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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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    New WIPO Text On Genetic Resources Misappropriation; Disclosure Still Uncertain

    Published on 6 February 2014 @ 1:42 am

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    World Intellectual Property Organization member countries are working to get past their differences this week toward agreement on a way to protect genetic resources from biopiracy. A new document shows focus on misappropriation as a policy objective, and that a bridge still needs to be found on the issue of mandatory disclosure of origin in patent applications. 

    After bringing ambassadors and senior officials into the discussion this week at the outset of the 26th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) with inconclusive results, technical experts worked on a draft text of what could become an international instrument of protection of genetic resources.

    At the end of the afternoon today (5 February), a new text [pdf] (rev.1) was issued by the WIPO secretariat. The new text was engineered by experts working in small groups aided in their tasks by facilitators.

    Ian Goss of Australia, acting as “friend of the chair,” gave a brief presentation of the new text and its main differences compared to the original text [pdf] that delegates had been working from and carried over from the last session of the IGC on genetic resources, in February 2013 (IPW, WIPO, 8 February 2013).

    In particular, there is now one policy objective instead of two, indicating an effort at agreeing on the most important objective of the instrument. Goss said the policy objective was now focused on preventing the misappropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. The new paragraph contains ingredients from the two previous options, but giving a high order to misappropriation as a core policy issue, he said.

    The reference to compliance with international and national laws relating to benefit-sharing has been replaced by a broader reference to complementarity with international agreements.

    Goss mentioned that the substantive area discussed was a disclosure requirement, in order to try to move towards some common ground. This has been a major bone of contention in past sessions of the IGC. The work on this issue is still in progress, Goss said.

    Defensive measures in the new document have been fleshed out with elements from the two joint recommendations that have been put forward by developed countries. One is a joint recommendation [pdf] from Canada, Japan, Norway, South Korea and the United States, and the other one [pdf] has been tabled by Canada, Japan, South Korea and the US.

    “Amongst disclosure proponents there was a recognition in relation to the need to have flexibility in implementation at the national level … because countries deal differently with access and benefit sharing and disclosure,” according to Goss. This was reflected in the text, he added.

    Delegates are expected to discuss the new document overnight and deliver their comments on it tomorrow morning (6 February) for one hour in plenary session, before letting experts head back to the drafting table.

    The IGC is meeting from 3-7 February.

     

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

     

    Comments

    1. Intellectual Property News Roundup | MultiLing Blog says:

      […] World Intellectual Property Organization member countries are working to get past their differences this week toward agreement on a way to protect genetic resources from biopiracy. A new document shows focus on misappropriation as a policy objective, and that a bridge still needs to be found on the issue of mandatory disclosure of origin in patent applications. http://www.ip-watch.org/2014/02/06/new-wipo-text-on-genetic-resources-focuses-on-misappropriation-di… […]

    2. New Access And Benefit Sharing Clearing-House Website Presented At WIPO | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] of the Nagoya Protocol had been dropped from the section on policy objective of the draft text (IPW, WIPO, 6 February 2014). However, she believes it remains implied in the term “international agreements and […]

    3. WIPO Genetic Resources Text Compiles Differences, Headed To General Assembly | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] Experts from countries, working in small groups, helped by facilitators and a friend the chair, Ian Goss of Australia, had been trying to produce a text reflecting all points of view. A first revision of the original text was published on 5 February (IPW, WIPO, 6 February 2014). […]

    4. Top 10 IP and Patent News Update - Article One Partners says:

      […]  New WIPO Text on Genetic Resources Misappropriation – IP Watch […]


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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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