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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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    WIPO Announces New Policy On Assistance To North Korea, Iran

    Published on 19 July 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The World Intellectual Property Organization today announced a new policy for dealing with countries sanctioned under the United Nations and has discontinued the provision of computer hardware to countries such as North Korea and Iran. It said its past assistance is being reviewed by relevant UN sanctions committees, but that it believes it was not in violation.

    In a press release, the agency denied any violation of UN sanctions, but said it was taking new steps to demonstrate its seriousness.

    “While the legal advice received with respect to the technical assistance provided to DPRK and Iran was that the technical assistance was not in breach of UN Sanctions,” it said, “it is hoped that the measures outlined above will provide assurance that the Organization is treating this matter with the seriousness that it warrants.”

    WIPO issued a press statement from the director general on the question of the UN agency’s provision of technical assistance, including information technology, to the UN-sanctioned countries of North Korea and Iran.

    WIPO said it established new internal procedures for providing assistance to sanctioned countries as of 1 May. It also acknowledged that its provision of standard IT equipment is being referred to UN sanctions committees.

    Under the new procedures, “all managers must refer any activity proposed in a country subject to UN sanctions to WIPO’s Legal Counsel for guidance and clearance,” it said. “The Legal Counsel will, wherever necessary, consult the appropriate UN Sanctions Committee.”

    In addition, any work plan for a sanctioned country will be submitted at the start of each calendar year for guidance by the appropriate Sanctions Committee.

    The agency also said it has begun steps for “a full external and independent review of the technical assistance provided to countries subject to UN sanctions.”

    And it issued a new internal instruction “ending any provision of IT hardware in any of WIPO’s technical assistance programs.”

    WIPO said it was responding to media reports and requests for information by member states. The issue has become somewhat politicised in the United States in an election year, as conservatives critical of the UN have jumped on the issue.

    This week the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee called for an investigation (see Bloomberg story here). According to an updated version of the story, a letter from the committee chair was sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 12 July calling on the United States to freeze contributions to WIPO pending an investigation.

    The letter to WIPO Director General Francis Gurry from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, is available here [pdf].

    WIPO said in its release: “[T]he Secretariat is treating concerns relating to the Organization’s technical assistance programs to countries that are the subject of UN sanctions with the utmost seriousness.”

    The WIPO statement is available here.

    The statement said the director general “reiterates his commitment to transparency and re-affirms the readiness of the Secretariat to continue to provide any information requested by any of the member states of the Organization.”

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

     

    Comments

    1. WIPO’s Gurry Discusses Iran/North Korea; Denies Whistleblower Retaliation | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] Yesterday, WIPO announced it would discontinue sending computers to all countries and would conduct a review (IPW, WIPO, 19 July 2012). [...]

    2. Anton’s Weekly Digest of International Law, Vol. 3, No. 21 (24 July 2012) | Anton's Weekly Digest of International Law says:

      [...] WIPO Announces New Policy On Assistance to North Korea, Iran [...]

    3. US Congress Members Urge US To Oppose Re-Election Of WIPO Director Gurry | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] part of its programme to provide technical assistance to its members (see IP-Watch reporting here, here and here). Iran and North Korea are highly sanctioned by the US, and the WIPO shipments involved US […]


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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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