Australia Accuses Tobacco Industry Of ‘Regulatory Chill’ In WTO Plain Packaging Case

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Australia this week at the World Trade Organization said the tobacco industry is applying a “well-known tactic” of instilling a “regulatory chill” on WTO members’ efforts to implement plain-packaging anti-smoking strategies. It also said pro-tobacco countries should not keep putting the issue on WTO committee agendas while their dispute settlement cases are running their course.

ITU Looks Into Issues Of Counterfeit, Substandard ICT Products

ITU Building Geneva

This week, the International Telecommunication Union is holding an event highlighting the UN agency’s entry into what it describes as the growing problem of counterfeit and fake information and communication technology (ICT) products. Officials from the neighbouring World Intellectual Property Organization and World Trade Organization remarked during the meeting that counterfeit relates to an intellectual property right infringement, which is a different issue from substandard products.

WTO, WHO, WIPO Examine IPRs And Middle-Income Countries

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The current income-based grouping of countries needs to be changed or access to medicines in middle-income countries will worsen, several speakers said yesterday at a joint meeting between three international organisations on health, trade, and intellectual property. But middle-income countries should step up their engagement in organisations such as the World Health Organization, according to WHO and civil society.

WTO Works To Make Vast Store Of TRIPS Information Easier To Use

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The World Trade Organization is taking steps to make the vast store of information shared by WTO members in the Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) easier to use.

TRIPS Council Debates: Tobacco Packaging, Non-Violation Disputes, Innovation, Health Waiver, UNCTAD

Enough of a deterrent?

This week’s meeting of the World Trade Organization body governing intellectual property issues addressed a long agenda, reflecting continued divergence on regular items, such as complaints that do not involve breach of a WTO agreement, a health waiver, and sustained discussions on plain packaging for tobacco products.

First Innovation Fair Hosted At WTO, Draws Diverse Projects With IP In Mind

Innovation Fair in WTO Atrium

The World Trade Organization hosted an Innovation Fair on 28 October, gathering inventors, supporting agencies, and patent offices. A number of inventions were displayed and explained, from concrete walls to motorisation for bicycles.

TRIPS Council Next Week: Tobacco, Innovation, Non-Violations, Public Health Review

WTO   - Catherine Saez

The next meeting of the World Trade Organization Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is scheduled to take place on 28-29 October. In addition to the regular agenda items of the Council, two additional agenda items have been submitted by members, relating to tobacco plain packaging and innovation. Image Credits: Catherine Saez

WTO Director General Presents TRIPS As Major Tool For Trade Growth

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World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo this week hailed WTO’s intellectual property agreement, saying the past two decades show it provides a balanced multilateral foundation for the growth of trade in knowledge-rich products and services.

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.

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.