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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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    20 Years Of TRIPS: Max Planck Launches Declaration On Patent Protection

    Published on 16 April 2014 @ 2:32 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition has launched a Declaration on Patent Protection with the aim to “clarify some of the regulatory options states still retain under international law, in particular the TRIPS Agreement,” which turns 20 years old this year. 

    The “Declaration on Patents Protection: Regulatory Sovereignty under TRIPS” was drafted in collaboration with 40 international patent scholars from 25 countries and under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. It was published for the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    “Since it is not the patent but the market that creates innovation opportunities and provides for innovation rewards, patent protection must be neutral in its effects on competition,” the preface of the declaration states. Either under-protection or overprotection of patents “causes a distortion of competition in that it prevents an efficient allocation of market revenues according to the competitive performance of market actors,” it adds.

    As states are being more and more bound by international, regional and bilateral agreements, it is considered that this leaves little policy space for pursuing national public interest goals. But according to the press release, this assertion is inaccurate, given that “international law permits many measures which are essential to a sustainable patent system.”

    Analysing provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, the declaration attempts to identify flexibilities states have when interpreting these provisions in their national legislation. The text is composed of a section which further explains the content of the declaration and the declaration itself, which contains 12 sections.

    Among them, in a general principles section, it states that TRIPS Agreement does not prevent states from adopting measures in order to ensure that competition is not restricted and that equally or more important public policies are not duly encumbered, if those measures are “necessary and reasonable in the light of the objectives pursued and the interests involved.”

    Furthermore, the declaration considers that states can make differentiations in policymaking depending on the technology field concerned. The declaration then states that states still have the possibility to define terms and concepts such as invention or technical in nature, but also what constitutes a lack of novelty and an inventive step.

    On the subject of compulsory licences, it considers that “Article 31 of the TRIPS Agreement does not limit the grounds on which a compulsory licence can be granted.”

    The non-discrimination principle in Article 27 does not apply to Articles 30 and 31 as “the principle of in dubio mitius precludes an interpretation to that effect,” the consideration section adds. In dubio mitius is a “principle of restrictive interpretation of treaty obligations in deference to the sovereignty of states,” according to a 2009 paper by Christophe J. Larouer (link here).

    Other parts of the Declaration on Patents concern scope of protection, exhaustion, exceptions to the scope of protection, government use, undisclosed information, enforcement, transit and criminal measures.

     

    Maëli Astruc may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Rebentisch says:

      “Furthermore, the declaration considers that states can make differentiations in policymaking depending on the technology field concerned.”

      It is advisable to review the TRIPs agreement inflexibilities. The uniform 20 years clause for instance inhibits the adaption of the instruments to more dynamic fields of technology.


    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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