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IP-Watch Interns Summer 2013

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

Inside Views

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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.

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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.

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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.

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    United States Chided As TRIPS Scofflaw At WTO

    Published on 26 March 2013 @ 8:02 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    A clause found to be unfairly protecting a rum company’s US market by denying trademark rights quietly stuck into a US Congress appropriations bill in the deep of night in the late 1990s continues to haunt the halls of the World Trade Organization – but that does not seem to trouble US trade authorities. And this is not the only intellectual property-related case being met with US indifference, an irony for possibly the biggest proponent of IP rights in the world.

    “The conduct of the United States unscrupulously discredits the WTO dispute settlement system and also constitutes an affront to the intellectual property rights,” an ambassador from Cuba said today at the WTO.

    At a WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting today, a number of WTO members fired shots at the US delegation for its continued failure to change its laws to comply with WTO rulings that found it out of compliance on intellectual property-related issues.

    This includes the case involving a rum trademark dating back over a decade, and a more recent case involving a US online gambling ban that led a WTO panel to authorise the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda to extract payment by not protecting US IP rights until it complies.

    The irony of the US as IP scofflaw was not lost on competitors like Antigua and Barbuda or Cuba, which said the US slackness discredits its IP rights enforcement campaign as well as the very WTO dispute settlement process itself.

    “It is very ironic to observe the United States projecting laws on intellectual property, despite keeping violations as egregious as Section 211,” under which the Bacardi Company continues to market rum labelled Havana Club, a mark which is otherwise owned by Cuba and partners. “This is one of the most famous cases of trademark counterfeiting and conducting misleading advertising by a company backed by the US legislation.”

    The lack of any substantive change by the United States in today’s report to the DSB “is irrefutable proof that this country has [done] nothing during more than 11 years to comply with the DSB recommendations and rulings, which ruled the incompatibility of ‘Section 211 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998′ with the TRIPS Agreement and the Paris Convention,” the Cuban ambassador to the WTO said in a translated statement. TRIPS is the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Cuba has interest in the rum case because it is a part owner of the rum trademark everywhere in the world except the United States.

    “The legislative projects to which the US delegation makes reference in their reports each month remain stagnant because it does not constitute a priority or real interest for the administration or the Congress of that country,” Cuba said. “However, by their displaying of incoherent foreign policy, we frequently observe how that Member promotes initiatives in terms of ‘enforcement of intellectual property rights.’”

    For instance, Cuba said the recently announced US-European Union trade agreement contains the goal of “maintaining and promoting a high level of protection” of IPRs, and said this bilateral trade agreement should be “critically question[ed].”

    Even the 27-member European Union weighed in on the Section 211 case, thanking the US for its report and adding the hope that “US authorities will very soon take steps towards implementing the DSB ruling and resolve this matter.” The EU also urged that the US comply with another IP case – Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act – which involved the US commercial practice of playing music recordings, such as Irish music, aloud in bars without paying royalties. “We refer to our previous statements that we would like to resolve this case as soon as possible,” the EU said.

    Venezuela joined Cuba in condemning the United States for its failure to comply with the rum case, and raised deep concerns about a continued lack of action. “This situation is unacceptable, disappointing, and worrying, not only because it affects a developing country member of this organisation, but also for the grave repercussions against the credibility of DSB and the multilateral system of trade,” Venezuela said in its statement (unofficial translation).

    Zimbabwe also spoke in support of Cuba, saying, “Once again, it is regrettable that the United States of America continues to disregard the rulings and recommendations of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body in the dispute.”

    The United States for its part had numerous complaints about other nations, such as the European Union’s slow adherence to a ruling requiring it to accept biotech products.

    Antigua and Barbuda: Last Call for US Settlement

    Meanwhile, in the high-profile online gambling case where Antigua and Barbuda have been given the green light to retaliate under the TRIPS Agreement by not protecting US IPRs, the tiny nation today again appealed the United States to show progress toward complying with the WTO ruling.

    “The delegation of Antigua and Barbuda has so far not seen substantial progress on compliance by the United States with the DSB’s decision,” the country said in a shortened version of its statement. “Nor have they seen substantial progress by the United States in achieving a settlement with Antigua and Barbuda.”

    The country said it is “disappointed” by the lack of progress as the “negative consequences of this protracted impasse are very real for Antigua and Barbuda.” It said the case is a test for member states “seeking to determine whether the [WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding] can deliver practical and timely benefits for small and vulnerable countries.”

    It demanded a reason why after 5 years the US still cannot honour the DSB decision nor reach an agreed settlement. In January, the DSB authorised Antigua and Barbuda to use cross-retaliation under TRIPS to recover its damages.

    “But before it sets its foot to that path, Antigua and Barbuda appeals to the United States to make one last effort at bringing its complex bureaucratic structure to a decision that will avoid unpredictable consequences,” it said. “The delegation of Antigua and Barbuda also appeals to the DSB to realize that justice delayed is justice denied, and urges closer attention to the systemic issues that surround this case that threaten the health of the system the WTO has for the resolution of trade disputes.”

    William New may be reached at wnew@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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