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Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


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    11/04/2014: Geneva Health Forum Meets To Discuss Solutions To Common Problems

    By Julia Fraser for Intellectual Property Watch

    The Geneva Health Forum (GHF), taking place on 15-17 April in Geneva, will discuss the theme “Global Health: Interconnected Challenges, Integrated Solutions.” This year’s forum aims to encourage an “integrative approach” to global health, “which better captures the underlying causes of ill-health and recognises the commonalities that underlie people’s health around the world,” says GHF.

    The forum brings together a multi-sectorial representation of global health players, including practitioners, researchers, policymakers, the private sector and civil society, to promote “global dialogue on health policy and practice.”

    Participants will present ongoing experiences in areas such as innovation, primary healthcare, maternal and child health, health system strengthening, antimicrobial resistance, access to medicines, global health governance and big data.

    The full programme is available here.

    “The Geneva Health Forum provides a unique opportunity to meet and shape tomorrow’s agenda on major health issues,” said Louis Loutan, president of GHF. “Pooling intelligence will bring value and challenge common ideas to explore new territories of freethinking and build on inter-sectorial approaches to solving the problems of our time.”

    The forum this year comes in context of “current discussions on how to position health in the post-2015 development agenda,” the event website says about this year’s theme. “The complexity of today’s global health challenges requires harnessing the skills and energies of many sectors and disciplines in order to develop innovative and effective solutions.”

    09/04/2014: Book Analyses Chinese IP And Technology Laws

    By Julia Fraser for Intellectual Property Watch

    The recently published book “Chinese Intellectual Property and Technology Laws” provides the “first” overview of Chinese IP and technology law, supported by extensive legal, historical and socioeconomic background to developments in these areas.

    The book is edited by Rohan Kariyawasam, a solicitor in the UK, law professor at Cardiff University (UK) and visiting professor at Peking University (China). It also includes a foreword by contributor to the book, Jiang Zhipei, former Chief Justice of the IPR Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court.

    The book starts with an introduction and recent updates to Chinese patent, trademark and copyright law. It then addresses unfair competition, trade secrets and IP protection under the network environment. Other chapters focus on IP protection in Hong Kong; laws protecting computer software, information technology and e-commerce; new anti-monopoly law and competition; and enforcement of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and of IP laws in China.

    Antony Taubman, director of the WTO IP Division, was quoted as saying about the book: ‘The rapid evolution of China from an ‘emerging’ to a mature intellectual property jurisdiction has far-reaching implications for the law, policy and practice of IP, and their links with competition and technology law.”

    Produced in the year China rose to fourth rank globally as user of the international patent system,” Taubman said, “this volume is an invaluable guide for the policymaker, the analyst and the practitioner alike, setting a thorough exposition of the substantive law and its application within a broader policy context, and offering a comprehensive, timely overview of an IP system just at the time it begins to assume central significance on the world stage.”

    Contributors to the book are “some of China’s leading academic experts,” according to the publisher.

    The book is published by Edward Elgar Publishing, available for purchase here.

     

    08/04/2014: EU Data Retention Directive Declared In Violation Of EU Law

    By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

    European data retention has to be rolled back after a clear judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg today.

    The highest EU Court ruled that the directive which obliges telecommunication providers to collect and store communication traffic and location data for up to 2 years, depending on the implementation in the member states, is invalid.

    The press release from the court is available here [pdf].

    The directive had been challenged in separate cases by Digital Rights Ireland, several Austrian citizens, plus a group of over 11,000 citizens supporting the organisation AKVorrat.

    While the judges acknowledge in the ruling that data retention might be a tool to help fight organised crime, they nevertheless rejected the proportionality of limiting every EU citizen’s rights to privacy (Article 7 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights) and data protection (Article 8).

    The Court in this ruling went beyond the arguments of the General Prosecutor, who in December last year mainly pointed to the lack of limitations with regard to access and security of the collected data. Also, the Court decided there can be no intermediate solution to allow for preparation of a new instrument, but declared the directive null and void. Member states now have to react and address the implementations to national law.

    The parties and civil rights organisations in Europe welcomed the decision, calling it a “great day” for the civil liberties. “This case is a profound statement of European values by Europe’s top court. The court has rejected the principle of mass surveillance of EU citizens without suspicion as incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It will be up to individual member states to now ensure their domestic law is in compliance with the ECJ’s judgment,” said a statement from McGarr Solicitors, who represent Digital Rights Ireland.

