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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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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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    African Union Declares It Will Proceed With Pan-African IP Office

    Published on 6 February 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The heads of state of the African Union (AU), the regional body working on African integration, have decided to proceed with the establishment of a Pan-African Intellectual Property Office (PAIPO), despite misgivings about the potential impact on their local economies.

    A press release from the 28 January AU Summit states: “The Heads of State also decided to create the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO). They requested the Commission to convene a meeting of all stakeholders dealing with intellectual property in the implementation of the Decision by May 2013 Summit.”

    Public information is difficult to obtain from the African Union, and nothing further is known at this time.

    A meeting of the AU ministerial conference on science and technology last autumn put off decision on the PAIPO proposal after concerns were raised (IPW, Developing Country Policy, 24 October 2012).

    A copy of the draft PAIPO proposal, which appears would place a new layer of control over the continent’s IP offices, is available here (IPW, Developing Country Policy, 27 September 2012). It is unclear whether changes have been made to the draft text since that time.

    Perhaps foretelling the welcome the proposal would receive by leaders, the 20th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit met from 21-28 January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme: “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.”

    The AU website states the Union’s goals as “accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalisation.”

    It continues: “The main objectives of the OAU were, inter alia, to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity among African States; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.”

    It might be asked whether signing up to the global IP system, in which nearly all of the IP rights are owned by non-African entities, fits with these objectives.

    There is currently no IP office for all of Africa. There are national offices and two regional offices: the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO), and the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI).

    In another action, the heads of state endorsed the creation of an African Observatory on Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) to be hosted by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The leaders “called on Member States and Development partners to avail the necessary technical and financial support for sustaining the AOSTI and its programmes,” the release said.

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

     

    Comments

    1. The Record: This Week in Review | says:

      [...] African Union announced that it will set up a pan-African intellectual property office. The goal is to facilitate [...]

    2. Top 10 Weekly IP & Patent News Update - Article One Partners says:

      [...]  African Union Declares It Will Proceed With Pan-African IP Office – Intellectual Property Watch [...]


    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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