The latest briefs from the IP community
By Catherine Saez
The European Union Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM) has released a study showing that most EU citizens are aware of and value intellectual property, but about a third of them find infringement acceptable in certain circumstances.
The report titled “European Citizens and Intellectual Property: Perception, Awareness and Behaviour” [pdf] was based on a survey of 26,500 people aged 15 and over in all of 28 EU member countries between December 2012 and August 2013. It was commissioned by OHIM in the framework of the Programme of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.
The research found that European citizens are largely in favour of IP rights, considering them “a pillar of the economic and social organisation,” and do not readily admit to having engaged in IP infringing behaviours over the last 12 months.
However, a third of them may find it acceptable to resort to IP infringement “to cope with the consequences of limited purchasing power or to protest against an economic model driven by a market economy and premium brands,” according to the report. The largest portion in this category was among younger users.
This paradox might find its roots in the lack of understanding of IP value, and the belief that IP rights only benefits “the business and artistic elites,” the report said.
The World Intellectual Property Organization today launched WIPO Green, a database and network aimed at boosting licensing of environmental technologies.
Information about the programme is here.
“Our objective is for WIPO GREEN to become a go-to platform for green technologies, thanks to our growing network of partners and innovative collaborations with major global technology databases,” WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said in a release.
WIPO Green has two components, according to the website, a database and a network.
The database “consists of a range of IP assets including inventions, technologies, know-how and services and a catalogue of expressed needs. The database is freely accessible with certain details available only upon registration,” it says.
The network “serves as a global platform that connects users, fosters partnerships and provides a marketplace for green inventions, technologies, know-how and services.”
The website provides a platform to match those with patented green technologies or consulting services to promote their goods with those who have needs for commercial deals.
The project has over 30 partners, including mainly industry groups and think tanks.
The regions of the World Health Organization earlier this month submitted their proposals for projects to boost research and development of health technologies for diseases disproportionately affecting developing countries and lacking a market incentive. A shortlist of projects will be selected by a group of WHO-chosen experts at a 3-5 December meeting in Geneva.
The proposed demonstration projects of the six WHO regions are available here.
The proposals show some overlap in priorities, but generally show a range with regard to diseases, such as paediatric HIV, malaria, visceral leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, or diabetes, and a variety of proposals aimed at broader concepts and issues such as innovation and access, antibiotics resistance, biomarkers, and low-cost vaccine development.
The experts’ recommendations will proceed to the January meeting of the WHO Executive Board, and finally, the annual World Health Assembly in May.
The December meeting is the next step in a long process at the WHO to address the problem (IPW, WHO, 6 November 2013).
Health technologies include medicines, diagnostics, medical devices, vaccines, among other things, according to WHO.
“The projects must demonstrate effectiveness of alternative, innovative and sustainable financing and coordination approaches to address identified R&D gaps,” it says on its website.
US Patent Commissioner Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino today took over the duties as head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), after Acting Director Teresa Rea’s resignation took effect on 21 November, the USPTO said in a release.
The release is here.
In effect, the top two positions at the USPTO are now vacant: the director and the deputy director. The USPTO is part of the US Commerce Department.
The director position – which is also called the undersecretary of Commerce for intellectual property – has been vacant since David Kappos left for the private sector early this year.
It is unknown how long the director position will remain open, as the nomination will come from the White House and no indication has been given yet, according to sources.
Rea was serving as acting director in her position as deputy director of the USPTO (and deputy undersecretary of Commerce for intellectual property). It is unclear what her next post will be after leaving the USPTO.
Under Commerce Department/USPTO rules, if the top two posts are empty, the patent commissioner assumes the director duties. That means Focarino, a USPTO veteran, also has oversight of trademarks for now.
A day after the stunning release of a recent draft of the intellectual property chapter of the highly secret Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman promoted the potential benefits of the trade deal for companies doing business in Japan – including for IP rights protection.