     

    07/04/2014: ICANN Puts Off Decision On .Vin And .Wine

    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has decided to take more time to review applications to grant two internet domains related to delicate political subject of … wine.

    ICANN, the internet domain name technical oversight body, on 4 April took on board international concerns about granting the domains .vin and .wine. Wine has a history of requiring careful negotiations in international trade, which apparently carries over to the internet.

    ICANN is considering applications for hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The ICANN New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) said in its 4 April statement on resolutions:

    “Resolved (2014.04.04.NG04), the NGPC recommends that the full Board consider the larger implications of legally complex and politically sensitive issues such as those raised by GAC members, including whether ICANN is the proper venue in which to resolve these issues, or whether there are venues or forums better suited to address concerns such as those raised by GAC members in relation to the .WINE and .VIN applications.” The GAC is multistakeholder ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee.

    The delay appears to have been driven largely by European stakeholders, based on letters sent to ICANN from European Union agencies and wine producers. There also are some letters from US-based wine groups. Of particular concern is the possibility of weakening wine geographical indications, a carefully negotiated component of the 1994 World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    The Eur0pean Commission issued a statement welcoming ICANN’s decision to put off the decision and its encouragement that applicants negotiate.

     

    07/04/2014: UK Issues New Regulations On Copyright Collecting Societies

    By Julia Fraser for Intellectual Property Watch

    The United Kingdom has issued new regulations for collecting societies that it says clarify the licensing of copyrighted materials.

    The “Copyright (Regulation of Relevant Licensing Bodies) Regulations 2014” came into force yesterday, 6 April. They are intended to provide legally enforceable “minimum standards” for all collecting societies to supplement their own existing Codes of Practice.

    “The additional backstop power that has come into force today is there to make sure those standards are met and to give businesses the certainty and clarity they need,” Lord Younger, the UK IP minister, said in a UK Intellectual Property Office release.

    “Collecting societies provide users licences for the public use of a range of copyright works, including music, articles, film and TV. Collecting societies use these licences to distribute individual royalties to creators and rights-holders” the UKIPO said. Examples of licensees can include pubs, bars, shops and schools.

    They are part of wider reforms of UK copyright law to “make a clearer and more accessible copyright framework for users and rights-holders,” and have been positively welcomed by both the British Copyright Council Working Group and the Forum of Private Business.

    Further information can be found on the UKIPO website.

     

    07/04/2014: 2014 LES International Conference In Moscow

    The 2014 LES International Conference “Make the World Better through Licensing” will be held on 18-21 May in Moscow at The World Trade Center Moscow. It will be a unique IP event combining both a professionally interesting and productive program and the richest social entertainment, according to the organisers.

    Among the participants are Russian & foreign businessmen, financial officers, investors, scientists, patent & trademark attorneys and lawyers.

    The conference program will include six general sessions and 23 workshops. Both Russian and International experts will cover most current IP and related issues such as: BRICS & CIS countries as Emerging Markets; International Access to Technologies; Business & Legal Aspects of IP; IP in healthcare/biotechnology, aerospace, car industry, green technology, power engineering, sport, information technologies.

    Confirmed speakers are from: Russian Innovation Center “Skolkovo”, Johnson & Johnson, Canon, L’Oreal, Tatneft, Sony Europe, Siemens AG, Porsche AG, LG Chemical, Philips, Novartis, TATA Technologies, GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing, Yandex and many others.

    For more information and to register visit http://les2014.org/.

     

    04/04/2014: Google Wins Domain Case Against “Googleglass” Website

    Google has successfully defended its Google Glass name in an internet domain dispute in Europe, reported by the World Intellectual Property Organization today.

    The domain name in question is googleglass.es, which was still live as of press time and offering official-looking Google Glass products and news.

    The decision, in Spanish, is available here. The rights to the website were transferred to Google.

    According to the decision, Google has registered a variety of trademarks on its name in Europe, including Google and Google Glass. No one came forward on behalf of the website googleglass.es, which was registered in April 2013, according to the decision. There is no specific contact information on the website, but it appears to provide links to products for sale.

