] first executive director, Ellen ‘t Hoen, left earlier this year under prior agreement (IPW, Public Health, 16 April 2012), and General Counsel Chan Park has served as interim executive [...]


    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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