“We are working in a bilateral way to urge others to reduce and eliminate their tariffs on information technology and environmental goods. And we are working together in the WTO to press other countries to eliminate export restraints and to strengthen their protection of intellectual property rights,” Froman said in remarks as delivered. “But the greatest potential avenue for our work together is through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.”
Later, Froman said, “In the United States, alongside our domestic efforts, we have also pursued a new chapter in our trade agenda – seeking opportunities and agreements that better reflect both America’s interests and our values on core issues such as labor, the environment, intellectual property rights and digital freedom.”
See related Intellectual Property Watch reporting here (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 13 November 2013).
CNET News reports: A federal judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit that an author group brought against Google, concluding that books are like Web pages when it comes to indexing them and displaying small excerpts in search results.
The Google Books project has indexed millions of books, digitizing them without copyright holders’ permission, and the Authors Guild sued over the fact. But U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in New York rejected that argument, granting on Thursday Google’s motion for summary judgment.
The full CNET story is here.
An event being held in Durban, South Africa next week will bring the expertise of global and local businesses, governments, academics and others to the issues of harnessing foreign intellectual property rights as well as creating local IP rights.
The event, Creating and Leveraging Intellectual Property in Developing Countries, will be held from 17-20 November. Information about the conference is available here.
Speakers include South African Trade Minister Rob Davies and Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom, as well as other top national officials.
According to an event press release, scheduled international speakers include: Professor Robert Langer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT) – perhaps the most accomplished engineer in the world, with over 800 patents; Professor Dennis Liotta (co-inventor of Emtricitabine, the most widely prescribed medicine for the treatment of HIV); Tatiana Saribekian (president of Domain Russian Investments in Moscow, who has successfully pioneered co-operation agreements between the Russian government and US venture capital); a videoconference with leaders of patent offices from the BRIC countries, e.g., Boris Simonov (Russian Patent Office) and Chaitanya Prasad (India Patent Office); James Pooley, deputy director general at the World Intellectual Property Organization; and numerous industry lawyers and executives.
Among the panel topics are: the value of patents and a corporate view of what makes a quality patent; initiatives from BRICS patent offices; models for leveraging IP in developing countries; lessons from global entrepreneurs; moving from a resource to a knowledge-based economy; innovation and healthcare; using corporate IP for new ventures in developing economies; technology transfer; a look at recent global patent cases; building a management team; and perspectives from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and computer/software industries. A special panel will be held on traditional knowledge, a topic of significant debate as South Africa works toward passage of new law.
The conference is organised by the South Africa Department of Science & Technology, the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission, and the National IP Management Office (part of Department of Science & Technology).
[Note: This article was originally produced for local-pharma-production.net, a joint project of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, GIZ, UNCTAD and UNIDO.]
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch
US Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner at a hearing today of the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Committee (LIBE) on mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence services asked the EU politicians “to work pragmatically with the United States to continue balanced efforts to protection our nations” and “rebuild trust while defending civil liberties and national security on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Sensenbrenner’s prepared statement is here. The full archived meeting will be up later.
An author of both the US Patriot Act and new draft legislation to abolish bulk collection of data, the Freedom Act (together with Senator Patrick Leahy), Sensenbrenner was the first US politician to participate in the series of hearings expected to result in recommendations for how the EU can address the mass surveillance revelations.
Sensenbrenner has said that to push the Freedom Act to the Senate and House floors, he and his partners would have to fight in both chambers against the leaders of both parties and the intelligence community. The draft legislation passed recently in the Intelligence Committee would only make legal all the NSA had done legal, he warned.
The Congressman, on the other hand, was evasive with regard to reiterated questions about the double standard with regard to protection of US and EU citizens’ fundamental rights and the lack of redress.
With regard to a long pending negotiation on a transatlantic framework agreement on data protection, he pointed to an upcoming meeting of US Attorney General Eric Holder and European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding next weekend.
The chair of the inquiry meeting, Dutch Liberal Sophie In’t Veld, said in closing that despite the different legal systems there should be ways for the protection of civil liberties. “This will be a precondition for the trans-Atlantic trade negotiations,” she said.
