USPTO Director-Nominee Lee Calls For ‘Responsible Stewardship’ Of Patent System

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In perhaps her first big speech since being nominated by President Obama to head the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Michelle Lee today told an industry meeting today to use the patent system responsibly and with balance. The agency is embarking on a new global effort to streamline processes and improve quality. And for the first time in a long time, she said, USPTO has the financial resources to do it.

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.

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.

Preparations Begin For Lisbon Revision At WIPO; Procedural Question Raised

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The 28-member Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration is en route to being revised to include geographical indications and allow international organisations to join the agreement. But some other member countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which oversees the agreement, are raising procedural questions and intend on having a say on the revision. [Update: new proposal now available]

Tech Industry Report Ranks Countries On Protectionism – Including IPR

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A report released today by an American technology industry group ranks countries on the basis of mercantilist policies, urging the United States and multilateral organisations to issue a “bold response” to these restrictive and anti-competitive practices – including intellectual property theft and compulsory licensing permitted under WTO rules in developing countries. The top targets? China and India.

IP Increasingly Seen As Enabler For Innovation Finance, IP Offices Say

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“Intellectual property is a substantial chunk of business investment,” Tony Clayton, chief economist in the United Kingdom IP Office, told a side gathering at the recent World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly. “It really does matter.”

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.

Global Value Chains In Africa: Set Of Preconditions Needed To Be Profitable, Panel Says

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At the World Trade Organization Public Forum last week, a panel explored opportunities for Africa in global and regional value chains. A certain level of development needs to be achieved so that countries can benefit from global value chains, speakers said.

US Cracking Down On Software Patents

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The US courts are aggressively applying the ruling. So is the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Thanks to their common interpretation of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, it is now open season on software patents.