Life Sciences Stakeholders Assess Accessing Emerging Markets

Conference emerging-market-access Oct 2014

PARIS –Life sciences stakeholders at a recent conference explored matters associated with market access in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

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

Plant variety 2

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

Azevedo Federal Bar Asso - Oct 2014 - WTO

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

vaccines

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.

The TPP’s New Plant-Related Intellectual Property Provisions

Public Citizen logo 2

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.

Preparations Begin For Lisbon Revision At WIPO; Procedural Question Raised

AO - Brie de Meaux - Flickr - Leo Reynolds

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]

EU Legislation On Nagoya Protocol Becomes Effective; What Effect On Indigenous Peoples’ Rights?

Indigenous Community - Flickr - United Nations

The entry into force of an international treaty facilitating access to genetic resources and ensuring the fair sharing of potential commercial benefits has prompted the applicability of a European Union regulation relating to the treaty. This led a researcher to call on the treaty members to ensure its implementation protects the rights of indigenous and local communities.

UPOV Governing Body Meets This Week Amid Civil Society Concerns Over Harmonisation

Plant Variety - Flickr - Dwight Sipler

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is holding meetings of its governing and technical bodies this week. In particular, the UPOV Council is expected to renew Francis Gurry’s mandate as the organisation’s secretary-general, approve technical documents, and confirm the conformity of a Tanzanian plant breeders’ rights act.

Meanwhile, civil society has sounded the alarm over what it considers to be efforts to harmonise the application and examination procedures by the seed industry. Separately, a civil society study, carried out on three developing countries claims that UPOV 1991 might be threatening the global right to food.

Nagoya Protocol Enters Into Force, Will Be Tested In Months To Come

Rain Forest - Flickr - Sue Bowen

The Nagoya Protocol, a treaty expected to ensure greater access to genetic resources and a mandatory fair benefit-sharing of the benefits that could be derived from those resources, will enter into force on 12 October, almost four years after it was agreed.

Alarm Over Monsanto-Backed Push To Acquire African Seed Company

Maize seeds - Flickr - Ian Hayhurst

An African civil society group has voiced concerns about the takeover by giant multinational seed companies of home-grown African seed companies, the latest of which involves Africa’s SeedCo.