During the second and third part of today’s hearing, LIBE members checked on the oversight (and lack of oversight) of spy programmes in member states. They also grilled representatives of Microsoft, Facebook and Google over their cooperation with US services.
The United States today lost its right to vote in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) General Conference for failing to pay its dues. The US withheld its dues after UNESCO members voted to grant Palestinian membership in 2011. The US has legislation against Palestinian membership as a state in organisations.
World leaders gathered this week at UNESCO headquarters in Paris for the 37th General Conference.
[Update: Israel also lost its voting rights for choosing not to pay its dues, according to a news report.]
The US State Department issued a statement saying the country regrets the development but it will continue to participate in UNESCO activities without a vote, and that President Obama has requested a change in the domestic legislation.
Even with a vote, the US has not always reached its goals at UNESCO, such as in the case of the 2005 Cultural Diversity Treaty (IPW, United Nations, 17 October 2005; IPW, United Nations, 17 October 2005).
The US State Department statement is here:
“We regret that today the United States lost its vote in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference as a result of legislative restrictions that have precluded payment of U.S. dues to UNESCO. The restrictions were triggered when UNESCO member states voted to grant the Palestinians membership as a state in 2011.
We note a loss of vote in the General Conference is not a loss of U.S. membership. The United States intends to continue its engagement with UNESCO in every possible way – we can attend meetings and participate in debate, and we will maintain our seat and vote as an elected member of the Executive Board until 2015.
UNESCO and U.S. leadership at UNESCO matter. UNESCO directly advances U.S. interests in supporting girls’ and women’s education, facilitating important scientific research, promoting tolerance, protecting and preserving the world’s natural and cultural heritage, supporting freedom of the press, and much more. It is in that vein that President Obama has requested legislative authority to allow the United States to continue to pay its dues to UN agencies that admit the Palestinians as a member state when doing so is in the U.S. national interest. Although that proposal has not yet been enacted by Congress, the President remains committed to that goal.”
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) today issued a warning about the rise of Rockstar, a consortium of large companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Sony, formed to assert former Nortel patents. The consortium recently sued Google and other companies for infringement of several of those patents.
“FSFE voiced serious concerns and warned competition regulators against exactly such a scenario in December 2011,” it said in a release.
Previously, the US Department of Justice imposed limits on the use of the patent portfolio of software company Novell, including preventing them from being used against free software, the group said.
But when Rockstar bought Nortel’s patents, “things were different,” FSFE said. “Whatever promises, if any, the US competition regulators managed to extract from the companies that make up Rockstar – Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony – are clearly ineffective. Rockstar’s CEO is even reported as publicly stating that he does not feel bound by any such commitments. The result is an entirely predictable lawsuit where a proxy company is using generic, overbroad patents in order to harm a competitor.”
“Patents on software are a dangerous business risk at the best of times,” FSFE General Counsel Carlo Piana said. “In highly competitive markets like the one for mobile devices, they are essentially a license for privateering.”
The Rockstar case “highlights the need for regulators to monitor patent transactions tightly, and analyse their consequences carefully,” FSFE said. “Lawsuits such as this strangle innovation and impose a private tax on productive companies.”
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has announced a workshop in Ukraine next year aimed at fighting counterfeit technology products, representing a notable foray into intellectual property rights protection by the UN agency.
“This workshop will investigate the scope, dimension of counterfeit ICT issue [sic], share experience of current best practices, discuss whether a possible framework could be derived from the common approach and focus on how ITU as well as other International organizations could assist developing countries to combat counterfeit ICT products,” the event website says.
The registration website for the event is here. The meeting will take place in Kiev on 28-29 April. There is no agenda available yet.
The invitation document for the event is here.
The invitation says that ITU is studying counterfeit issues under an action plan that appears to be a protected document.
“ITU-T SG11 is studying counterfeit issues in ITU-T and it encourages exchange of information, experience and opinions about this topic according to the SG11 Action plan, it says. (ITU-T refers to the Telecommunications division of the organisation).
The workshop seeks to build on efforts by some countries to fight counterfeit mobile devices, it says.
