France, Italy, Heavyweights Of Lisbon Appellations Of Origin System; Africa Struggling

Lisbon members by number of AO registrations

A small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members this week are negotiating to expand a treaty to protect geographical indications, products like Champagne. Under the old treaty, which protects appellations of origin, over half of the registrations are in France, and another large amount in Italy. According to an analysis, many of the 28 members of the treaty have zero or very few registrations, raising the question of how the new GI protection will be different if agreed.

Drafting Exercise For WIPO Delegates As Lisbon Members Advance On New Act of Treaty

GI Cs (4)

Members of a World Intellectual Property Organization-managed treaty protecting appellations of origin this week are working to add geographical indications to the treaty. They are addressing issues not yet agreed upon, including the sustainability of the system, and how to address prior use of such geographical indications by trademark owners.

WHO Leads Effort To Build R&D Roadmap For Future Epidemics

Panel Chair Barbara Stocking, photo credit John Zaracostas

The World Health Organization is working to learn from the fast response on research and development for Ebola that led to effective treatments in a short time. It hopes that this changes the way R&D for emergency vaccines is done forever.

US Ponders New Trademark Rights For Racial Slurs

The Slants

Some words are too offensive to be registered trademarks. Racial slurs, derogatory names for ethnic groups, and other terms that disparage people can be denied registration, according to the vast majority of countries. The US, however, might soon back away from this anti-bigotry stance. The nation’s courts may be on the verge of ruling that the registration of derogatory terms is protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech.

Ebola R&D, Antibiotic Resistance, Neglected Diseases Among Issues At This Year’s World Health Assembly

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The annual World Health Assembly opens next week with a focus on antimicrobial resistance, the Ebola outbreak, and research and development. Other subject of interests will be World Health Organization engagement with outside stakeholders, such as non-governmental organisations and the private sector, and a potential pooled fund for research and development for neglected diseases.

Substantive Work On Amendment of Lisbon System Starts; New Language Proposed

GI Cs (8)

World Intellectual Property Organization members negotiating a new version of a treaty protecting appellations of origin started fine-tuning the wording of the potential amended treaty’s articles, trying to find common language on remaining issues, such as trans-border geographical areas of origin, and the required information in applications.

Polish Government Drafts IP Law Reform

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WARSAW — More than twenty years after Poland’s parliament passed the Authors’ and Related Rights law of 1994, the Polish government is drafting three bills to modify the country’s intellectual property legislation. The first of the drafts prepared by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National heritage was submitted to the Parliament in March, and is currently being deliberated, while the ministry is finishing work on the remaining two drafts.

WIPO Diplomatic Conference On GIs Starts With 28 Member Governments

WIPO Lisbon Conf May 2015

Last-ditch efforts by a range of World Intellectual Property Organization members to join treaty negotiations at WIPO this week failed, as the 28 members of the treaty rejected a proposal to allow non-members. As a result, WIPO’s biggest-paying member called into question the future legitimacy of the UN organisation.

Q&A With US On Concerns About Lisbon GI Treaty Negotiation

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Next week, the 28 members of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization are expected to conduct a high-level negotiating meeting to agree on a new Act of the agreement. Major changes expected are the inclusion of geographical indications in the agreement, and the possibility for intergovernmental organisations such as the European Union to become members of the revised agreement.

The United States has been among the leading countries concerned about the negotiation. In a Q&A, the US in written answers explained the concerns. The questions were sent by Intellectual Property Watch’s Catherine Saez.

In ‘Huge’ Move, WHO Adds Key Hepatitis C, Cancer, TB Drugs To Essential Medicines List

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The World Health Organization today published its updated Model List of Essential Medicines, including high-priced new treatments for hepatitis C, cancers and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) that were quickly applauded by the public health advocacy community.