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.

UNCTAD Forum: Local Drug Manufacturing A Key To Universal Health Coverage

Michel Sidibé Executive Director of UNAIDS at UNCTAD Investment Forum

Local production of medicines in developing countries is key to advancing universal health coverage, but other factors need to be considered, such as the involvement of all stakeholders and policy coherence in governments, according to speakers attending the World Investment Forum this week. Several speakers called for a paradigm shift in global health.

IT Innovation Supporting Home-Grown Solutions In Uganda

Participants in Uganda IT workshop

With the world’s youngest population, fast-rising access to internet and rapid spread of the use of mobile phones, Ugandans are starting to embrace information and communication technology innovations. This is confirmed by the increasing number of mobile and web applications with working prototypes developed in the country.

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.”

Formal IP System Does Not Fit Africa, LDCs Need Technological Capacity, Speakers Say

Tobias Schonwetter

On the last day of the World Trade Organization Public Forum, a panel discussed the relationship between intellectual property and innovation in Africa, in particular in the informal sector. The formal IP system does not seems to fit, and least-developed countries need a sound technological base to be able to use the IP system. Separately, a European Patent Office study shows that Africa has a vast yet untapped potential in renewable energy.

At WTO, Experts Discuss Solutions To Drugs Innovation Crisis; IP Not In The List

Panellists at UAEM event

The Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) organised a panel at the World Trade Organization Public Forum this week on new approaches in university management of intellectual property. The panel gathered a diverse panel of experts giving their take on possible solutions to less innovation and higher prices of drugs, and the role of publicly-funded research.

US-India Cooperation Raises Hopes, Concerns

India PM Modi at US-India Business Council

In this week’s highly anticipated visit to the United States by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a number of joint statements have been issued, raising hope for greater cooperation between the two countries, and some concern about the same.

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.

Health Advocates Demand U-Turn In EU Trade Policy To Align With Its Health Objectives

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Health Action International Europe, and Oxfam today issued a briefing paper entitled, “Trading Away Access to Medicines: How the European trade agenda continues to undermine access to medicines.” The paper argues that new concerns such as the ebola virus and the threat of unchecked antimicrobial resistance show the need for a new model for financing pharmaceutical research and development.