Market Failure, Not IP, The Issue In Ebola Treatment Shortage, WHO Says

Faced with the worst outbreak of Ebola since its discovery some 40 years ago, the world is scrambling for treatments. A World Health Organization-convened panel of experts has decided it is ethical to use experimental treatments. Why is there no treatment available even after 40 years? Market failure, not intellectual property rights, says the WHO.

The Term ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Key For Identity, Rights, UN Experts Say

United Nations experts are underlining the importance of using the term “indigenous peoples” in a UN draft set of sustainable development goals from which they say the term has been deleted.

Human Eggs That Can’t Develop Into Human Beings Should Be Patentable, EU High Court Advisor Says

Unfertilised human eggs that can’t develop into human beings are generally not “human embryos” within the meaning of the EU directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions, a 17 July European Court of Justice Advocate General opinion said. The opinion is good news for researchers into stem cell therapies, said a member of the industry group IP Federation, who added he hopes it will be upheld by the ECJ. But one biotech civil society member said the ruling, if it stands, could be abused.

EU Commissioner Hails Open Knowledge, Urges Copyright Reform

Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, today hailed open knowledge in government, science, the internet, and education, and called again for “urgent reform” of copyright.

UNAIDS Gap Report: Need Smarter Scale-Up, Focus On People Left Behind

According to a report released today by the United Nations programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), around 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus. But if the right steps are taken, the epidemic could be ended by 2030, it says.

BRICS Urged To Create New Model Of Internet Governance

As the governments of the largest emerging economies gather this week in Brazil, a civil society coalition has issued a call for them to lead change in the global system of internet governance in light of revelations of mass surveillance. The groups provide suggestions for constructing a system that ensures human rights, equity and social justice for all people.

UN Human Rights Report Finds Significant Harm, Possible Illegality, In Mass Surveillance

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today released a report criticising government mass surveillance, including the coercion of companies to release individuals’ information without their knowledge or consent. This activity is “severely hindering” accountability in human rights violations, and that governments must prove the legality of their actions, she said.

360 Applicants Bid For Top WIPO Posts; Selection Process Underway

The World Intellectual Property Organization is currently engaged in an unprecedented process for the selection of the new top management team to serve under recently re-elected Director General Francis Gurry. The open call for applicants resulted in some 360 applications from around the world, including from the upper echelons of WIPO itself, according to sources.

UN Human Rights Council Takes Actions On Internet Rights, Corporations

At its recent session, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet. It also addressed a legally binding instrument on corporations’ responsibility to ensure human rights.