    A Google search of “googleglass.es” did not land on the offending website, but rather asked, “Did you mean googleglass.com?” and then offered the official Google Glass website as the top search result.

    WIPO has a service for deciding internet domain name disputes.

     

    04/04/2014: University Of Geneva Internet L@w Summer School In June

    The University of Geneva is launching an Internet l@w summer school – to take place from June 16 to June 27, 2014.

    The Internet l@w summer school offers the opportunity to learn and discuss internet law and policies with experts from leading institutions including the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, the Internet Society, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as from other prestigious academic or governmental institutions and global internet companies (eBay and Google).

    Topics to be covered include privacy and surveillance, free speech, telecom and internet infrastructure, intellectual property, antitrust, choice of court & choice of law, on-line contracts, consumer protection, legal issues of social media and cloud computing.

    The website of the Internet l@w summer school is: www.internetlaw-geneva.ch

    Registration deadline: May 15, 2014 (early bird: April 15).

     

    04/04/2014: UNITAID Publishes Full Report On Health Implications Of TPP

    By Julia Fraser for Intellectual Property Watch

    UNITAID has published the full version of its report on “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Implications for Access to Medicines and Public Health.” The report finds a possible negative public health impact of the agreement under negotiation.

    The report is available on the UNITAID website here [pdf].

    The report looks at sections of the proposed texts of the TPP relating to patents, pharmaceutical products as a regulated product, trademarks, copyright, enforcement of IP rights and investment, among others.

    The study assessed the impact the proposed provisions are likely to have on global public health and access to medicines, and provides recommendations.

    “The analysis in this report supports the view that the TPPA, if adopted, will have major implications for public health and access to medicines,” says the report. It will “restrict the adoption of policy options for developing countries to ensure that trade or commercial interests do not hinder the protection of health and human development.”

    The executive summary of the report was published earlier this year (IPW, Public Health, 26 February 2014).

    03/04/2014: IP Law Europe Summit To Be Held In June

    [Advertisement]

    marcus evans is pleased to announce the IP Law Europe Summit taking place 2-3 June 2014 at Le Meridien Beach Plaza Monte Carlo in Monaco.

    In the era of the global knowledge economy, the subject of IP has become increasingly contentious and publicly debated. Its reach has exploded across virtually every domain: policy, digital media, public health, human rights, and the environment. Meanwhile, never before has information been so easily replicable or technology so convergent.

    The IP Law Europe Summit is the premium forum bringing together leading in-house IP counsel with international law firms, IP attorneys and legal services providers.  The Summit offers regional IP executives an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping the IP industry.

    Key topics being discussed will include IP strategy and operations, cost-containment, latest developments in patent legislation in EU and US, technology and innovation, and more.  Leading these discussions are senior IP executives from companies like WIPO, Microsoft, Swarovski, and Dolby International. Delegates will include senior executives responsible for IP decision-making in the areas of Patents, Trademark, Copyright, Litigation and/or Legal Affairs.  Each participant at the summit will be eligible to earn SRA CPD credits.

    Between session presentations and networking, in-house IP counsel and service providers engage in pre-scheduled, mutually selected one-on-one business meetings. Over the course of the event, each senior executive representing their service provider company is guaranteed a minimum of 10-12 meetings, each strictly timed to 30 minutes.

    For more information, visit the online info sheet here: http://www.iplawsummiteurope.com/marketing_434

     

    03/04/2014: USPTO Creates Office Of International Patent Cooperation

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the creation of a new Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC), aimed at implementation of US patent cooperation efforts and helping to harmonise patent systems for the benefit of businesses and others.

    “The establishment of the OIPC reflects USPTO’s strong commitment to work with global stakeholders and intellectual property (IP) offices to develop means to increase quality and create new efficiencies within the complex processes of international patent rights acquisition, and its commitment toward global patent harmonization, which both protects America’s ideas and makes it easier to do business abroad,” USPTO said in a release.

    The office will be headed by a new deputy commissioner for international patent cooperation, which will be filled by Mark Powell, who works in the Office of Policy and International Affairs. Powell will report to Patent Commissioner Margaret (Peggy) Focarino. USPTO falls under the Department of Commerce.

    USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee said in a statement that the new office “will allow us to increase certainty of IP rights while reducing costs for our stakeholders and moving towards a harmonized patent system.”

