USTR’s Investigations On IP Rights Against India: Is There A Tenable Case?

Indian flag

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.

Leaked TPP Draft Reveals Extreme Rights Holder Position Of US, Japan, Outraged Observers Say

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Critics poring over a newly leaked alleged draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) intellectual property chapter say it shows the United States is taking an all-out lurch toward greater protection and less access, causing outrage among public interest groups.

UNCTAD Forum: Local Drug Manufacturing A Key To Universal Health Coverage

Michel Sidibé Executive Director of UNAIDS at UNCTAD Investment Forum

Local production of medicines in developing countries is key to advancing universal health coverage, but other factors need to be considered, such as the involvement of all stakeholders and policy coherence in governments, according to speakers attending the World Investment Forum this week. Several speakers called for a paradigm shift in global health.

At WTO, Experts Discuss Solutions To Drugs Innovation Crisis; IP Not In The List

Panellists at UAEM event

The Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) organised a panel at the World Trade Organization Public Forum this week on new approaches in university management of intellectual property. The panel gathered a diverse panel of experts giving their take on possible solutions to less innovation and higher prices of drugs, and the role of publicly-funded research.

US-India Cooperation Raises Hopes, Concerns

India PM Modi at US-India Business Council

In this week’s highly anticipated visit to the United States by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a number of joint statements have been issued, raising hope for greater cooperation between the two countries, and some concern about the same.

Health Advocates Demand U-Turn In EU Trade Policy To Align With Its Health Objectives

FLickr -  Greg McMullin -

Health Action International Europe, and Oxfam today issued a briefing paper entitled, “Trading Away Access to Medicines: How the European trade agenda continues to undermine access to medicines.” The paper argues that new concerns such as the ebola virus and the threat of unchecked antimicrobial resistance show the need for a new model for financing pharmaceutical research and development.

Panellists Discuss Value Of Patent Pooling For HIV/AIDS, Potential For Other Diseases

MPP's Greg Perry speaks, flanked by Duneston (left), Mirza (right), and other panellists

A side event to this week’s World Intellectual Property Organization annual General Assembly highlighted the work of the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool in fighting HIV/AIDS, and discussed whether it makes sense for the patent pool model to be extended to other diseases.

Gilead Monopoly Prevails Over Non-Discriminatory Access As Debated Hepatitis C Deal Sets Off

Cost of Medicines

Gilead on 15 September struck voluntary licence deals with seven India-based generic manufacturers to expand access to its hepatitis C innovative drugs in developing countries. With a limited territory covered, this, yet deserving, pact raises doubts about the coherence of Indian counterparts at a time when there are no relevant patents in India, several pre-grant oppositions have been filed and unrestrained competition by compulsory licences could have been pursued.