TRIPS Council Debates: Tobacco Packaging, Non-Violation Disputes, Innovation, Health Waiver, UNCTAD

Enough of a deterrent?

This week’s meeting of the World Trade Organization body governing intellectual property issues addressed a long agenda, reflecting continued divergence on regular items, such as complaints that do not involve breach of a WTO agreement, a health waiver, and sustained discussions on plain packaging for tobacco products.

European Commission Holds Consultation On Patents And Standards

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The European Commission Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry is gathering stakeholder input on standardisation and intellectual property rights, in order to assess the current framework on patents and standard and look at how it should evolve. Standard-setting cuts across many organisations at the national, European and international levels. Views are being sought until January 2015.

UK Opens Access To 91 Million Orphan Works, UKIPO Says

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The United Kingdom today launched a new licensing scheme aimed at opening access to more than 91 million creative works whose owners or copyright holders are not known or not found.

First Innovation Fair Hosted At WTO, Draws Diverse Projects With IP In Mind

Innovation Fair in WTO Atrium

The World Trade Organization hosted an Innovation Fair on 28 October, gathering inventors, supporting agencies, and patent offices. A number of inventions were displayed and explained, from concrete walls to motorisation for bicycles.

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.

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.

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.

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.