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

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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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    International Standards Key To Helping The World With Many Issues, ISO Says

    Published on 18 May 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    International standards can help economic, societal and environmental issues, Rob Steele, secretary general of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), told a press briefing this week. The organisation also has interests in intellectual property protection.

    Although seemingly boring and remote for many people, international standards are of prime importance and cover most areas of everyday life, both in the private sphere and in the business arena, said Steele, ranging from credit cards to cars, from playground equipment to industrial containers.

    ISO is a Geneva-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) and has 163 members, representing 98 percent of the world’s gross national income, and 97 percent of the world population, he said during a 16 May press conference on how ISO international standards help achieve public policies and business objectives.

    The ISO is constantly creating new standards and upgrading older ones. Their current portfolio is more than 19000 standards. In the last five years, 31 new technical groups were established, according to Steele. Those new groups are working on a variety of areas such as sustainable development in communities, railway applications, risk management, fireworks, biometrics, biogas, natural gas fuelling station, and carbon capture and storage.

    According to ISO, the organisation “launches the development of new standards in response to sectors and stakeholders that express a clearly established need for them.” ISO standards are developed by technical committees gathering “experts from the industrial, technical and business sectors which have asked for the standards.” Technical committees might also include representatives of government agencies, testing laboratories, consumer associations, NGOs, and academic circle.

    IP and Standards, Work with WIPO

    The ISO standards are not legally binding, Steele said, but in some cases, country regulators “refer to ISO standards as an example of good practice.” For example, he said, “a building regulation might say you must comply with local regulations and one way of complying with that is to comply with the ISO standard.”

    The standards developed by the technical committees are copyrighted and belong to ISO, Steele said. This copyright protection “helps us to promulgate the standard so people know that there is a clear copyright associated” with our standards. And more importantly, he added, “it also allows us to update our standards because in many cases technologies are moving along and our standards need to be reviewed and updated. We review and update our standards at least every five to seven years and we must have the opportunity and the right to do that.”

    ISO has a “very good relationship” with the World Intellectual Property Organization on several levels, Steele said. “WIPO is understanding clearly the value of voluntary international standards and we have a memorandum of understanding with them on that,” he added.

    “We also cooperate and look at IP protection and the opportunity to develop standards around that, in particular on cyber space and the internet,” Steele said. ISO and WIPO could perhaps work “even more closely” on the area of piracy, in particular on the internet and associated with IP protection, he said, adding that the aim of that protection is not so much the protection of revenues but also answers a concern on health and safety.

    “Standards are pirated, made available on the internet using illegal websites and people have no idea if those standards” are accurate or not, Steele said.” “Safety to society is also an issue that we discuss with WIPO,” he added.

    Social Responsibility Standardised?

    There is a shift in the way the world sees sustainability and social responsibility, Steele said. Today, for the most progressive companies, both concepts are a source of competitive advantage, and a business opportunity.

    Launched on 1 November, ISO 26000 standard on guidance on social responsibility, “provides guidance to both business and public sector organisations on social responsibility,” according to the ISO website.

    ISO 26000 is the product of an international consensus on a definition of social responsibility and addresses core subjects of social responsibility: community involvement and development, human rights, labour practices, the environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues. The standard was developed by engaging different groups of stakeholder groups among which were government, labour, consumers and NGOs, as well as over 400 experts from 99 ISO member countries.

    According Steele’s presentation, the definition of social responsibility in ISO 26000 is as follows: responsibility of an organisation for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that:

    - contributes to sustainable development, including health and the welfare of society;
    - takes into account the expectations of stakeholders;
    - is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour; and
    - is integrated throughout the organisation and practised in its relationships

    This standard, however cannot be used for certification, Steele said. Some 36 countries have adopted ISO 26000 and 17 more are planning its adoption, he said.

    Standards for Better Energy Management

    Steele also presented ISO 50001 on energy management systems, launched on 15 June 2011.
    The standard is aiming to provide public and private sector organisations “with management strategies to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve energy performance,” according to the ISO website.