    According to the release: “While the USPTO has been effective in carrying out its international mission through such programs as the Patent Prosecution Highway, the Global Patent Search Network, the Cooperative Patent Classification system, and the new Global Dossier Initiative, creation of the new office will enable USPTO to focus dedicated resources to better implement its international patent cooperation efforts. The main focus of the office, working in concert with the Office of Policy and International Affairs and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, is to provide optimized business process solutions to the international patent examination system for examiners and external stakeholders.”

    The release also stated: “Deputy Commissioner Powell began his career at the USPTO as a patent examiner in 1986, later becoming a patent supervisor and then a director of the telecommunications examination operation from 2003 to 2011. During his service as a Technology Center Director, he led many international initiatives for the Patents Business Unit. For the past three years, he worked full-time through a series of detail assignments to the Office of Policy and International Affairs where he focused exclusively on international cooperative activities.”

     

    01/04/2014: US Trade Barriers Report Highlights IPRs Among Top Concerns

    The United States Trade Representative’s annual report on barriers to US exports contains many references to intellectual property rights issues. These include latest topics of debate such as the treatment of pharmaceutical patents in India, online piracy in Russia, and European-guided geographical indications laws in Latin America. It also highlights recent commitments by China on protection of pharmaceutical patents and trade secrets.

    Other countries highlighted for IP policies were Taiwan and the Philippines, which was praised for following US guidance. Viet Nam was cited for new restrictions on digital commerce.

    “The United States is one of the most open economies in the world,” USTR Michael Froman said in the opening to the report. “But U.S. exports destined for other countries continue to face an array of tariff and nontariff barriers.”

    “The NTE report plays an important role by shining a spotlight on significant trade barriers that our goods and services exporters face,” it said, adding that actions taken by the US government against the barriers are included in the report where possible.

    A USTR fact sheet on the report is available here.

    The full report, issued on 31 March, is available here [pdf].

    31/03/2014: UKIPO: New Exceptions In UK Copyright Law Boost Flexibility For Users

    By Julia Fraser for Intellectual Property Watch

    On 27 March, the United Kingdom introduced new exceptions to its Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 “to make our copyright system better suited to the digital age,” the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has said.

    Exceptions were introduced in the areas of private use, quotation, parody, data-mining, research, education, libraries, disability and public administration, and will come into force in June 2014.

    According to the UKIPO’s guidance overview, the exceptions will allow greater freedom for individuals to make copies of acquired media for their own use, non-commercial use, or for economically or socially valuable purposes, without permission from the original copyright holder. They also allow more flexibility for libraries, universities and schools to disseminate copyrighted materials online at onsite terminals or through distance learning.

    The draft statutory instruments, guidance and impact assessments for the changes can be accessed on the UKIPO website.

    The international Computer and Communications Industry Association reacted to say that it welcomes the new laws, which intend to “create greater and more sustainable economic growth across industries.”

    Separately, the UK today released new figures showing growing investment in ‘intangible’ assets, with just under half being protected by intellectual property rights. More about this can be found on the UKIPO website.

     

    31/03/2014: Korea Joins Hague Agreement; WIPO Hopes Others Will Follow

    Today, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) joined the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. A ceremony was held at the World Intellectual Property Organization, according to a press release by KIPO.

    © WIPO

    © WIPO

    The Hague Agreement is expected to enter into force in South Korea on 1 July 2014. According to the release, WIPO was “eagerly anticipating” the addition of South Korea to the agreement. A WIPO official welcomed the signing and said they hope it will encourage others to do the same. [corrected]

    This accession is expected to inspire other major players to join, the release said, such as the United States and Japan, not yet members of the agreement. The US, Japan and China “have been preparing for accession to the Hague Agreement, and members may soon be able to enjoy the benefit of international applications through the Hague System to protect their industrial designs in the major global economies,” the release said.

    Park Seong-Joon, director general of the Trademark and Design Examination Bureau at KIPO, said in the release, “Korea’s accession could serve as a catalyst for consolidating KIPO’s partnership with Francis Gurry, the recently re-elected director general of WIPO.”

    Under discussion at WIPO is a new procedural treaty to complement the Hague Agreement, on international industrial design registrations.

     

    24/03/2014: Analysis Shows Mixed Results On Big Pharma R&D Efforts For TB

    By Julia Fraser for Intellectual Property Watch

    In time for World TB Day today, an analysis has been published of research and development being carried out for tuberculosis by the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies.

