South Africa Awaits Patent Reforms With Hope, Concern

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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.

In 21st Century No One Should Die For Lack Of Access To Medicines, Participants At UN Forum Say

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Last week’s 2015 Social Forum led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to facilitate access to medicines. In particular, the functioning of the intellectual property system was put into question. A number of recommendations were drawn by the secretariat after having been identified by participants.

Stakeholders Give Opposing Views On GIs In EU-US Trade Agreement

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Geographical indications – product names deriving from geographical origin or certain characteristics – are increasingly on the table when trade negotiations include Europeans, who are trying to recover names long used around the world. In a recent stakeholder event for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), both sides of the GI issue made their case.

US Challenges For Biotech In 2015 – An Interview With BIO’s Hans Sauer

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The biotechnology industry is closely watching developments in the United States that could impact the industry in 2015. These include the regulatory framework for biosimilars, possible patent legislation, post-grant review procedure, and the consequences of the recent Supreme Court ruling banning the patenting of human genes. Hans Sauer, Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), recently spoke with Intellectual Property Watch’s Catherine Saez. Sauer was asked to lay out the main developments to watch in the coming year.

Questions About Funding, Text Of Tufts Study On Drug Costs

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The Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment has sent a letter to the author of a much-noted Tufts University (US) study that found high development costs for medicines, with copies to the university administration. The letter requests transparency on the funding of the study and the press conference announcing the results, as well as copies of the study itself, which the group says was not made public, along with details to justify the result.

WHO Sets Path For Completing Rules Of Engagement With Industry, Foundations

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The World Health Organization Executive Board has set a way forward from now to the annual May World Health Assembly for addressing the sensitive issue of drafting a framework for engagement with “non-state actors,” such as industry, foundations, academics and other non-governmental stakeholders.

Anti-Microbial Resistance, Budget, Reform Raise Debate At WHO Executive Board

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The World Health Organization Executive Board this week has addressed the relationship between the UN agency and its funders and lobbyists, examined the budget for the next biennium, and looked at the issue of the growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. Image Credits: Flickr – NIAID

Geneva Forecast On Internet Governance: 2015 Expected To Be A Decisive Year

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A Geneva expert has offered his view on the top internet governance issues likely to come up in 2015. These include: cybersecurity, privacy, internet neutrality, and the proposed transition of control over a key underlying aspect of the internet.

Ebola, Reform High On WHO Executive Board Agenda This Week

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The World Health Organization Executive Board yesterday adopted a resolution on Ebola, on the eve of today’s opening of its 10-day meeting addressing a broad range of health issues, including several of relevance to the intellectual property and innovation community. Today, Italy requested that member states be involved in the setting of WHO guidelines, raising governance issues, while WHO Director General Margaret Chan called for strong health systems and reform to the WHO structure, and asked for room to move on WHO relations with industry.

Year Ahead: Big IP Developments Loom For US Law In 2015

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2014 brought major changes to the United States intellectual property system, particularly in the area of patent law. 2015 promises more of the same, as the new Supreme Court ruling in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA v. Sandoz attests. Here’s a discussion of Teva and other key cases and developments to watch this year.