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IP-Watch Summer Interns

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

Inside Views

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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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    WHO Hopes For “Domino Effect” Of Australian Ruling In Favour Of Tobacco Plain Packaging

    Published on 15 August 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The director of the World Health Organization, the global public health body, today vigorously applauded the ruling by Australia’s high court upholding the Australian government’s upcoming ban on trademarked labels on tobacco packages. The case pits international trade interests against public health interests, and the WHO said it hopes today’s ruling will have a “domino effect” for many other countries considering such bans.

    “Several major tobacco companies challenged Australia’s legislation to require cigarettes and other tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging without any branding,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan said in a release. “But the industry’s attempt to derail this effective tobacco control measure failed.”

    “The lawsuits filed by Big Tobacco look like the death throes of a desperate industry,” Chan said. “With so many countries lined up to ride on Australia’s coattails, what we hope to see is a domino effect for the good of public health.”

    Starting in December, all tobacco products will be required to be sold in Australia in drab, olive-green packaging without branding, WHO said.

    The High Court of Australia’s 15 August decision is available here [pdf] or here [rtf]. The court said its reasons for the decision will be published “at a later date.”

    British American Tobacco issued a response criticising the decision. BAT readily acknowledged the public health risk of its products, but said the ruling will strip companies of their intellectual property rights. It also said the ruling focussed only on a specific Australian constitutional question, and that it was not evidence-based and will lead to greater problems.

    “[P]lain packaging would only exacerbate an already significant illicit tobacco trafficking problem, and would have other significant adverse unintended consequences including driving down prices which would lead to increased smoking while reducing government tax revenue,” BAT said.

    The industry will look to its other legal attacks on the Australian action, including cases filed at the World Trade Organization.

    “[T]his decision is wholly separate from the various other investment and trade-related disputes which Australia is currently facing as a result of introducing the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act,” BAT said. “These include Australia’s World Trade Organisation dispute with Honduras, Dominican Republic and Ukraine, and the claim Australia is facing for breaching its Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong.”

    Related IP-Watch articles are available here.

    WHO said the decision was based on evidence and that tobacco use “is one of the most preventable public health threats.”

    “Tobacco products will eventually kill up to half of the people who use them – that means nearly 6 million people die each year. If governments do not take strong action to limit exposures to tobacco, by 2030 it could kill more than 8 million people each year.”

    “With Australia’s victory, public health enters a brave new world of tobacco control,” WHO said. “Plain packaging is a highly effective way to counter industry’s ruthless marketing tactics. It is also fully in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.”

    The Australian government website on plain tobacco packaging is here.

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

     

    Comments

    1. Tobacco Packaging, Calvin Klein: Intellectual Property – Businessweek | says:

      [...] Reacts to Australia RulingAllAfrica.comAustralian court OKs logo ban on cigarette packsKhaleej TimesIntellectual Property Watchall 1,481 news [...]

    2. Why plain packaging doesn’t have us flustered « An Australian Perspective says:

      [...] The world noticed though, somewhat surprisingly, or not. They’ve all been watching us a lot recently. I guess it’s kind of awkward. We always end up being somewhat of a testing ground. [...]


    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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