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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.

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.

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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.

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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    WHO Executive Board Opens With Overcrowded Agenda; Chan Calls For Focus

    Published on 20 January 2014 @ 5:14 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The World Health Organization Executive Board opened this morning with a packed agenda, which prompted the chair to warn participants to restrict their statements. Director General Margaret Chan described as problematic the temptation to address all public health issues, and encouraged member states to focus on strategic and selective goals. Member countries also expressed concerns about the length of the agenda.

    The 134th WHO Executive Board (EB) is meeting from 20-25 January. The EB is expected to decide on the agenda of the next annual World Health Assembly in May. According to the WHO, “the main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.” It includes 34 members, which are elected for three-year terms.

    The EB documents are here.

    At the outset of the meeting, EB Chair Jane Halton, secretary of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, and responsible for Australia’s national health system, noted that a large number of people had showed up to observe and participate in this session of the EB.

    Halton said that the agenda [pdf] is more crowded than ever before, which could challenge the ability to go through all items by the scheduled conclusion on Saturday noon, and would items showing later on the agenda at a disadvantage.

    Two agenda items were approved and added. One is a proposal [pdf] from Finland on “Contributing to social and economic development: sustainable action across sectors to improve health and health equity.” The other one is a proposal [pdf] from Brazil on “Follow-up of the Recife Political Declaration on Human Resources for Health: renewed commitments towards universal health coverage.” Lebanon, although supportive of the proposals, remarked that the agenda already included close to 70 items and 17 resolutions and it would already be difficult to discuss all items, even with night sessions, which should be taken into account for future sessions. This was also noted in several countries’ opening statements.

    The chair proposed that the issue of the length of the agenda be discussed later in the week.

    In opening statements, countries said universal coverage and reform of the WHO are key priorities.

    This week, there are a number of issues of interest from an intellectual property and innovation standpoint, as well as a key issue of how the UN organisation should handle its relationship with non-state actors (IPW, WHO, 18 January 2014).

    Chan: Focus Brings Better Results

    Chan said, in her opening statement, that this session of the EB shows a record-breaking number of participants as well as the largest number “by far” of items on the agenda for a non-budgetary year. She interpreted the high participation and the crowded agenda as a sign of interest in global health and the diversity of concerns.

    She also said it showed “some measure of confidence that WHO is the right agency” to address public health concerns.

    However, she noted the WHO “must be strategic and highly selective in the work it undertakes” rather than dilute efforts. “It is an easy trap to fall into, and it is dangerous,” she said. “If this happens, WHO will have a lot to say, but very little to show, especially in terms of health outcomes in your countries” she added.

    She said one of the reasons for the success of the Millennium Development Goals is their limited number. She added that the 12th General Programme of Work, approved by member states last May, includes six leadership priorities.

    WHO and its member states “must resist the temptation to cover every issue in the vast domain of public health,” she said. Demands on WHO and health ministries are rising under the combined effect of the increase of non communicable diseases increase, population aging, crowded cities and climate change, she said.

    She also underlined the rising cost of health care and the unaffordability of new medicines and medical devices, even for the wealthiest countries.

    “In recent years, the Health Assembly has approved a number of global strategies and action plans for addressing specific diseases or needs. This is good. All have clearly defined objectives, targets, and indicators, and this helps ensure that countries and their partners align activities in a tightly focused and coordinated way,” she said. However, a large number of health initiatives and actors “has led to fragmentation, duplication of efforts, high transaction costs, and heavy reporting and monitoring requirements for countries.”

    In particular, she noted that many countries do not have the resources to produce data to monitor indicators, such as those needed for the global monitoring framework and targets for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. According to WHO estimates, she said, only 81 out of the 194 WHO member countries regularly submit useable death registration data.

    “We should be ambitious with these strategies and plans, but also pragmatic and realistic,” she said, adding that capacities of countries should be built but not overburdened.

    She also noted that for medicines, only about 20 percent of member states have a well-functioning regulatory authority, 50 percent of them have variable regulatory quality and some 30 percent have very limited capacity.

    Chan gave an account of progress in the WHO reform process. She said two financing dialogues have been held. These discussions, she said, have included the identification of areas where resources can be used more efficiently and recommendations for some novel remedial actions that can help save money.”

    “Further financing reforms aim to strengthen coordinated resource mobilisation at all levels of the organisation,” she added.

    On performance, she said that to date WHO has prequalified more than 400 medical products, 62 last year. The WHO estimates, she said, that 97 percent of the global vaccine supply is currently “of assured quality.”

    “Any country, not matter how poor, can improve health if it really wants to,” she said, citing examples of eradications in some African countries, and underlining that India has not seen a case of polio for three years.

     

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

     

    Comments

    1. Vaccines In Middle-Income Countries, Noncommunicable Diseases Discussed At WHO | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] at the outset by the Chair warning against long statements due to the length of the agenda (IPW, WHO, 20 January 2014). In particular, member states took note of the WHO report [pdf] on the Global Vaccine Action Plan, […]

    2. WHO Board Tackles Reform, Engagement With Non-State Actors | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] The chair of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board (PBAC) presented the report [pdf] of the PBAC, which met earlier in January, on the WHO reform, and called for member states “to expedite the implementation of the governance reforms in order to achieve strengthened oversight and strategic decision-making by WHO’s governing bodies.” He also noted concerns at the increasing number of agenda items in governing bodies meetings (IPW, WHO, 20 January 2014). […]


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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.

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