Report: New Technologies For Visually And Hearing Impaired People Lack Commercialisation

Side event at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. Photo credit: Catherine Saez

A World Intellectual Property Organization patent landscaping report launched this week shows that although a large number of patents have been granted on technologies aimed to help visually and hearing impaired persons, most of them have not been commercialised yet.

Effects Of New Australian Blocking Legislation Remain Highly Controversial

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Much will depend on Australian federal judges after a website blocking bill targeting copyright violations was passed by both houses of the Australian legislature this week.

Secret Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Takes Centre Stage In Asia

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), part of US President Barack Obama’s promised pivot to Asia, has stirred up a hornet’s nest on the ethics of trying to hammer out a trade deal in secrecy. But it is not the only one. A proposed trade agreement in Asia, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), is facing the same hiccups and flak.

UN Expert Urges Encryption, Anonymity Online To Preserve Freedom Of Expression

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A United Nations expert on freedom of expression this week has brought international attention to the need for individuals to be able to share completely encrypted, anonymous communications on the internet in order to preserve rights related to freedom of expression and opinion worldwide.

EU Parliament Hearing: Data Protection Not A Trade Barrier, But A Fundamental Right

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At a hearing on data flows and data protection in trade agreements this week, several members of the European Parliament called for the clear exemption of current and future data protection regulation from ongoing trade negotiations.

European Parliament Committee Copyright, Trade Secret Votes

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In voting that took over an hour due to the more than 550 amendments proposed, the European Parliament Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee Tuesday adopted an own-initiative report by German MEP Julia Reda of the Greens/European Free Alliance intended to make sweeping changes to EU copyright law. The report is expected to feed into the European Commission’s (EC’s) copyright reform proposal expected later this year. JURI also backed draft rules on legal redress for theft and misuse of business trade secrets, but said they must in turn respect freedom of information and expression and safeguard whistle-blowers.

WIPO Marrakesh Treaty In Force By Early 2016? Now Part Of Bigger UN Process

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The 2013 World Intellectual Property Organization treaty on access to published works for print-disabled readers may go into effect by early 2016. And the treaty has become part of a bigger process at the United Nations on the rights of persons with disabilities, speakers at UN headquarters in New York said this week.

LDC Pharma Extension Request At WTO Yields Support But Needs Further Discussion

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World Trade Organization members this week could not decide on a request from least-developed countries to extend a waiver allowing them to forego the enforcement of intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products until their economies are stronger. Discussions are expected to be conducted informally until the next meeting of the organisation’s council on IP rights in October.

African Civil Society: Disillusionment, Mistrust In Bonn

PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance

We, the African civil society organisations participating in the Bonn Climate Change Conference, are gravely concerned about the progress of negotiations and wish to express our utmost disillusionment on the mistrust reigning the corridors of the new World Conference Centre here in Bonn.

Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations

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While a full range of stakeholders would be affected by the outcome of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement under secret negotiation by the United States and a dozen trading partners, corporate representatives have had a special seat at the negotiating table, as shown by hundreds of pages of confidential emails from the US Trade Representative’s office obtained by Intellectual Property Watch. The emails give a rare and fascinating perspective on how policy is developed in the trade office.