NGOs Call Out Switzerland For Pressuring Colombia On Compulsory Licences; Switzerland Replies

Glivec

Civil society groups are calling on the Swiss government to refrain from putting pressure on developing countries wishing to manufacture generic medicines without the consent of the patent holder. The groups allege that the Swiss government tried to unduly influence Colombia to not take such a step, though it is permitted by international trade rules.

The Swiss government, for its part, says it participated in a public consultation in Colombia and merely underlined that negotiations between governments and original manufacturers are a better way to go than a compulsory licence.

For Ministerial, Developing Countries Seek Moratorium On TRIPS Non-Violation Complaints

WTO

The ability for a member of the World Trade Organization to challenge another member for deprivation of benefits even though this member has not violated any given WTO agreement does not presently apply to intellectual property.

For years, the issue has been debated in the WTO intellectual property committee, with no conclusive outcome. Last month, a group of 17 developing countries submitted a draft decision for the upcoming WTO ministerial conference in December to lastingly ban intellectual property-related non-violation complaints, stepping ahead of the next meeting of the WTO IP committee to be held in October.

Trade Secrets: The ‘Reasonable Steps’ Requirement

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Trade secret theft is a top risk for companies today. When the worst does happen and trade secrets are compromised, companies must prove that reasonable steps have been taken to protect a company’s crown jewels. But determining what “reasonable steps” are can be challenging. Governments have been vague about the term’s definition; and laws and legislation continue to evolve on this issue. However, court actions do provide insight on the ‘reasonable steps requirement’ and point to the need for companies to embed trade secret protection into business operations to qualify as legal protection, writes Pamela Passman.

Ecuador, BRICS Moving Away From International Investment Dispute Regime, Paper Says

Global Justice

As part of a series of publications on investment treaties and investor-state dispute settlement, a developing country multilateral organisation released a policy brief focusing on Ecuador’s experience and action against the current dispute settlement system.

IP-Watch Seeks Part-Time Fundraising/Outreach Expert

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Intellectual Property Watch is seeking a dynamic person to help expand our fundraising and outreach activities.

Nairobi WTO Ministerial Conference Preparation On Track, Says Ambassador

WTO Logo

“Membership is comfortable with the level of preparedness and what we have done as a country” to host the December trade ministerial, the Kenyan trade minister told press at the World Trade Organization today.

France Spearheads Push For Plain Packaging Of Tobacco Products

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The country that made smoking cool is now taking steps to make it uncool. France this week organised what it defined as “the first international ministerial meeting” on plain packaging for tobacco products, gathering countries that support the public health measure aimed at discouraging tobacco use.

EU Commissioner Signals Support For LDC Request To Waive IP Rights Enforcement On Pharma

Cecilia Malmström  EU Trade Commissioner

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a recent speech that providing she has the backing of the College of Commissioners, the Council and the European Parliament, she would like to answer positively to the request by least developed countries (LDCs) to extend a particular exemption to enforce intellectual property rights on medical products as long as they remain an LDC.

Cuba Says It Has Protected 5000 US IPRs, While US Violates Its Rights

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Cuba has been trying for many years to get the United States to undo a law that prevents Cuba from defending a rum brand trademark in US courts. This week at the World Trade Organization, the Caribbean country said during this time it has dutifully protected the intellectual property rights of more than 5,000 US products, while the US has allowed violations of Cuban patents and trademarks.

TISA Stocktaking Meeting Also Might Have To Face Growing Protests

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With the veil of secrecy lifted a little more on the strictly secret talks of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) after Wikileaks published large chunks of negotiating text, delegations gathered for negotiations of the trade deal this week in Geneva face some noisy opposition.