EU Parliament Hearing: Data Protection Not A Trade Barrier, But A Fundamental Right

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At a hearing on data flows and data protection in trade agreements this week, several members of the European Parliament called for the clear exemption of current and future data protection regulation from ongoing trade negotiations.

CERN Open Innovation Project Steps Up Collaboration

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A collaboration between the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and leading information and telecommunications technology companies has entered a new phase in dealing with challenges in IT infrastructures. This new phase also marks the inclusion of public research organisations in the collaboration. Separately, the program director discussed the role of intellectual property rights at the lab.

News Portals Have Some Liability For Unlawful Content, European Court Of Human Rights Finds

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In the landmark case of Delfi v. Estonia, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights today decided that news portals could be held liable for clearly unlawful content in third party postings.

European Parliament Committee Copyright, Trade Secret Votes

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In voting that took over an hour due to the more than 550 amendments proposed, the European Parliament Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee Tuesday adopted an own-initiative report by German MEP Julia Reda of the Greens/European Free Alliance intended to make sweeping changes to EU copyright law. The report is expected to feed into the European Commission’s (EC’s) copyright reform proposal expected later this year. JURI also backed draft rules on legal redress for theft and misuse of business trade secrets, but said they must in turn respect freedom of information and expression and safeguard whistle-blowers.

EPO Director Says Keep Patent Harmonisation Multilateral; Defends Staff Moves

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European Patent Office President Benoît Batistelli, in an exchange with the Legal Affairs Committee (Juri) of the European Parliament today (15 June), recommended against including harmonisation of patent policy in bilateral negotiations like the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). He also defended his office’s actions on heated staff matters. But he did not address a breaking allegation of EPO surveillance of computers in its building.

Report: European Patent Office Tapped Computers

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A story in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung says, according to an unofficial translation, that it has obtained an internal report that shows the European Patent Office (EPO) tapped two general use computers it had identified as a source for leaked information. The news comes on the eve of a meeting of the EPO president with the European Parliament.

EU Sees Flurry Of IP Policy Activity

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With European Commission proposals for copyright reform expected later this year, EU lawmakers, rights-holders and digital rights activists are pushing for major policy shifts. European Parliament resolutions approved on 9 June call for stronger intellectual property protections in non-EU countries, and better internal enforcement against online breaches. A controversial draft report seeking more harmonisation of EU copyright measures has attracted around 600 proposed amendments and will be voted on 16 June. Meanwhile, the Council said it reached agreement with Parliament on changes to EU trademark law.

Tumultuous Session In European Parliament Ends In Postponement Of TTIP Debate

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After a tumultuous early morning session today in Strasbourg, a slim majority of 183 (against 181) members of the European Parliament decided to postpone mere debate of the Parliament’s report on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The vote on the report prepared by Bernd Lange, head of the International Trade Committee (S&D), had already been postponed yesterday by the President of the Parliament, Martin Schulz.

Climate Change Headlines G7; Merkel Commits To Conclude TTIP During Obama’s Term

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MUNICH — The agreement of the heads of states of the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany to reduce global warning to less than two degrees made the biggest headlines of the G7 Summit on Elmau Castle, Germany, in the Bavarian Alps. Also agreed were commitments on trade and on public health, including research and development for neglected diseases.

Alternative Summit Offers Ideas For Trade Agreements, G7, Amid 40,000 Protesters

Protest in Munich to Obama: Mr. President, hand your Peace Prize to Chelsa Manning and Edward Snowden

MUNICH — Just days before leaders of the Group of 7 (G7) industrialised countries gather in the well-guarded Bavarian Castle Elmau, a broad coalition of organisations invited free trade critics to an International Summit for Alternatives in Munich. Speaking there, Jean Ziegler, well-known former UN rapporteur for the right to food, shrugged off the possible effects of the G7 Summit.