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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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    Blind Treaty Discussions Could Wander, All Sides Ask For Focus

    Published on 20 February 2013 @ 5:00 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Consensus remains elusive for World Intellectual Property Organization trying to prepare a text for final negotiations on an international instrument facilitating access to books and information to blind people, and some countries are growing concerned.

    This morning, on the third day of the weeklong special session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), the WIPO secretariat presented the plenary meeting of delegates with a summary of the closed informal meetings that took place yesterday.

    No new text was issued today, due to a lack of consensus on the drafting exercise, the secretariat said. The informal discussions focussed in particular on how the treaty would fit with other international copyright treaties, such as the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

    Discussions also centered on the principles of application on page 21 of the last version of the draft text [pdf], the secretariat said, and a small negotiating group discussed scenarios on how to treat the three step test in the context of the treaty, and whether it should be included within the treaty itself. One specific situation was evoked in which new or unanticipated technological developments would lead to the development of exceptions that were not anticipated in the agreement and how the three step test might interact with that situation.

    The three step test comes from Article 9(2) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. It provides exceptions to the right of reproduction, stating that reproductions should not “conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.”

    The small drafting group did not yet find consensus, the Secretariat said. One of the concerns is how to express a general non derogation provision that would state that nothing in the treaty would affect existing obligations under other copyright treaties under which member states already have obligations.

    The three step test has been one of the major division point between developed and developing countries (IPW, WIPO, 15 February 2013).

    Developing Countries Concerned

    The Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries (GRULAC) said their members were concerned with the current state of the negotiations on the eve of the diplomatic conference expected to take place in Morocco next June, and asked that delegations not forget the main objective, which is to help visually impaired people to access special formats. The GRULAC statement was supported by Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. 

    “We should not be put off by the report of what is happening with the text when in fact what is going on has little to do with the text,” said the Venezuelan delegate. “There are matters and issues that have been introduced that are really political issues which should have been resolved in December when we called for a diplomatic conference, which have nothing to do with the text we are working on,” he said.

    The Brazilian delegate said his country was committed to “have a treaty that makes a difference on the ground.” The delegation concentrated its efforts on Article C (beneficiary persons), Article D (cross-border exchange of accessible format copies), and Article E (Importation of accessible format copies).

    Nigeria said that in Africa, the difficult conditions met by visually impaired people was worsened by poverty and lack of access to basic human needs, which made the work of the SCCR “enormously important.”

    “The demand by certain countries for provisions in this text that are unnecessary for the implementation of this treaty has created challenges both structural and substantive but also normative for the capacity of individual countries to do even more for their visually impaired persons,” the Nigerian delegate said.

    Developed Countries Ask for Focus on Availability of Special Formats

    The European Union said the shared objective is to have a treaty that can be joined by as many states as possible for the benefit of the visually impaired worldwide. The EU delegate said that if the committee focusses on achieving a treaty that “addresses the issues that we are meant to address here – which is enhancing the availability of special format for the visually impaired – we should be able to reach a solution.” However, if issues are brought up that are unrelated to the problem we are trying to solve “we risk failing in our effort,” she said.

    The United States rejoiced in the fact that everyone declared commitment and absolute resolve, although the two first days were frustrating, and said 57 countries have exceptions and limitations in their legislations and the efforts on this instrument had never been to judge national exceptions and limitations.

    The French delegate regretted the “dramatisation” of issues this morning and that some comments were given in a lesson-giving tone. “Nobody has ‘le monopole du coeur’”, he said, borrowing a phrase that became famous in French politics and means nobody has a “monopoly of the heart”. He said nobody has a monopoly on defending human rights and the cause for visually impaired people should not be turned into an instrument.

    Copyright not only serves authors in developed countries but also developing country creators’ intellectual independence and freedom of thought, he said, by providing them with an economic independence.

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


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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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