    Research is urgently needed for diagnostic tools, vaccines and medicines that can combat the increasing prevalence of new drug resistant strains of TB.

    The Access to Medicines Index (ATMI) highlights that: “treatment consists of drug cocktails that patients must take daily for months or even years”; available vaccines are often unreliable and only protect children; and current diagnostic tools require professional training and equipment that is not always available.

    The study concludes that “big pharma is focusing its R&D efforts on new drugs and new vaccines, and paying particular attention to developing tools for resistant strains.”

    Most of the R&D for drugs and vaccines is carried out in collaboration with product development partnerships, government institutions and academia. For example, GSK are currently developing a vaccine with the non-profit biotech company Aeras. Pharma involvement can “range from making their drugs available for testing by others, to working in closer collaboration,” says the analysis.

    Meanwhile, diagnostic tools are mainly being developed by small, specialised bio-tech companies, and the analysis shows no clinical trials in this vital area are being carried out by the big pharmaceutical companies.

    The question also remains whether the drugs and vaccines being developed by big pharma will be made accessible and affordable to all people living in low and middle income countries. More information on the analysis can be found here.

     

    20/03/2014: UN Praises US Pullback Of Internet Control

    The United Nations Secretary General and head of the UN International Telecommunication Union earlier this week applauded an announcement by the United States government that it plans to relinquish its remaining control over the internet domain name system.

    The message from the UN was that this step is in line with commitments made by governments to follow a multi-stakeholder model of internet governance.

    The US government has had a longstanding memorandum of understanding with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which has technical oversight of the domain name system. Larry Strickling, the head of the US agency that handles the MOU, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), will speak at an event on the eve of this week’s ICANN meeting in Singapore.

    The UN statements are below.

    Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
    on intent of the United States to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Functions

    The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of 14 March 2014, concerning its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community.

    The Secretary-General takes note of this important development, especially in light of the results of decisions taken at the World Summit on the Information Society that agreed on a multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance. He encourages governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and the Internet technical community to engage in furthering the process to ensure a single, open, free, secure and trustworthy Internet.

    New York, 18 March 2014″

    Statement from ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
    Geneva, 17 March 2014.

    I welcome the announcement from the National Telecommunication and Information Administration of the United States Department of Commerce, of 14 March, 2014, regarding its intent to transition IANA functions to the global community, including full support for a multistakeholder model of Internet governance free from regulation by any one government or inter-governmental organization.

    I would like to reiterate what I have said many times: the Internet is a global public good and therefore all nations and peoples should have an equal say in its running and development. I commend the US government’s announcement about changing oversight arrangements of the management of critical Internet resources and I believe this development will lead to improved and productive cooperation between the telecommunications and Internet communities.

    I look forward to further development of the appropriate mechanisms which will ensure fair, equitable and inclusive management of critical internet resources for the benefit of all and count on discussing these proposals with all relevant stakeholders at the NETMundial meeting in Brazil this coming April as well as other appropriate fora.

    I urge all stakeholders involved to develop the transition plan in the spirit of principles agreed by the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 and 2005. This means, inclusive of all nations and stakeholders, from developing and developed countries alike, and conducted in a transparent, open, constructive manner with a view to ensuring a more equitable and accessible Internet for all.”

     

    20/03/2014: Rise Of Knowledge Societies Leads To New Social Conflicts, Book Says

    By Maëli Astruc for Intellectual Property Watch

    The rise of knowledge societies leads to the emergence of new conflicts initiated by stakeholders who do not come from the closed world of intellectual property, but rather from the general civil society. This reflects the growing importance of IP in the international economy, says a recent book.

    The book, titled “Conflicts in the Knowledge Society, The Contentious Politics of Intellectual Property,” was written by Sebastian Haunss, senior researcher in political science at the University of Bremen (Germany). Haunss proposes a political science analysis of these movements.

    He considers that “the politicization of IP … is embedded in more wide-ranging processes of social change associated with the transformation of industrial societies into knowledge societies.” The book states that from those conflicts have emerged new collective actors “with the ability to contest the existing dominant order.”