The workshop invitation was first made public by Jeremy Malcolm of Consumers International.
The United Kingdom has announced the implementation of new rules that extend the term of copyright for sound recordings and performers rights in such recordings from 50 to 70 years.
The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills made the announcement on 1 November.
In a release, BIS said: “The Copyright and Duration of Rights in Performances Regulations 2013 implement EU Directive 2011/77/EU into UK law. Recorded performers and musicians will also benefit, after 50 years following publication of the sound recording, from some additional novel and innovative measures including:
- a “session fund” paying many performers (such as session musicians) 20 per cent of revenues from sales of their recordings
- a “clean slate” provision, whereby a producer may not make deductions from payments to performers (such as advances of royalties) from publication of a recording
- a “use it or lose it” clause – which allows performers and musicians to claim back their performance rights in sound recordings if they are not being commercially exploited”
“The new rules bring lasting benefits for our world class recording artists. These changes demonstrate the Government`s ongoing commitment to, and support for, our creative industries – who are worth billions to our economy,” UK Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger, said in the release. “Artists who performed on sound recordings will benefit from this extension of copyright protection from 50 to 70 years. The changes should help ensure that musicians are rewarded for their creativity and hard work throughout their careers.”
The Directive also harmonises the length of copyright term for co-written works, the release said, adding that the directive was approved by EU member states in September 2011 and the UK government has implemented the directive on time.
A guide to the EU directive is available here.
By Caitlin McGivern for Intellectual Property Watch
A growing list of US industries has sent a letter to the leaders of the US House of Representatives and Senate judiciary committees urging them to combat patent assertion entities (PAEs), also known as patent trolls.
The list of signatories includes the Computer & Communications Industry Association, National Retail Federation, National Grocers Association, American Gaming Association, Printing Industries of America and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
They argue that PAEs “[exploit] the patent system for financial gain to the detriment of innovation” and are a huge financial drain on American businesses. They also assert that proving the invalidity of a PAE’s patent through litigation is hugely time-consuming and costly.
The signatories state that there needs to be an effective alternative to litigation to challenge PAEs’ patents. The letter discusses the Covered Business Method (CBM) review program, which provides a less expensive means of challenging PAEs’ patents.
Under the programme, once a patent is invalidated at the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), it is removed from the system and can no longer be used to target other businesses. A crucial aspect of this review is that smaller businesses are able to pool their resources in order to pay to have a PAE’s patent reviewed.
The letter asks that the patent reform legislation before Congress include provisions to make the CBM review programme available to more industries. Currently, it is only available for “financial services” patents, which means that most of the patents used by PAEs are not eligible for review under the programme.
The White House and the USPTO have already expressed their support for expanding CBM review, and the signatories “strongly urge” the House and Senate Judiciary leaders to do the same.
Countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement have undertaken an intensive series of negotiating meetings on specific topics over the coming month, ending with a meeting of chief negotiators and key experts in late November.
According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, meetings are being held on rules of origin (two times), government procurement, state-owned enterprises, and investment, ending with the chief negotiators meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah (US).
Negotiations on the intellectual property chapter took place recently. All negotiations are highly confidential.
The goal of negotiators has been to conclude the talks by the end of this year.
USTR issued the following statement:
“Trans-Pacific Partnership partner countries, including the United States, will be hosting a series of meetings in coming weeks on various aspects of the ongoing negotiations:
October 28-November 1 Rules of Origin Mexico City, Mexico
October 30-November 2 Government Procurement Washington, DC
November 4-November 7 State-Owned Enterprises Santiago, Chile
November 6-November 9 Investment Washington, DC
November 12-November 18 Rules of Origin Salt Lake City, UT
November 19-November 24 Chief Negotiators & Key Experts Salt Lake City, UT
USTR will announce telephone briefings for U.S. stakeholders to be held around meetings in Salt Lake City.”
