US-India Cooperation Raises Hopes, Concerns

India PM Modi at US-India Business Council

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.

Lisbon Agreement Members To Move Ahead With Treaty Talks Despite Resistance

WIPO - Catherine Saez (7)

The revision of a World Intellectual Property Organization agreement to include geographical indications, raising their status, was challenged in vain by some countries in the past week. In addition, this week’s WIPO General Assembly has been working intensively on a range of other issues.

WTO: Antigua Has New Idea For Gambling Case; Cuba Rails Against US Trademark

Gambling Flickr Alan Cleaver

In a longstanding World Trade Organization dispute about measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services, Antigua and Barbuda has made a new proposal to the United States on a way to solve the issue of the US not complying with a WTO ruling it lost. And in a separate matter at the same WTO meeting last week, Cuba referred to the US failure to change a law barring a rum trademark in the context of railing against US policy of “economic suffocation” of the island nation.

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.

The Politicization Of The US Patent System

The Washington Post story, How patent reform’s fraught politics have left USPTO still without a boss (July 30), is a vivid account of how patent reform has divided the US economy, preempting a possible replacement for David Kappos who stepped down 18 months ago. The division is even bigger than portrayed. Universities have lined up en masse to oppose reform, while main street businesses that merely use technology argue for reform. Reminiscent of the partisan divide that has paralyzed US politics, this struggle crosses party lines and extends well beyond the usual inter-industry debates. Framed in terms of combating patent trolls through technical legal fixes, there lurks a broader economic concern – to what extent ordinary retailers, bank, restaurants, local banks, motels, realtors, and travel agents should bear the burden of defending against patents as a cost of doing business, writes Brian Kahin.

Global Medical Students Call For Shift To Health Over Trade, R&D

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines is calling for new incentive models for research and development so that new treatments can be found for neglected tropical diseases to fight antibiotic resistance, and is asking that health issues supersede trade interests.

At WTO, Nations Blast US For Continued Failure To Fix Havana Club Dispute

Since that fateful night in 1998 when former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms slipped a provision on behalf of US rum-maker Bacardi into an appropriations bill blocking a Cuban-French company from using the Havana Club trademark in the US, it was expected the provision would eventually be overturned.

India IP Policy Misrepresented By US Trade Representative, Indian Pharma Says

An Indian pharmaceutical industry group has challenged the United States Trade Representative’s assessment of India’s intellectual property protection regime and suggested that India received more severe treatment than other countries solely on the basis of treatment of patented pharmaceuticals that it says is allowed under international rules.