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.

At WIPO, Experts Look At Challenges, Solutions For Successful Tech Transfer

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Low levels of research and development in developing countries, human capital deficit and construction of balanced intellectual property systems were at the centre of discussions at the recent Expert Forum on Technology Transfer at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Trade Outlook In 2015: The Race Of The Mega-Regionals

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For international trade, 2015 will be “a year of work” rather than of finalisation, as Viviane Reding put it. The comment of the former European Commission vice president and Justice Commissioner focussed on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), as she is now the European Parliament’s rapporteur for TISA. The services agreement is still sailing under the radar compared to its bigger cousins, the US-EU bilateral Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Yet “a year of work” might well describe the 2015 agenda for the mega-regional trade negotiations too. Will any of them get to the finish line? A race is on in which the United States and European Union seem to anxiously look to China’s advance while fighting rising opposition at home.

Global Fund Publishes Terms Of Reference Of Equitable Access Initiative

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An initiative spearheaded by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to ensure equitable access to medicines in particular in middle-income countries now has a dedicated webpage publishing the terms of reference of the initiative. Also available is the list of high-level participants who attended the first meeting of the initiative held last week.

Why The Request By Least Developed Countries For An Extension Of The Transitional Period For Granting And Enforcing Medicines Patents Needs To Be Supported

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Ellen ‘t Hoen writes: On 24 February 2015 Bangladesh on behalf of the 34 Least Developed Country members (LDCs) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) submitted a request for an extension of the transitional period under article 66.1 TRIPS with respect to pharmaceutical products until the country is no longer classified as LDC.[1] The original extension, set to expire on 1st January 2016, specifically removes the obligation for LDCs to comply with Section 5 (Patents) and Section 7 (Protection of Undisclosed Information) of Part II of TRIPS, including any obligation to enforce rights under these provisions.

It is a little known fact that since the adoption of the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, LDCs have frequently used the extension in day-to-day procurement of low cost generic medicines, in particular to access medicines needed for the treatment of HIV.

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.

Ebola Crisis Has Severe Impact On AIDS Response In Sierra Leone, UNDP Report Says

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According to an internal report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Fund Partnership team, the Ebola epidemic has virtually halted national HIV efforts in Sierra Leone. In particular, patients stopped their treatments and the supply chain was disrupted.

WTO Least-Developed Countries Request Waiver Of IP Rights On Pharma Products

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This week at the World Trade Organization intellectual property committee meeting, least-developed countries submitted a request to extend a waiver allowing them not to enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products. The countries have extended the waiver before, but this time they are seeking to make it indefinite, until they are no longer considered LDCs.

New Quiet Initiative To Improve Drug Access In Middle-Income Countries, Change Country Classification System

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This week a confidential high-level expert meeting was convened in Geneva to start work on a potential change in the country classification used by global health actors to remedy the growing problem of access to medicines in middle-income countries.