By Caitlin McGivern for Intellectual Property Watch
In a new blog post, Michelle Wein, research analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, criticises a series of decisions by the Canadian courts overturning certain patents based on a re-evaluation of the usefulness criterion that a patent must meet. She argues that this trend reduces the effectiveness of the international patent system, inhibits innovation and reduces the distribution of life-saving medications.
The post, accessible here, discusses how the courts’ recent examination of the “promise doctrine” has encouraged the notion that for a patent to be valid, it must meet heightened requirements for usefulness. The promise doctrine holds that a patent must not only be useful for some purpose (the standard in the United States and Europe), but it must also deliver exactly the purpose promised in the patent filing. Wein states that this establishes “an impractical evidentiary burden,” since at the time of filing, the specific usefulness of a patent cannot be determined.
Wein argues that this precedent set by the Canadian courts will have an adverse effect not only on the intellectual property system in Canada, but around the world. She points to pharmaceutical companies’ lost sales following on from the termination of patents, and suggests that this will reduce incentive to innovate and develop new drugs, and poses a risk to patients relying on the development of new medicines.
A new caucus of supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement under negotiation was launched yesterday in the US Congress.
The Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) caucus is headed by four co-chairman: Republican Reps. David Reichert of Washington and Charles Boustany of Louisiana, and Democratic Reps. Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Gregory Meeks of New York.
The four members issued a press announcement with statements on why they are supporting the agreement, which they say is important for US jobs, exports and economic growth.
“The Caucus will provide a forum to discuss the broader U.S. strategic goals and benefits of the TPP Agreement,” Meeks said.
According to Open Secrets, among the four co-chairs, Reichert’s top donor last year was Microsoft, and Kind has numerous healthcare and pharmaceutical donors.
The hyper-secret TPP negotiations have taken an upturn in intensity in recent weeks, though the goal of completion in 2013 seems to be ambitious, according to available information, in part due to the complexity of intellectual property negotiations.
The talks continue to come under fire for a lack of transparency and for suspected provisions that public health advocates say could harm medicines access for the public. See a recent report here.
Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd issued a statement today in support of the caucus, whose aim, he said, “is to ensure a meaningful TPP agreement.”
“[W]e place the highest priority on working with our trading partners and the US government to achieve a comprehensive, high-standard and commercially-meaningful agreement,” Dodd said. “Yesterday’s announcement is an important step toward achieving a TPP agreement that will increase market access while providing the tools necessary to protect intellectual property in the digital age.”
Countries negotiating the TPP include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.
The Motion Picture Association of America has provided a list to the US Trade Representative’s office of the global websites the US film group says are the most copyright-infringing in the world.
The list, includes dozens of offenders around the world, such as peer-to-peer networks, bit torrent portals, infringing download and streaming hubs, linking websites and newsgroups, as well as physical markets located in the Ukraine, Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Ireland, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Mexico and India, according to the MPAA submission.
The list was submitted to the USTR “notorious markets” list,under the Special 301 process, in the form of a letter that makes claims of extremely high levels of financial loss due to piracy, though without citing the data sources for the claims.
MPAA chronicled successful efforts to shut down or deter infringers, but acknowledged that in many cases new ones popped up. The list includes The Pirate Bay as having a particularly high rate of use with tens of millions of visitors to the bit torrent tracker on the internet, and details its ability to continue operations despite a series of legal setbacks and prosecutions.
The film group also hailed the defeat of the Megaupload download and streaming hub, saying that an increase in legitimate sales was recorded immediately afterward, though an increase in the use of other unauthorised sites was also noted, in particular Putlocker (UK). Another site is VKontakte in Russia, which was named the leading social networking site in Russian-speaking territories and one of the most-visited sites in the world.
MPAA members are: Walt Disney Studios; Paramount Pictures; Sony Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox; Universal City Studios; and Warner Bros.
USTR enforcement actions during the year usually closely reflect the contributions of US insdusty.
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch
The European Parliament is showing some teeth again. Following the ongoing revelations of mass surveillance by US intelligence agencies, the Parliament plenary today passed a resolution calling on the EU Commission to temporarily suspend all data transfers according to the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) with the United States Treasury Department.
