Most-Read IP-Watch Stories Of 2012: India Pharma, Europe, ACTA, WIPO Technical Assistance, Gene Patents

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As 2012 becomes a memory, it is fair to say that the intellectual property rights discussion shifted over the past year, with trade agreements, over-reaching in copyright and patents, and the provision of technical assistance all falling under increased pressure. At least if the most-read Intellectual Property Watch stories of the year are any indication.

Among the top most-read stories was coverage of efforts in India to manage patents on pharmaceuticals, including the Indian government’s issuance of its first compulsory licence for a pharmaceutical, the country’s battle between generic and brand name drug producers, and court cases such as Swiss drug maker Novartis’ challenge of the Indian patent law.

Major developments in Europe also received top following, such as the end of year approval of a European unitary patent and creation of a network of patent courts, and the Parliament’s passage of an orphan works directive. A high-ranking story was about the Pirate Party using the United Nations as a platform to remind policymakers that users own their information.

The beleaguered Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) received significant attention as well, as it was defeated in Europe and encountered resistance elsewhere.

The issue of patenting of genetic resources was consistently popular, with stories about the US Supreme Court and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

And stories about technical assistance to developing countries drew interest, such as a one-sided training session in Africa that was eventually scrapped, and a series of events that dragged WIPO into the heat of US election year politics when it was discovered that WIPO has been giving technology to sanctioned countries like Iran and North Korea. In general, stories about the functioning of WIPO were consistently well read.

Notably, several stories dating back as far as 2009 held their positions among the most-read, including one in Spanish involving an Argentine professor’s published work and the issue of access to education, and another laying out the broadcasting industry’s arguments for a WIPO broadcasting treaty. A 2011 story about US farmers’ legal battles with Monsanto over seeds also continued to attract significant readership.

A special directory of government officials working on intellectual property issues in Geneva garnered a lot of traffic, and it is notable that several of the top articles of the year were not news stories but rather opinion pieces from outside experts.

Surprisingly absent from the top list were the many IP-Watch stories about the World Health Organization. Also seemingly missing is coverage of the highly confidential negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), plus the stunning defeats of the so-called SOPA and PIPA bills in the US at the start of the year.

Finally, several stories in the global public eye also drew readership numbers at Intellectual Property Watch. These included the Apple-Samsung patent dispute, the impact of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and a World Trade Organization dispute settlement case against Australia for its public health law requiring plain packaging for cigarettes sold in the country.

Broadly speaking, Intellectual Property Watch readers are diverse and well-distributed across the globe. During the past 12 months, we published hundreds of stories on a wide range of topics, with the heaviest emphasis on the international institutions in Geneva. Some stories are placed behind password, for subscribers (free for most developing countries), so access to them is more limited. Yet even some protected stories are among the most-read.

As we head into 2013, the year ahead looks more interesting than ever for intellectual property rights, as companies and governments place high value on these assets, courts wade deeper into the issues, and users and public interest advocates continue to work to ensure balance in the process. Stay tuned as Intellectual Property Watch brings you the most important stories of 2013 and as always, let us know what you think!

The Most-Read IP-Watch Stories Of 2012

India Grants First Compulsory Licence, For Bayer Cancer Drug

Europe Reaches Agreement On Unitary Patent

Pirate Party Rep Tells UN Meeting: “F*** You, This Is My Culture!”

India’s Generics-Big Pharma Battle Drops Drug Prices, Raises Legal Debate

European Parliament Passes Orphan Works Directive

Novartis Before India’s Supreme Court: What’s Really At Stake?

US Congressional Committee Cancels Briefing, Blames WIPO Director General

Indigenous Peoples Walk Out Of WIPO Committee On Genetic Resources

US Supreme Court Reverses Myriad Decision Allowing Gene Patents

Fast By Senior WIPO Official Raises Old Staff Questions At UN Agency

Un caso sobre derechos de autor en Argentina pone en primer plano el acceso a la educación

Broadcasting Industry Makes Case For WIPO Treaty Revival

Inside Views: Patently Wrong – The Jury’s Verdict In Apple v. Samsung

Inside Views: The Contributions Of Julian Assange To The Debate On Intellectual Property

German Ministry Advises Developing Countries Not To Sign ACTA

EU Patent, Patent Court Could Finally Be Approved In Coming Weeks

US, WIPO Training Programme On IP Rights In Africa Comes Under Fire

Ukraine WTO Trademark Dispute Vs. Australia Tests Public Health Measures

New UN Human Rights Council Resolution On Internet Rights

India: Balancing Public And Private Interests In The Intellectual Property Regime

European Parliament Rejects Referral Of ACTA To EU High Court

A Look At Who’s Who In Geneva IP Policymaking And Beyond

Brazil HIV Drug Patent Ruling Allows Generics, Sends Pipeline Process Into Doubt

Most EU Members Sign ACTA; SOPA-Style Protests Building

ACTA: Will It Ever Become A Valid International Treaty?

US Farmers Sue Monsanto Over GMO Patents, Demand Right To Conventional Crops

Inside Views: How To Reboot WIPO

Changes Coming For Open Access To Research In Europe

Is ACTA Dying And Are G8 Countries Reacting To Its Impending Death?

Singapore Builds Patent Capacity Ahead Of New System

WIPO’s Gurry Discusses Iran/North Korea; Denies Whistleblower Retaliation

WIPO Achieves Single Legal Text On Genetic Resources; Indigenous Peoples Back

US Supreme Court Narrows Patentable Subject Matter

US IP Officials Blast NGOs In Geneva

Divergent Approaches To Copyright Reform Emerge In Europe

US Cracks Down On Download Sites In Midst Of Anti-Piracy Debate

William New may be reached at

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