Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Criticizes Copyright Provisions in Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)
On December 5, 2013, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) participated in a press conference where she criticized the copyright provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). In particular, she noted three specific concerns including exporting lengthy copyright term, restrictions on copyright limitations and exceptions, and locking in bad provisions on technological protection measures (TPMs). The full press release is reprinted below:Rep. Zoe Lofgren on Emerging & Controversial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Treaty
Professor Joseph Stiglitz has written an open letter to the TPP negotiators, asking that they resist proposals to weaken consumer rights in intellectual property. The letter identifies 12 specific "grave risks" in the IP Chapter, and calls upon negotiators to publish the investor state dispute resolution text.
In a 6 December 2013 letter, Representative Henry Waxman wrote to USTR Ambassador Michael Froman opposing USTR's proposal of a term of 12 years of exclusivity for biologics in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The letter notes,
[w]hile I have worked closely with Senator Hatch on important health issues, including the generic drug law that we co-authored in 1984, I strongly disagreed that the United States should be proposing twelve years of exclusivity.
USTR recently asked KEI if there were areas in the IP Chapter where we approved of the positions taken by USTR, and the answer is, yes. Given how critical we have been about the text, I will mention a few here.
USTR now "supports a more flexible approach under which partners could retain reasonable patent pre-grant opposition procedures." This is welcome, and useful.
In a word, MSF is disappointed.
Vatican criticizes Trans Pacific Partnership: Holy See statement to 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali
The 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is taking place in Bali, Indonesia from 3-6 December 2013. At the Ministerial, H.E. Archbishop, Silvano M. Tomasi, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva delivered a withering critique of the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
On November 28, 2013, I wrote a blog about the problems in using the World Bank's definition of high income, in the specifc context of a proposal by the United States to use this as a measure of which countries in the TPP should have lower standards for intellectual property rights on medical inventions. (See: http://www.keionline.org/node/1834).
Here a different metric is presented, based upon relative incomes, benchmarked against the five highest income countries in the TPP with a population of more than 1 million persons.
This is sign-on letter -- Against life + 70 year copyright term in the TPP. See end of letter for details on how to sign.
December 9, 2013
Dear TPP negotiators,
In a December 7-10 meeting in Singapore you will be asked to endorse a binding obligation to grant copyright protection for 70 years after the death of an author. We urge you to reject the life + 70 year term for copyright.
TPP: Senator Hatch to USTR, 12 years of IPR for Biologics test data, no restrictions on cross border data flows
In a December 2, 2013 letter, Senator Orrin Hatch wrote to USTR's Michael Froman, suggesting TPP exclude any countries that do not meet "high levels of ambition." According to Hatch, these high ambitions include agreeing to 12 years of exclusive rights for IPR in biologic drug test data, and the elimination of barriers to cross border data flows (a privacy issue). A copy of the Hatch letter is attached below.
The timing of the Hatch letter is designed to pressure countries meeting in Singapore on December 7-10 in the TPP negotiation, on these two contentious issues.
Intellectual Property, Competition and Regulatory Aspects of Medicines: International Determinants and Public Policy
Intellectual property, competition and regulatory aspects of medicines: International determinants and public policy examines the most recent generation of international norms that impact on pharmaceutical products and the corresponding challenges they raise in terms of domestic implementation. The book’s fourteen chapters offer a comprehensive overview of the legal aspects of the pharmaceutical chain, which are key to the development of new drugs and access to medicines. All these questions have important economic, legal and ethical, underpinnings that are closely intertwined with intellectual property rights, competition law, consumer law and human rights.
The first part of the book focuses on regulatory aspects and examines the link between patent protection and pharmaceutical marketing authorisation, regulatory test data protection and the relevance of technical standards. The second part of the book addresses intellectual property law, and pays particular attention to issues such as the implementation of the Bolar exception, patentability criteria, enforcement issues, competition law and access to knowledge.
Against the background of growing global pharmaceutical harmonization, two-core threads are the main focus of attention in the book. First, the importance of developing national legal orders that enshrine a level of intellectual property protection that matches the social and economic needs. Second, the corresponding need for careful negotiation of new international commitments, appropriate domestic implementation and proper interpretation of international economic agreements that interrelate closely with competition and intellectual property law. It is from this double perspective that the various authors of this compilation provide a detailed analysis of key legal institutions, put forward several policy proposals, and identify a number of instances of potential litigation.
