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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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    European Court Upholds Confidentiality In International Treaty Talks

    Published on 20 March 2013 @ 6:55 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    The Second Chamber of the European General Court in a judgment today strengthened confidentiality rules in international treaty negotiations.

    For the full text see here.

    It ruled mainly against complainant Sophie in’t Veld, member of the Liberal Party Group in the European Parliament, who had asked for the partial annulment of a decision by the European Commission to refuse access for a long list of documents relating to the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

    The Court had ruled in favour of in’t Veld that the Commission had classified too many documents – even a mere description “concerning European Union law in the field of intellectual property, in relation to the Internet.” But the Court also had, according to in’t Veld, “supported the Commission by stating that a general confidentiality agreement with negotiating partners is allowed.” See press release here.

    The Court said the Commission was justified in withholding for example documents on member states’ positioning on criminal law enforcement provisions in ACTA, or on daily email between the negotiators, which are withheld by the ruling from the public eye, based on provisions in article 4 of EU Regulation 1049/2001.

    “The unilateral disclosure of those documents by the European Union, in the context of international negotiations based on mutual trust between negotiating parties, would have undermined the protection of the public interest as regards international relations,” it said.

    In an initial reaction, in’t Veld warned, “This way diplomatic negotiations are routinely classified confidential while citizens are left in the dark.” Her lawyer Onno Brouwer said, according to in’t Veld’s press release, “With this ruling, the Court gives an explanation of the exception provided in the transparency-regulation for the protection of international relations and puts diplomacy above democracy.”

    It is unclear whether in’t Veld will appeal today’s decision, her assistant told Intellectual Property Watch. In her press release, she announced that she will make transparency a key issue in the 2014 parliamentary election campaign.

    The current EU transparency regulation is considered no longer sufficient, and a review of the Transparency Regulation started in 2008 is in a deadlock between the institutions.

    Last year, in’t Veld partially won another transparency case before the Fifth Chamber of the General Court regarding refusal of access to information about the negotiations on the Terrorist-Finance Tracking Program between the EU and the US. This was appealed by the Council based on the argument, inter alia, that it was not up to the Court to carry out a full review of the Council’s reasons for denying access and thereby “replacing the Council’s assessment of the foreign policy consequences of the public release of the document with its own assessment.”

    The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure heavily criticised the ruling, stating that the Court disregarded that “multinationals do have access to negotiation texts, … meaningful debates in parliaments are impossible this way,” and “scrutiny gives a higher quality.” It called the judgment “a disservice to democracy.”

    Monika Ermert 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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