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.

TPP’s Copyright Term Benefits US, Burdens Others

US flag flies over world 2 by Svilen Milev

The US got its way. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) will require all member nations to have a minimum copyright term of life plus 70 years. As a result, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and three other nations will have to increase the duration of copyright by 20 years. This copyright term extension will benefit powerful interests in the US, but will hurt consumers and creators in six other nations that are part of the TPP.

All WIPO Filings On The Rise, Serving Mainly Developed Economies; Telecoms Increase

China patent

Today, the World Intellectual Property Organization released the 2014 numbers of filings for its systems for patents, trademarks, and industrial designs, which form the basis of the revenue of the UN organisation. Filings under the three systems grew in 2014, with a notable presence of telecom companies in patent filing activity. Except for China, top filers in the three systems are developed countries. Also noted was that so far, the significant increase in internet domain names has only led to a slight rise in new domain dispute cases.

New Book: ACTA And The Plurilateral Enforcement Agenda: Genesis And Aftermath

ACTA book Roffe

The new book, “The ACTA and the Plurilateral Enforcement Agenda,” offers an insightful read on the highly debated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an effort to raise intellectual property protection that was met with opposition by many countries and was subject to intense scrutiny from non-state actors, including industry, civil society and academics.

Central European Countries Establish Visegrad Patent Institute To Reduce Costs, Facilitate Applications

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WARSAW – In a move towards increased regional cooperation in the field of intellectual property, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have signed an agreement to set up the Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI). And representatives of the parties to the agreement say that their ambitions reach further, towards ensuring the recently-established body becomes a regional hub for patent cooperation in Central-Eastern Europe.

Gathering Looks At Governance Of WIPO, IP Governance In Multilateral Fora

ICTSD event image Mar 2015

On 5 March, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in collaboration with Oxford University’s Global Economic Governance Programme (GEG) hosted an event in Geneva to discuss challenges and issues in intellectual property governance.

Redesign Of Ebola Treatment Units Draws 1500 Innovations, Including Locally

Structural view of the redesigned Ebola treatment tent

KAMPALA, UGANDA – In light of the persistence of the Ebola outbreak and the demands it has placed on global infection containment resources and processes, the United States government disaster response community recognised an opportunity to use open innovation to make significant strides in advancing the ability to combat Ebola. The results include a local success story.

UN Human Rights Council Debates Report Criticising Copyright

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Copyright might run counter to human rights, says a new report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. In the report, she provides a number of recommendations, including encouraging UN World Intellectual Property Organization members to support the adoption of international instruments on limitations and exceptions to copyright. The report is under consideration by the Human Rights Council and was debated extensively today.

In TPP, USTR Seeks To Boost Criminal Remedies Against IP Infringement

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United States trade negotiators are seeking to set a “new regional standard” against intellectual property infringement in the Pacific region with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. And among the new tools it is seeking is to boost governments’ ability to criminalise IP infringement based on government information as well as that of rights holders, a US trade official said this week.

NetMundial Initiative: Still Breathing

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After a report by the Register’s Kieren McCarthy on a postponement of the inaugural meeting of the NetMundial Initiative (NMI) Council discussions were revived over the need for the new body in several mailing lists.