USTR’s Investigations On IP Rights Against India: Is There A Tenable Case?

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On 14 October, the US Trade Representative (USTR) began the out-of-cycle review (OCR) of India’s intellectual property (IP) laws, the mandate which it gave itself in the 2014 Special 301 Report. Like several years in the past, the USTR once again included India in the Priority Watch List, but this time, India’s IP laws are being subjected to the additional scrutiny through an OCR. It is to be seen whether the OCR sets the stage for naming India as a Priority Foreign Country, viewed by the USTR as worst offender of intellectual property rights, in the next Special 301 report. USTR’s inclusion of India for the OCR was a reflection of the influence that the domestic lobbies have on the country’s engagement with its partner countries, and about USTR’s consistency with World Trade Organization rules, writes Biswajit Dhar.

The TPP’s New Plant-Related Intellectual Property Provisions

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The newly-released Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intellectual property (IP) chapter would help seed conglomerates like Monsanto prevent farmers from saving and using seeds that contain patented plant materials, even when such use is for their own personal consumption. The TPP language would also prevent breeders from using plants seeds that contain patented plant materials to research and develop new varieties. Most plant variety protection (PVP) systems allow farmers to save and reuse seeds (for noncommercial purposes) and permit breeders to use protected plant varieties to research and develop new varieties. In contrast, patents on plant-related inventions, as outlined in the TPP, may have few exceptions. This new text constitutes a huge step in the wrong direction, changing the plant IP regimes of many of the negotiating countries to the detriment of their populations, writes Public Citizen.

Leaked TPP Draft Reveals Extreme Rights Holder Position Of US, Japan, Outraged Observers Say

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Critics poring over a newly leaked alleged draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) intellectual property chapter say it shows the United States is taking an all-out lurch toward greater protection and less access, causing outrage among public interest groups.

USTR Sets Deadline For Comments On Review Of Indian Protection Of US IP

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Comments must be submitted in the new two to three weeks for an extraordinary review by the United States government of India’s protection of US intellectual property rights.

US-India Cooperation Raises Hopes, Concerns

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In this week’s highly anticipated visit to the United States by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a number of joint statements have been issued, raising hope for greater cooperation between the two countries, and some concern about the same.

Rights Owners, Internet Companies Far Apart In Australian Copyright Consultation

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Responses to an Australian government proposal for fighting online copyright infringement show a wide gap between rights holders and internet companies on liability, and website blocking.

Médecins Sans Frontières Warns About IP Inclusion In Asian FTA

The inclusion of intellectual property in the ongoing negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between 16 countries, most of them Asian, is raising concerns about “TRIPS-plus” measures that could jeopardise generic drugs production in India, according to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Australia Eyes Copyright Act Amendment To Curb Downloading

The Australian government is seeking to amend its copyright act to address online copyright infringement. To that purpose, a discussion paper has issued for public input until 1 September. In particular, the paper looks at trends in similar nations and proposes measures to dry up business models operating outside of Australia, and to extend the responsibility of internet service providers.

Re:publica 14: “Take Back The Net From Criminal Services” – And Develop A Business

The fight for copyright reform has become a secondary issue, it seems, amidst calls to take back the internet from “evil” intelligence services at the 14th edition of re:publica, the mega-conference on all things digital that took place in Berlin last week.

Fordham IP Event A Firehose Of Current IP Legal, Policy Debates

NEW YORK – The annual Fordham Law School IP Law and Policy Conference held last week offered an intensive two days of in-depth legal issues in intellectual property, with a mix of perspectives from representatives of intergovernmental organisations, governments, courts, industry, and a smattering of public interest advocates.