World Health Assembly Concludes With Actions On Range Of Issues

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The 68th World Health Assembly (WHA), which took place from 18-26 May, was characterised as one of the most successful annual assemblies ever by Margaret Chan, World Health Organization director general. From the standpoint of intellectual property, access and innovation, this may be debatable. Below is a guide to the main accomplishments highlighted by Intellectual Property Watch.

These include: action plans to fight antibiotic resistance and to boost vaccinations, extension of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPA), incremental progress on alternative research and development for neglected diseases, status of the pandemic influenza preparedness framework, response to emergencies like Ebola, and WHO’s relationship with lobbyists and donors.

WHO Engagement With Non-State Actors: No Deal This Year, Work To Continue

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The annual World Health Assembly closed today following a decision to postpone for one year completion of a new policy on the UN agency’s engagement with industry, foundations and other “non-state actors.”

An Interview With WIPO Director General Francis Gurry On The New Lisbon Act For GIs

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Members of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration on 20 May agreed on a new Act of the agreement, extending protection previously granted only to appellations of origins to geographical indications. The World Intellectual Property Organization is responsible for this agreement. After the signing ceremony at WIPO, Intellectual Property Watch sat down with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to discuss the new Act.

Review Of WHO Mechanism To Fight Substandard Medicines Postponed Until 2017

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World Health Organization delegates today agreed in committee to postpone until 2017 the review of a mechanism that had been set up to help countries deal with substandard and fake medicines.

Two UN Agencies Come Out In Support Of Extension Of TRIPS LDC Waiver

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The United Nations Development Programme and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS have issued a joint statement supporting a request by least-developed countries to extend a waiver allowing them to abstain from enforcing patents on pharmaceutical products.

At WIPO, 11 Members Sign New Act Protecting GIs, More To Follow

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Today, the signing ceremony of the new World Intellectual Property Organization agreement to protect geographical indications was held. On the first day, 11 members, mostly current Lisbon members, signed the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.

New Act Protecting Geographical Indications Adopted At WIPO

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Today, a small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members adopted a new Geneva Act of a treaty protecting appellations of origin and geographical indications. The Act is the revision of a previous treaty which only covered appellations of origin. This adoption was made to the dismay of other WIPO members, which despite efforts to accommodate their views could not reconcile being denied the right to vote in a United Nations body. They said the agreement among a few members could affect all.

Lisbon Members Near Completion Of New Act On Geographical Indications

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[Update: the new Act has been adopted. More to come.] After a week of drafting, a handful of World Intellectual Property Organization members – with often divergent input from other WIPO members – are close to concluding a new international agreement on the protection of geographical indications.

Statement: Blumenthal Offers Amendment On Trade Transparency

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Senators Blumenthal, Brown, Baldwin, and Udall introduced today a trade negotiation transparency bill that would require that all formal U.S. proposals for trade agreement restrictions on domestic regulations be posted on a website. This is a common sense policy that should be broadly supported. The bill would require policies similar to the transparency policies currently followed by the European Union and by intergovernmental organizations that set similar minimum regulatory standards. But it would be a major change in the current process for trade negotiations followed by the U.S. Trade Representative, which are infamously secretive, write Sean Flynn and David Levine.

World Health Assembly Opens: Time Of Change At WHO; G-7 Involved

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“The Ebola outbreak shook this organization to its core,” World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan said in opening the WHO’s annual assembly today. And the need to better construct the world’s emergency response systems has the biggest economies on the podium, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking as chair of the Group of 7.