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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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    UN Agency Ties Fraudulent Pharmaceuticals To Organised Crime In West Africa

    Published on 26 February 2013 @ 4:13 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    A United Nations agency has linked shipments of fraudulent pharmaceuticals with cocaine trafficking and smuggling of migrants as illegal activities carried out by transnational organised crime syndicates that are contributing to instability in West Africa.

    The report [pdf] is a threat assessment issued by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) entitled Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa.

    It found that the profit from cocaine trafficking alone may still be larger than the national security budgets of several West African countries, making it difficult for local law enforcement. Support will be needed from outside the region to tackle the problem, it said. More data collection and regional coordination is essential.

    On fraudulent medicines, it said they are mainly trafficked from South and East Asia (overwhelmingly China, followed by India), but some are manufactured locally. Some have been detected transiting Europe, while most shipments travel through free zones, such as in Dubai. Imports have grown at a remarkable rate, it said, as the value of pharmaceuticals imported into West Africa more than tripled from 2004 to 2010.

    In defining such medicines, the report acknowledges the differences in terms used by the World Health Organization and in collected data, and then defines them as medicines differing substantially from what the packaging says they are. The dangers from this are grave, it said.

    Using a variety of citations, the report provides details on the manufacturing and selling of fraudulent medicines, such as how they are shipped, the supply chains and who is doing it. Some products suggest intentional fraud (such as counterfeit packaging or substitute ingredients), others may just represent incompetence, while others are hard to pin down, it said. Often, doses are undercut, perhaps to save costs, but not so much that they are detected in simple reagent tests.

    In the case of China, there appear to be West Africans in China and Chinese in West Africa involved. China and India are also setting up manufacturing facilities in the region.

    Medicinal fraudsters are opportunistic, UNODC said, and so the prevalence of the problem is much higher in countries that lack the ability to crack down.

    Studies found a wide variation between countries in the way drugs are distributed but that often the official government-sanctioned pharmacies are inefficient and uncompetitive, leaving many to opt for cheaper informal options.

    On policy implications, the report said, “West African pharmaceutical markets are greatly in need of regulation, but it is unlikely that many West African states will have the capacity to regulate them in the near term.”

    “At present, the region has both very open borders and completely disparate pharmaceutical distribution systems,” it said.

    As to recommendations, the report said the approach should be regional, and made the suggestion that a region-wide list of approved producers be prepared.

    “Manufacturers who repeatedly introduce substandard medications would be blacklisted,” it said. “Medicines from nonapproved sources would be subject to confiscation. This list should be centrally managed to reduce abuses and to promote competition.”

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

     

    Comments

    1. Microbiology News Opportunity For Pharmaceutical Markets In West Africa » Microbiology News says:

      [...] was a report that states that a United States agency has been linked to some fraudulent pharmaceuticals with cocaine trafficking and smuggling of migrants which became a threat to West Africa. It was [...]


    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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