Key Hepatitis C Patent Rejected In India

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Today’s rejection by the Patent Office Controller of India of a patent application by Gilead company for a key drug against hepatitis C is being hailed by advocates as a path to dramatically lower costs of treatment for the disease. Hepatitis C has been noteworthy for exorbitantly priced medicines over the past year. A look at the decision shows that a provision in India’s law continues to stop patent applications if they fail to show sufficient novelty and inventive step – and are subject to opposition.

WHO Executive Board To Address Reform, R&D Financing, Ebola, Budget

WHO

The upcoming World Health Organization Executive Board annual January meeting will be 10 days. Included in the list of issues to be addressed are the engagement of the organisation with lobbyists and donors, antimicrobial resistance, and the potential establishment of a pooled fund of voluntary contributions for research and development for diseases primarily affecting developing countries.

Fight Against Ebola Gaining Ground As Vaccines Pass Tests, WHO Says

Ebola virus

The World Health Organization today optimistically announced progress in the search for efficient vaccines to fight the Ebola virus. Tests conducted so far show acceptable safety profiles, and public-private vaccine alliance Gavi has committed to fund Ebola vaccines.

Most-Read IP-Watch Stories In 2014: A Tale Of Staff Issues, India, Hot-Button Topics

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All year long, Intellectual Property Watch expends great energy and resources to bring hundreds of carefully written, detailed stories on policymaking – technical committee meetings, legislation, negotiations, legal cases, and latest reports and papers. But in what is perhaps typical of readers everywhere, many of the best-read IP-Watch stories of 2014 were those few that involved elections and personnel issues and India, followed by a range of hot button issues such as high-priced medicines, copyright and knowledge access, patent valuation, or internet surveillance.

Will India, US Bridge Divide Over Intellectual Property Rights?

Modi Obama

There is an uptick in India-United States relations. US President Barack Obama will be in India in January as the chief guest at the country’s Republic Day Parade. Obama, who hosted India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington in September, will become the first US president to attend such a celebration, a display of India’s military might and ethnic diversity, as well as the first to visit India twice while in office.

UN Office Of Drugs And Crime Enters Debate Over Fake Medicines And IP

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The Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been working for several years to fight “fraudulent” medicines in the global supply chain. But an alleged new draft model legislation it is developing includes intellectual property rights, an issue which has led to intensive debates in other international fora. This week, a closed-door UNODC informal expert group drafting the model legislation is meeting in Vienna.

WIPO Seminar: For Access To Hepatitis C Treatments, Look At HIV Lessons

Hepatitis C Virus

A seminar on innovation and access to medicine last week examined the issue of access to hepatitis C treatment, looking at the HIV/AIDS path. Voluntary licences, such as the one entered by Gilead for its hepatitis drugs, have been applauded but such licences often do not cover middle-income countries, which are home to the bulk of hepatitis C patients, and whose poor populations remain unable to access treatment.

Draft UN Post-2015 Development Goals: Future Must Not Be ‘Business As Usual’, Including IP Rights

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Last week’s United Nations draft report for the post-2015 sustainable development goals under negotiation calls for continued progress toward sweeping improvements in the lives of all people and the health of the planet, including ensuring that intellectual property rights are respected but do not get in the way.

Australia Accuses Tobacco Industry Of ‘Regulatory Chill’ In WTO Plain Packaging Case

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Australia this week at the World Trade Organization said the tobacco industry is applying a “well-known tactic” of instilling a “regulatory chill” on WTO members’ efforts to implement plain-packaging anti-smoking strategies. It also said pro-tobacco countries should not keep putting the issue on WTO committee agendas while their dispute settlement cases are running their course.