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IP-Watch Summer Interns

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

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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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    Reshaping The International Copyright System To Facilitate Education In Developing Countries

    Published on 28 November 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    International copyright flexibilities are ill-suited to the need of developing countries to create effective access to printed materials in schools, a new book argues. The author, whose work was presented last week at the World Intellectual Property Organization, urges a normative and institutional rethinking of the current system.

    The book, “International Copyright Law and Access to Education in Developing Countries: Exploring Multilateral Legal and Quasi Legal Solutions,” was authored by Susan Isiko Štrba, senior IP and development research affiliate at the University of Minnesota. It was presented alongside a meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee last week. The event was sponsored by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), and the book is available here.

    The author demonstrates the difficulties in applying the so-called three-step test in copyright, which allows for specific uses of the protected works without the permission of the right holder. For instance, under Article 9(2) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and Article 13 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the exception is narrow both in the qualitative and quantitative sense, allowing only a limited reproduction of the protected works.

    As reminded by Guidibende Raghavender, registrar of copyrights in India and panellist at the launch of the book, countries like India suffer from a lack of resources and libraries are underequipped, so if the exception is overly limitative it does not match the need for broad dissemination of the knowledge.

    The 1971 Appendix to the Berne Convention sets up a mechanism specifically designed for developing countries’ access to education, but the procedural requirements of the Appendix are overly stringent, and more problematically, the procedure is extremely long. According to Article III (3) (i) of the Berne Appendix, an application for a reproduction licence of a work in natural and physical sciences can only be made three years after the first publication of the work. This diminishes the incentive to have recourse to the mechanism. After three years – in areas where schooling programmes are constantly evolving – the books might be outdated. The situation for the reproduction of other books is even worse, with a waiting period of five years.

    The flaws of the current flexibilities are the expression of the imbalance between the private interest of the copyright holder and the broader social interest of the public. The book advocates for an institutional reform and a normative re-ordering within the IP system so as to better take into account the needs and special socio-economic circumstances of the global South.

    For the author, a better balance must be sought internationally. She places a lot of hope in what can be accomplished through the WIPO Development Agenda and the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). For her, these tools could lead in the long run to the establishment of a soft law instrument or institutional reform putting the copyright regime more on track with educational needs.

    The author’s analysis might rely too much on the nature of current international IP legal instruments and institutions to the detriment of an exploration of solutions at the domestic level. As stressed by some participants during the presentation, the problem of access to printed materials in schools is also the responsibility of governments that often misallocate their resources and priorities other domains than education.

    Participants said the book fills an academic gap and targets an important theme for the development of the South. Raghavender emphasised that education is a vital factor for the socio-economic development of countries. The creation of a knowledge economy is a key tool for reaching the educational UN Millennium Development Goals.

    Tiphaine Nunzia Caulier recently graduated with a Master in International Law from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and UCLA School of Law. Through her work experiences and academic interests she has specialized in international trade, intellectual property, and public health.

    Tiphaine Nunzia Caulier may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


    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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