Busy Year At WTO: 20th Anniversary, Doha Round, Dispute Settlement Overload

WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo

This year is an auspicious moment for the World Trade Organization and the multilateral trading system, WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo told journalists today. In particular, he said, the WTO, after a hiatus last year, is implementing the results of the 2013 Bali agreement on trade facilitation and finalising work on the work programme to conclude the Doha Round of trade liberalisation negotiations.

Cuba, Large Friends, Trying To Corner US Into Compliance With WTO Rum Trademark Ruling

havana-club logo

Better relations may be on the way for Cuba and the United States, but the thaw has yet to be seen in a longstanding World Trade Organization dispute over a Cuban rum trademark. As it has done for years, the United States today casually reported that there are several pieces of legislation in the US Congress that might bring it into compliance with a longstanding WTO ruling that found it in violation of WTO rules for a 1998 measure blocking a Cuban trademark from receiving due legal process in the US, where a US-friendly firm is using it.

Patent On Conventional Plant Dismissed For Lack Of Novelty, Firm Says

Red Radish

The District Court of The Hague (Netherlands) ruled last week that a patent for red radish plants is invalid in the Netherlands for lack of novelty but did not rule on the fact that the particular plant was bred using essential biological processes. The case, between two Dutch companies, related to red radish sprouts on which one company held a patent.

EU Trade Commissioner Suggests Special Court For ISDS Cases

EU TTIP hearing Mar 2015

European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem today defended the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement panels in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but offered several amendments for consideration.

Are Generics Companies Using Inter Partes Review To Overturn Patent Court Cases?

Macedo graph 1

NEW YORK – Will generics companies use a win under the new inter partes review mechanism in the United States to overturn pharmaceutical patents in court? A top attorney for a pharmaceutical innovator company says they could indeed. Meanwhile, a new analysis of the inter partes review so far shows it may not be as much of a cause for alarm as previously thought.

Brazil’s Internet Legal Framework Regulation And Draft Bill For Privacy Law Public Consultation

Flavia Rebello

On 28 January 2015, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice launched public consultations involving two key pieces of legislation, namely: the decree that will regulate the Marco Civil da Internet or the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet (the “Internet Legal Framework”); and the Draft Bill for the Protection of Personal Data (“Draft Bill”). A consultation period is being conducted in relation to these two laws via online platforms set up by the government.

Design Law Seminar In Geneva Discusses Current Issues And Concerns

design image

Experts gathered in Geneva recently to discuss current issues and future developments in the protection of industrial designs and its importance, and give practical advice on suitable ways to protect and enforce the design rights.

At EPO, Patent Oppositions To High-Priced Gilead Hepatitis C Drug Pile Up

Gilead Solvaldi tablet

According to a public health advocacy group, there are now as many as 10 oppositions filed at the European Patent Office against the Gilead company’s patent on sofosbuvir, a treatment for hepatitis C. The group has compiled a table showing the filings with links to the documents.

South Africa Awaits Patent Reforms With Hope, Concern

Fix the Patent Laws image

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s new policy on patents could go to the Cabinet for approval soon, says Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF), one of the organisations spearheading the Fix the Patent Laws campaign in the country.

UK To Revamp Law On “Groundless Threats” Of Infringement Suits

legal-costs image

Recommendations for key reforms to laws against “groundless threats” of infringement lawsuits in patent, trademark and design rights cases won general UK government backing today. IP lawyers said the government’s stance will go far toward resolving longstanding concerns.