Revolving Chairs In The IP World: People Shift Positions. But Interests? Not So Much

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A lot has happened among the global intellectual property community over the past months. Beyond the usual shifts in law offices, many key positions have either changed hands or been filled. For example, the European commissioners changed, and the United States nominated a new “piracy czar” and a new head of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The International Telecommunication Union, UNITAID and other organisations have new heads. And the World Intellectual Property Organization has a new top management team.

Non-governmental organisations and the private sector also saw a lot of movement in recent months, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the International Trademark Association, the International Publishers Association, and the Motion Picture Association of America.

In this article, we take the opportunity to catch up. Here is a look at some of the changes.

NetMundial Initiative: Still Breathing

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.

Annual USTR Notorious Markets Report Points Fingers, Includes Domain Registrars For First Time

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The fifth annual Office of the United States Trade Representative review of “notorious” intellectual property infringing markets has been released, pointing out the world’s biggest problem commercial-scale markets. And for the first time, the report takes aim at internet domain name registrars.

EU IP Policy Proposals, Initiatives Come Clear At 20th European IP Forum

Christian Peugeot gives the opening speech of the event, photo credit: 20ème Forum Européen de la Propriété Intellectuelle par l’Union des Fabricants

PARIS – A recent gathering of IP owners, lawyers and government officials explored strategies and potential policies to fight counterfeiting and piracy.

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

RCEP negotiators - or will it be them?

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.

Brazil’s Internet Legal Framework Regulation And Draft Bill For Privacy Law Public Consultation

Flavia Rebello

On 28 January 2015, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice launched public consultations involving two key pieces of legislation, namely: the decree that will regulate the Marco Civil da Internet or the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet (the “Internet Legal Framework”); and the Draft Bill for the Protection of Personal Data (“Draft Bill”). A consultation period is being conducted in relation to these two laws via online platforms set up by the government.

The Legal Implications Of Medicinal Marijuana As A Geographical Indication For Jamaica

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Although there are ongoing negotiations to revise the Lisbon Agreement for the international recognition of GIs, there is currently no uniform reciprocal legal recognition for non-wine and spirit GIs in international jurisdictions. Jamaica’s Cannabis (hereafter marijuana), is identified by its government as one of the country’s products which is domestically GI registrable, writes Marsha Cadogan.

UK To Revamp Law On “Groundless Threats” Of Infringement Suits

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Recommendations for key reforms to laws against “groundless threats” of infringement lawsuits in patent, trademark and design rights cases won general UK government backing today. IP lawyers said the government’s stance will go far toward resolving longstanding concerns.

Tobacco Plain Packaging Discussion Lights Up Again At WTO

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The issue of plain packaging for tobacco products as a health measure has been smouldering at the World Trade Organization since Australia decided to implement legislation requiring plain packaging in 2012. Now, as more countries seek to enact similar legal provisions, some tobacco producing countries continue to try to stub them out, including at the WTO intellectual property committee.

WIPO Members Propose Changes To Draft Legal Instrument Protecting GIs

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In the run-up to the May high-level negotiating meeting to amend a World Intellectual Property Organization treaty to enhance the protection of geographical indications, member countries were invited to suggest changes to the basic negotiating text. Ten countries issued proposed changes by the 1 February deadline, some asking for full participation of WIPO members in the negotiations of the 28-member treaty.