This Week’s Vote Will Show Who Finnish MPs Listen To On Copyright, EFFi Says

Lex-Karpela

On 24 October, the Finnish Parliament is expected to vote on the Citizens’ Initiative for Common Sense for Copyright Act, which aims to make Finnish copyright law more user-oriented. But with a proposal to gut the Act, a counter-proposal to save it, and unprecedented lobbying expected, the next two days should be interesting, writes Electronic Frontier Finland.

Little-Known Case May Dramatically Change US Patent System

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The patent case recently argued before the US Supreme Court is relatively unknown, and for good reason. It involves no exciting new technology. It has no controversial patent claims (e.g., covering human genes). However, Teva Pharms. USA v. Sandoz, Inc. could produce major changes in America’s patent system.

TRIPS Council Next Week: Tobacco, Innovation, Non-Violations, Public Health Review

WTO   - Catherine Saez

The next meeting of the World Trade Organization Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is scheduled to take place on 28-29 October. In addition to the regular agenda items of the Council, two additional agenda items have been submitted by members, relating to tobacco plain packaging and innovation. Image Credits: Catherine Saez

UPOV Meetings Conclude With New Observers; Tanzania Can Become UPOV Member

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The international body protecting new varieties of plants concluded a week-long set of meetings with a number of decisions, among which was the re-appointment of its secretary general, and the addition of an international organisation and a farmers’ organisation as observers. The national legislation on plant breeders of Zanzibar was approved, opening the way for Tanzania to become a UPOV member.

WTO Director General Presents TRIPS As Major Tool For Trade Growth

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World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo this week hailed WTO’s intellectual property agreement, saying the past two decades show it provides a balanced multilateral foundation for the growth of trade in knowledge-rich products and services.

Ebola Vaccine Candidates Centre Of Attention; Clinical Trials, IP Negotiations Start

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Today, the World Health Organization gave a press briefing to update journalists on what to expect in the near future on Ebola treatments and vaccines.

Review of “Digital Depression: Information Technology And Economic Crisis”

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Information and communication technologies (ICTs), and in particular the internet, have revolutionized and disrupted all aspects of human activity, and even behaviour. This has resulted in many academic publications and much discussion, including in intergovernmental bodies, regarding various issues, including how best to govern the internet.

Dan Schiller’s book helps us to understand the background of these events, which have affected economic and political power relations, and how US policies have consistently favoured capital over labour, and have resulted in transfers of vast sums from developing countries to developed countries, writes Richard Hill.

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.

Leaked TPP Draft Reveals Extreme Rights Holder Position Of US, Japan, Outraged Observers Say

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Critics poring over a newly leaked alleged draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) intellectual property chapter say it shows the United States is taking an all-out lurch toward greater protection and less access, causing outrage among public interest groups.