    The first chapters explain the history and the recent politicization of IP and why it leads to conflicts. Core chapters analyse four recent conflicts: software patents in Europe, access to medicines, Creative Commons licensing, and Pirate Parties. Those mobilisations are analysed in the light of three points: the wider context of the conflict, actors it involves and its more general framework.

    Conflicts can be linked, as they address similar meta-conflicts, namely the current mode of innovation, the access to knowledge and the limits of anonymous markets.

    The book is published by Cambridge University Press, available here.

     

    18/03/2014: First Geneva Dialogue On Traditional Knowledge This Week

    A multi-stakeholder group open to participants will meet this week for the first Geneva Dialogue on Traditional Knowledge, to informally discuss negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization scheduled to resume next week.

    The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (ACIPA) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) are holding the all-day dialogue this Friday, 21 March.

    “The objective of this dialogue is to provide an informal space to debate key issues relevant for the effective development and implementation of an international regime for the protection of TK, with a primary focus on the ongoing process at the IGC.”

    The IGC is the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, which will meet from 24 March to 4 April.

    More information on the dialogue is available here.

    According to the ICTSD website: “The dialogue will thus bring together a multi-stakeholder group of country delegates, experts, academics and indigenous people representatives to discuss the current direction of the IGC negotiations on TK. The morning sessions will provide opportunities to discuss the IGC draft text on TK, its relationship to the CBD Nagoya Protocol, and the treatment of customary law and its role in securing effective TK protection. The contribution of proposals included in the recent IGC draft text on GRs to the prevention of TK misappropriation will also be examined. The afternoon sessions will address key issues in the draft TK text, as well as cross-cutting issues in the draft GRs text, such as: i) scope; ii) economic rights/beneficiaries; iii) shared TK and iv) limitations and exceptions.”

     

    17/03/2014: Breeders’ Group CIOPORA Redefining Its Position On IP

    By Maëli Astruc for Intellectual Property Watch

    The International Community of breeders of asexually reproduced ornamental and fruit plants (CIOPORA) is preparing a new position on intellectual property rights to respond to changes in the market and what it says is the need for greater protection for breeders.

    The industry group is taking the view that the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is no longer up to date, it said. After an 18-month effort, CIOPORA announced in a press release this week that new draft papers on IP will be discussed at the group’s annual general meeting to be held from 31 March to 3 April in The Hague, Netherlands.

    CIOPORA President Andrea Mansuino said, “The highest priority of this process is to ensure that CIOPORA’s new Position Papers on IP reflect the current opinions and interests of its members.” The group’s members are invited to participate in several workshops on the papers during the annual meeting.

    Redefining CIOPORA’s position was considered necessary due to changing market conditions and the need for stronger protection of breeder’s innovations, the press release said. The draft papers up for adoption at the meeting concern issues such as, “Essentially Derived Varieties, Minimum Distance, Scope of Right, Patents for Plant Related Inventions, and Additional Requests, variety denominations, application and PBR granting process, DUS examinations, enforcement, and other related issues.”

    The papers will go before a general IP session on 2 April, with the aim of eventually replacing the “CIOPORA Green Paper”. If not, the reform process will continue during 2014.

    Subjects to be addressed in the open part of the annual meeting include: “IP strategy of the major producer of electronics, the issues of biodiversity and its role for the future of plant breeding, the FRAND-licensing of IP rights, [and] insight into the future of the global horticulture from the point of view of an experienced financier.”

    12/03/2014: Book Challenges ‘Neoliberal’ Approach In Global Public Health Policy

    By Julia Fraser for Intellectual Property Watch

    A recent book by a UK journalist and lecturer illustrates that recent reforms in global public health policy have ignored public health needs in favour of market-based ideologies.

    Health Policy Reform: Global Health versus Private Profit by John Lister analyses the motivations behind international reforms in health policy. It strongly argues that recent reforms have been politically and financially driven by neoliberal and capitalist ideologies. This has lead to more unequal, costly and unaccountable healthcare systems, instead benefitting the private sector. Lister focuses on reforms in the UK’s National Health Service, and applies this to the wider global context.

    The book is an update of Lister’s earlier book Health Policy Reform: Driving the Wrong Way. John Lister is s well-known UK-based journalist, researcher, and campaigner for publicly funded, publicly provided universal health care. He is currently a senior lecturer in Health Journalism at Coventry University in the UK.

    The book is published by Libri Publishing, and can be purchased here.

     

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