The agreement allowing transfers of banking information of European citizens in bulk to the Treasury under supervision of EU police body Europol came into effect in 2010, after earlier secret access by US authorities to the data held by Belgian finance institution SWIFT since 2001 were revealed in reports by the New York Times in 2006.
The European Parliament had grudgingly passed the TFTP agreement to to legalise transfers that were limited and supervised by Europol. Recent press reports about direct access to the IT systems banking data by the NSA resulted in harsh criticism during one of the regular inquiry hearings the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) has conducted since September on the mass surveillance affair.
With the resolution today, the plenary also requested a full onsite technical investigation into the allegations, including those on backdoors used by US authorities to illegally access the SWIFT servers.
The Conservative European People’s Party recommended to postpone the vote until after a visit by the EU LIBE Committee in the US next week, but S&D, Liberals, Green Party and the Left favored an immediate vote. The Left had originally even called for an immediate termination. A temporary or permanent stop to the TFTP has to be executed by the Commission and the member states who might be reluctant to make that step.
The LIBE Committee earlier this week also passed stricter data protection provisions that will extend to non EU-companies active on the EU market.
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch
Brazilian Minister of Communications Paolo Bernado Silva, during the opening session of this week’s 8th Internet Governance Forum in Bali, Indonesia, announced that the goal of the Internet Governance Summit in Brazil next spring will be to find a new model for internet governance.
Referring to the anger in Brazil about the revelations of mass surveillance, Silva said, “we do not just want any internet.” After a decade of unilateralism and centralism, a move towards a more democratic and inclusive model is necessary, Silva said. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) President and CEO Fadi Chehadé agreed: “The status quo is not sustainable.”
The planned summit in Brazil, jointly announced with ICANN, will be open to all stakeholders, both said. Silva underlined that what the model will look like is also open. Silva’s speech is available here [pdf, scroll down for English].
US Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy Danny Sepulveda, in his opening speech, said that while the US is open to the evolution of the internet governance model, one should guard against centralised and institutionalised control of the net. Reacting to the surveillance allegations, Sepulveda said: “I can assure you the US government is taking your concerns very seriously.”
Thomas Gass, assistant secretary-general for policy coordination and inter-agency affairs in UN DESA, also criticised mass surveillance in his opening address.
Speaking for civil society and the World Wide Web Foundation, Nnenna Nwakanma warned: “We seem to be moving farther from human rights as we move further on the internet governance process.” Human rights and civil society participation need to have a comeback at the IGF and be kept at centre stage, Nwakamma said.
Human rights issues, surveillance, as well as how the multi-stakeholder cooperation should be shaped are the topics of many panels until Friday.
How sensitive is US trade? Perhaps as an indication of its approach to the press, the United States Trade Representative’s office yesterday published its weekly “press week ahead” full of events that would be of interest to domestic and international press – and 100 percent closed to press.
UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
www.ustr.gov Washington, D.C. 20508 202-395-3230
USTR Press Office Week Ahead
October 21-October 25, 2013
Monday, October 21
Ambassador Froman will meet with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Ambassador Froman will participate in the U.S.-China CEO Dialogue at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
On October 21 – 23, Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler will lead the third round of U.S.-Japan Parallel Negotiations on Motor Vehicles, Insurance and other Non-tariff Measures.
Closed Press (opening photo spray)
On October 21-25, Ambassador to the WTO Michael Punke and USTR staff will participate in negotiations toward a multilateral trade agreement for the 9th WTO Ministerial.
On October 21-25, Ambassador to the WTO Michael Punke and USTR staff will participate in the resumption of negotiations toward the expanded Information Technology Agreement at the WTO.
U.S. negotiators arrive in Japan for bilateral and intersessional TPP meetings on intellectual property rights.
Tuesday, October 22
Ambassador Froman will meet with BMW Chairman Dr.-Ing. Norbert Reithofer.
Wednesday, October 23
No public events.
Thursday, October 24
No public events.
Friday, October 25
No public events.
** Additional events may be announced throughout the week.