    The newly developed standard is helping reduce energy consumption without negative effects on operations, Steele said, adding that early adopters of the standards were reporting substantial benefits.

    Steele concluded: “The standards that ISO develops are international and built on consensus. Anyone can participate through the ISO members and the results are very pragmatic solutions that help the world address some of the very key issues that we are all facing.”

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

     

    Comments

    1. The Consumers Eye Pakistan says:

      The Consumers Eye Pakistan believe in that International standards not only help economic, societal and environmental issues but theInternational Standards are as a Key To Helping The World With Many Issues better and better.
      The Consumers Eye Pakistan (TCEP) is a non profit registered social welfare organization (NGO), a member of “PAKISTAN CONSUMERS’ FEDERATION” the apex consumers’ body of Pakistan, for the protection of Consumer rights in Pakistan, TCEP is working since 2005. The Consumers Eye Pakistan’s vision is a world where everyone has access to safe and sustainable goods and services. TCEP’s is working to put the rights of consumers at the heart of decision-making. The Consumers Eye Pakistan host seminars and events especially on occasion of World Consumer Rights Day & World Standards Day every year with the collaboration of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) Ministry of Science and Technology Government of Pakistan and other NGO’s organizations related to consumer rights protection, to create consumer awareness against unregistered, Substandard, Adulterated and counterfeit Products and Services in Pakistan. The Consumers Eye Pakistan cooperates with Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to promote Quality Standard Culture in Pakistan. TCEP is actively involved with PSQCA in improving quality and standards of the citizens by advocating accountability and code of conduct in government and society to promote standardization and Quality consciousness culture in Pakistan for the benefit of consumers. The Consumers Eye Pakistan represents consumers in Standards developing technical committees of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA). TCEP’s representatives have been going with the PSQCA raiding Task force team to check products quality standards in open markets/ Bazaars/ Stores and super stores as an independent observer. The Consumers Eye Pakistan campaigns on the domestic and international issues that matter to consumers. TCEP seeks to hold corporations to account and demands government action to put consumer concerns first, acting as watchdog. The Consumers Eye Pakistan also organizes workshops, seminars, walks and colloquiums throughout the Pakistan, bringing together people from different sections of the society, including politicians, economists, and experts from related fields, to create awareness and build opinion on nationally important issues that matters consumers. Carrying out studies and researches on various issues related to Consumers and consumables. TCEP publish material for consumer awareness in Pakistan. The Consumers Eye Pakistan campaign to end the menace and create awareness among the people regarding the consumer rights; it includes adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education and safe drinking water in Pakistan. The Consumers Eye Pakistan campaigning against any behavior that threatens ignores or abuses the principles of consumer protection with the aim of getting every Pakistani consumer a fairer deal to put the rights of consumers at the heart of decision-making. TCEP’s goal is a world where everyone access to safe and sustainable goods and services. TCEP’s main objective is to protect the interests of the consumer, making the consumer conscious of the malpractices perpetuated in the marketplace. The Consumers Eye Pakistan introduced an annual series of awards “Quality-Standard Award” in 2010 to appreciate for the highly valuable Products and services in Pakistan. This program has the official collaboration of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority Ministry of Science and technology (Government of Pakistan) also have support of other organizations. Quality Standard Award is to develop a relationship of trust among consumers, producers and service providers in Pakistan. Quality-Standard Award honors the most respected companies have ISO/ PSQCA Certification and consumer trust, Maintaining Quality Standards for their Products and Services, whose accomplishments have made significant differences to the remarkable growth and development of Pakistan economy. The Consumers Eye Pakistan formed to protect and educate consumers, represent them on all forums, and make sure that consumer goods and services are given highest priority for the benefits of consumers. The Consumer Eye Pakistan is working to build a better Pakistan. “We believe that better work with commitment and honesty can improve people’s lives.”


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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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