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.

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.

EU Trade Commissioner New Paper On Investor-State Disputes In TTIP

Malmstrom shot

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström published a concept paper on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms to be included in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Divide And Conquer: The New US Strategy To Disentangle The TPP Negotiations

Public Citizen TPP ISDS

Burcu Kilic & Pablo Viollier write: Political leaders in Washington and other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating countries have set the end of May as the latest deadline for completion of the talks. The negotiations have already missed several such deadlines, so who really knows? No one. But there is something we all know: TPP raises significant concerns because negotiations are being held behind closed doors with details kept secret even from the legislatures in TPP countries.

UN Expert Says Secret Trade Negotiations A Threat To Human Rights

tpp tape across mouth

The United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order raised concerns over the lack of awareness about the negative effects that free trade and investment agreements have on human rights, especially in developing countries. The Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de […]

Industries Duelling For Attention Over GIs In Trade Deals

GI peaches

The trade promotion authority (TPA), or fast-track, legislation proposed by three senators last week in the US Congress contains provisions that would reinforce the US position on limiting geographical indications in trade deals. At the same time, European-led industry groups held an event in Washington to highlight the advantages of GIs in trade deals.

Update On Yale/IP-Watch Effort To Open TPP Texts

USTR's map of the TPP

Intellectual Property Watch has been working for several years to obtain more details about the intellectual property aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and a subsequent lawsuit to enforce that request, which is being led by a team at the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School (MFIA). Today MFIA, a program of Yale’s Information Society Project and Abrams Institute, released an update on the case.

Wave Of Protests Against TTIP, CETA, TISA

TTIP protests Munich

A wave of protest marches and information events against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) yesterday swept across Europe, the US, Canada and number of other countries. On the eve of the 9th TTIP negotiation round set for New York (20-24 April), thousands took to the streets in the European capitals of London, Brussels and Helsinki.

EU, US Issue Joint Statement On Information Society

eu-us-flags

The European Union and the United States today held the 13th bilateral Information Society Dialogue and issued a statement highlighting issues discussed and agreed.

The two government entities covered topics such as the EU Digital Single Market, digital skills, open internet, the data-driven economy, internet governance, the United Nations review of the 2003-2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and cooperation on international telecommunications policy.

Don’t Keep The Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Secret

TPP why so secret

[From the New York Times Opinion pages, by Margot Kaminski:] COLUMBUS, Ohio — WHEN WikiLeaks recently released a chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, critics and proponents of the deal resumed wrestling over its complicated contents. But a cover page of the leaked document points to a different problem: It announces that the draft text is classified by the United States government. Even if current negotiations over the trade agreement end with no deal, the draft chapter will still remain classified for four years as national security information. The initial version of an agreement projected by the government to affect millions of Americans will remain a secret until long after meaningful public debate is possible. [Note: article mentions a US FOIA case by IP-Watch]