USTR’s Investigations On IP Rights Against India: Is There A Tenable Case?

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On 14 October, the US Trade Representative (USTR) began the out-of-cycle review (OCR) of India’s intellectual property (IP) laws, the mandate which it gave itself in the 2014 Special 301 Report. Like several years in the past, the USTR once again included India in the Priority Watch List, but this time, India’s IP laws are being subjected to the additional scrutiny through an OCR. It is to be seen whether the OCR sets the stage for naming India as a Priority Foreign Country, viewed by the USTR as worst offender of intellectual property rights, in the next Special 301 report. USTR’s inclusion of India for the OCR was a reflection of the influence that the domestic lobbies have on the country’s engagement with its partner countries, and about USTR’s consistency with World Trade Organization rules, writes Biswajit Dhar.

The TPP’s New Plant-Related Intellectual Property Provisions

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The newly-released Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intellectual property (IP) chapter would help seed conglomerates like Monsanto prevent farmers from saving and using seeds that contain patented plant materials, even when such use is for their own personal consumption. The TPP language would also prevent breeders from using plants seeds that contain patented plant materials to research and develop new varieties. Most plant variety protection (PVP) systems allow farmers to save and reuse seeds (for noncommercial purposes) and permit breeders to use protected plant varieties to research and develop new varieties. In contrast, patents on plant-related inventions, as outlined in the TPP, may have few exceptions. This new text constitutes a huge step in the wrong direction, changing the plant IP regimes of many of the negotiating countries to the detriment of their populations, writes Public Citizen.

Interview – New CISAC Director Speaks On Expectations, Vision For The Future

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron

The Paris-based International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC) represents 230 collective management organisations in 120 countries, collecting fees on behalf of “creators.” In the past year, CISAC has become active advocating the case of creators at the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

CISAC organised a side event to the annual WIPO General Assembly in September (IPW, WIPO, 29 September 2014). Intellectual Property Watch’s Catherine Saez sat down with new CISAC Director General Gadi Oron after the side event, to ask him about his vision for the organisation.

Strengthening WIPO’s Governance For The Next 50 Years: A Time For Action

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In 2017, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will mark its 50th anniversary. In the lead up to that milestone, the next three years provide a vital opportunity for Member States to update and strengthen WIPO’s governance, both to address current problems and to better equip the organisation for addressing challenges that may arise in the next 50 years, writes Carolyn Deere Birkbeck.

Gilead Monopoly Prevails Over Non-Discriminatory Access As Debated Hepatitis C Deal Sets Off

Cost of Medicines

Gilead on 15 September struck voluntary licence deals with seven India-based generic manufacturers to expand access to its hepatitis C innovative drugs in developing countries. With a limited territory covered, this, yet deserving, pact raises doubts about the coherence of Indian counterparts at a time when there are no relevant patents in India, several pre-grant oppositions have been filed and unrestrained competition by compulsory licences could have been pursued, writes Daniele Dionisio.

Interview With KIPO Commissioner Kim Young-min

KIPO- KIM Young-min

South Korea is now considered one of the most influential countries in the IP field. Intellectual Property Watch exchanged a set of questions for Kim Young-min, commissioner of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) since 2013, speaking about KIPO’s policies for increasing international cooperation, reducing first action pendency, and preventing “bad faith” trademark applicants in Korea from making unfair profits.

The Perfect Package: A Checklist To Avoid Legal Challenges

By William Rava and Jason Howell, Perkins Coie Product packaging is an increasingly important marketing opportunity.  Well-executed product packaging can support and strengthen your brand identity, differentiate your product on the shelf, and convey important, and often required, information to consumers.  But there are also many potential pitfalls – from intellectual property issues to advertising […]

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, writes Brian Kahin.

Analysis: Monkey In The Middle Of Selfie Copyright Dispute

The recent case of a monkey selfie that went viral on the web raised thorny issues of ownership between a (human) photographer and Wikimedia. Two attorneys from Morrison & Foerster sort out the relevant copyright law.

Internet Governance And Celestial Mechanics

At a recent meeting of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), a Cuban expert offered a humorous – but at the same time serious – vision of global internet governance. Below are his remarks.