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.

Draft Revision To Provide Higher Protection To GIs Fine-Tuned At WIPO

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The contracting parties of the agreement protecting appellations of origin at the World Intellectual Property Organization are meeting this week to fine-tune a draft revision of this agreement to include geographical indications. The end of the week is scheduled to be devoted to a preparatory committee of a high-level negotiating meeting in 2015 to adopt the revision.

The Indian Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 And Its Functioning So Far

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It’s been a little over two years since the Copyright Act, 1957 was extensively amended in 2012 with far-reaching ramifications for all categories of stakeholders. The amendments purported to introduce a level playing field for different categories of right holders in the entertainment industry, recognise the access needs of users of the copyrighted works in general and visually impaired population of the country in particular, align the copyright regime of the country with rapid advances in technology and streamline copyright enforcement and administration. To gauge the influence of the amendments on copyright regime in India as well as to see if their implementation so far has been in sync with the legislative intent, this article seeks to evaluate the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 as well as their working, writes Abhai Pandey.

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.

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.

Review of “Digital Depression: Information Technology And Economic Crisis”

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Information and communication technologies (ICTs), and in particular the internet, have revolutionized and disrupted all aspects of human activity, and even behaviour. This has resulted in many academic publications and much discussion, including in intergovernmental bodies, regarding various issues, including how best to govern the internet.

Dan Schiller’s book helps us to understand the background of these events, which have affected economic and political power relations, and how US policies have consistently favoured capital over labour, and have resulted in transfers of vast sums from developing countries to developed countries, writes Richard Hill.

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.