Intellectual property, competition and regulatory aspects of medicines: international determinants and public policy, is edited by Xavier Seuba (Senior Research Associate and Lecturer at Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies, University of Strasbourg, and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona). The publication was presented recently, in Colombia, to a specialized audience of judicial authorities, public health officials and academics.
The authors (Mariano Genovesi, Aurelio López-Tarruella, Juan Camilo Pérez, Pedro Roffe, Xavier Seuba, Miguel Vidal-Quadras and David Vivas), drawing on their comparative and international experience, offer a practical piece of work that could provide guidance to legislators, public officials, legal practitioners and judicial authorities.
The electronic version of the book will be made available by ICTSD at the beginning of 2014.
I missed this news earlier. Here is a report from IP-Watch:
3-5 December 2013: WHO Global Technical Consultative Meeting of Experts on Identification of Health R&D Demonstration Projects
The World Health Organization (WHO) is convening a Global Technical Consultative Meeting of Experts on Identification of Health Research & Development Demonstration Projects from 3-5 December 2013.
The World Bank definition of "high income" has slipped, in relative terms, compared to high income countries in general
The United States has proposed that some (but no means all) IPR obligations involving medicines be modified for countries with incomes below the amount the World Bank defines as “high.” The threshold to be considered a high income country was $12,616 in per capita income for 2012, and is adjusted every year. In contrast, the US per capita income was $50,124 in 2012. (More data here)
Shared and widely distributed traditional knowledge, among communities and across national borders is often the norm rather than the exception. However, it remains an area for which policy and legal solutions are still to be devised.
Against this background, this paper - Protecting Shared Traditional Knowledge, Issues, Challenges and Options - by Manuel Ruiz Muller (Peruvian Society for Environmental Law) provides an overview of the different facets of this complex issue and suggests a number of options on how to address it, particularly in the context of discussions at WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore/Traditional Cultural Expressions (IGC).
Earlier this year, IP-Watch submitted two FOIA requests to USTR about the TPP negotiation. I am attaching two letters from USTR to IP-Watch about the FOIAs, and a file with 127 pages of emails between USTR and various industry lobbyists. (USTR provided KEI with copies of the files provdied to IP-Watch as part a separate KEI FOIA to USTR regarding communications involving the TPP).
A lot has clearly been withheld by USTR. According to USTR's June 19, 2013 letter to IP-Watch
KEI proposal for Antibiotics Innovation Funding Mechanism (AIFM), shortlisted for demonstration project by WHO's EURO region
The WHO is considering potential projects that will demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of open innovation models, delinkage of R&D costs and product prices, and innovative finance mechanisms. The process for selection began at the regional level, as each of six WHO regions was allowed to shortlist four projects that will be considered at a December 3-4, 2013 meeting of experts in Geneva, where the list will be narrowed again, and then considered by the WHO Executive Board in January 2014 and the WHO World Health Assembly in May 2014.
This note looks at the TPP, ACTA and TRIPS provisions on injunctions, and finds the TPP text unclear, as regards the possibility of exceptions to the obligation to make injunctions available in cases in of infringements. We have asked USTR and USPTO to clarify this issue.
The TRIPS text on injunctions reads as follows:Section 2: civil and administrative procedures and remedies
Article 44 - Injunctions.
This is the short briefing note that KEI is sending to TPP negotiators, on the issue of regulatory test data, which is currently a monopoly without space for exceptions, in the TPP text:Exceptions to rights in regulatory test data
KEI TPP Note: Damages language in IP Chapter conflicts with US copyright law, blocks Green Paper reforms
Subject: TPP, damages, US copyright law
KEI TPP Note: IP Chapter language on damages conflicts with US copyright law, and blocks reforms being considered by the USPTO Green Paper
20 November 2013
The twelfth session of the WIPO's Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is taking place from 18 November 2013 to 21 November 2013. This Committee, squeezed into just four days of discussions, has a heavy workload.