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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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    World Health Assembly: Members Gavel New Mechanism To Fight Poor-Quality Medicines

    Published on 26 May 2012 @ 12:19 am

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    World Health Organization member states have decided to establish a new mechanism for international collaboration to prevent and control “substandard, spurious, falsely-labelled, falsified and counterfeit medical products” (SSFFC). Excluding trade and intellectual property considerations, this mechanism is called to approach the problem strictly from a public health perspective.

    In a committee meeting on the SSFFC resolution on 25 May during the World Health Assembly (WHA), member states showed wide support for the mechanism proposal, adopting it without amendment.

    The SSFFC resolution will be submitted to the plenary for approval on the last day of the 65th WHA on 26 May.

    The approved resolution was number EB130.R13, available here, which was published in document EB130/2012/REC/1, from the January Executive Board meeting.

    A Welcomed New Mechanism

    The goal of the mechanism is to “protect public health and promote access to affordable, safe, efficacious and quality medical products, promote, through effective collaboration among member states and the secretariat, the prevention and control of SSFFC medical products and associated activities.”

    At least 20 member states and several official World Health Organization (WHO) observers delivered statements on the resolution, widely showing support for this general goal. The European Union, in its statement, said, “It is high time that WHO is active again on this important public health issue.”

    Additionally, the EU said it would consider shifting their SSFFC activities to the new mechanism if it is successful in providing “a good, result-oriented platform for coordinated, multi-sectorial cooperation to help prevent falsified medicines from undermining the credibility of our health systems.”

    Mario Ottiglio, associate director of Public Affairs and Global Health Policy at the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), expressed his support of the new mechanism. He said, “Fake medicines at best cheat people, at worst kill. It’s a crime against patients and it is only right that we should expect the global health community to tackle it with the same vigour of any other health threat.”

    “Patients worldwide are counting on WHO’s leadership to meet their expectations about an agenda that puts their lives and safety at the front through a multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary effort,” said Ottiglio.

    Developing countries also welcomed the new mechanism and supported its establishment. But several presented concerns in their statements, making note of the areas of contention that remain, and likely foreshadowing some challenges to come.

    Foreseeable Challenges

    One area of concern mentioned by several members is the current and future relationship between the WHO and the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT), which ties WHO to enforcement groups like Interpol.

    During its intervention, the delegation of Thailand said, “Good collaboration based on trust and free from conflict of interest among stakeholders at country, regional and global level are required to combat SSFFC. We register our serious concern on the COI [conflict on interest] of R&D pharma membership in IMPACT.”

    The statement made by the CMC Churches Action for Health, on behalf of Third World Network and People’s Health Movement, said succinctly, “With the establishment of this mechanism, it is time to dissociate WHO from IMPACT.”

    The delegate from Brazil also raised concerns regarding the taskforce. The official said, “The activities carried out by IMPACT and the attempts to redefine the term “counterfeit” – already defined in the TRIPS Agreement – were examples of the lack of clarity between intellectual property aspects and public health collective interests within WHO.”

    “These concerns were highlighted by the emergence of numerous anti-counterfeiting measures linked to TRIPS-plus standards and IP enforcement, such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the 19 detentions by customs authorities of medicines in transit through the EU,” said the Brazilian delegate. TRIPS refers to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

    But Brazil emphasised that the mechanism would operate in a “transparent” manner and would focus on these issues from a “public health perspective.” Additionally, the delegate said that the WHO needs to address the “root problem” that leads to the spread of poor quality medications: “namely the unequal access of the world population to essential medicines.”

    Another big issue already facing the new mechanism is the development of definitions related to SSFFC, a point that India raised during its intervention.

    The issues raised during the assembly meeting closely reflected the debate that occurred during the SSFFC working group’s meeting, which was held in Geneva last October (IPW, Public Health, 1 November 2012).

    The group’s recommendations were transmitted, considered and adopted by the Executive Board at its 130th session in January 2012.

    The first formal meeting of the mechanism is set to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 19 November with a preparatory meeting in Geneva. However, the delegation from Nigeria, took issue with the South American location, raising concern over the associated expenses.

    In response, Argentina said that it would ensure that no country would be excluded from participation due to financial limitations. The delegate also mentioned looking at specialised fundraising to address the issue.

    The working group report is available here.

    Rachel Marusak Hermann may be reached at info@ip-watch.org.

     

    Comments

    1. EU Health Cooperation: Room For Improvement | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] Amidst wide support for a member state mechanism to fight poor-quality medicines internationally, as adopted last May by the 65th WHO World Health Assembly, the EU said it would consider shifting its relevant activities to the new mechanism should it prove successful. [see here] [...]


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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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