James Love's blog

US department of Commerce heavily redacts FOIA request regarding Thailand compulsory license

What type of leverage has the Obama Administration used to pressure Thailand to prevent the granting of compulsory licenses on drug patents? The US Department of Commerce has just released a FOIA request with 298 pages of documents on this topic. 136 pages of the FOIA are for a Fall 2010 masters theses by Stephanie Tranchevent Rosenberg (pages 36 to 171 of the FOIA).

WIPO GA, notes from October 3, 2012

This morning, under agenda item 6, the WIPO General Assemblies decided to defer a decision until 2013 on the application for accreditation by Pirate Parties International. I was told that the US, Switzerland the France raised objections in the informal consultations, and that some other European countries wanted to raise objections, but found it awkward given the recent success of domestic Pirate Parties in national elections. The USA said it asked for a hold on the decision until WIPO could decide if it wanted to accept political parties as WIPO observers.

More on the 3-step test in global copyright negotiations

This is an elaboration on the 3-step test in multilateral agreements. The 1996 WCT Copyright treaty has bad language on the 3-step test, but the WCT is not now part of the TRIPS agreement, and is only subject to dispute resolution via trade agreements outside of the WTO, like the TPPA.

If the WCT is referenced under the general provisions to the TPPA, you also get the 3-step test in the TPPA, subject, however, to the agreed upon statement regarding Article 10, which is helpful.

Implementation of the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework

Today Krista and I attended a "stakeholder consultation stakeholder consultation regarding the implementation of the World Health Organization’s Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework." The meeting was chaired by Jonathan Margolis, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space and Health in the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Business hires of former government employees as lobbyists

In Washington, DC there is a large and growing influence industry. One element of this industry is the thousands of people who register as lobbyists with the Congress. Because of the way disclosure rules are written, this is only a fraction of the persons who are actually employed to influence the Congress or the Executive Branch.

USTR hearing on Mexico joining the TPP

In August, KEI provided comments to USTR regarding the entry of Mexico and Canada into the TPP negotiations. (http://www.keionline.org/node/1542). Today is the public hearing. Right now there are about 35 people in the audience, and a panel of 9 persons from various agencies hearing the testimonies. There are only 10 witnesses in today's hearing, and only three, KEI, PhRMA and IIPA, are speaking on IPR issues.

More on the Blue Coat web filters

Yesterday I wrote about the USPTO blocking KEI and many other NGOs, blogs and news organizations from their public wifi service. The USPTO says this practice has been discontinued, as of last evening (more here: http://keionline.org/node/1548) but I found the issue interesting enough to follow up a bit. What I have found is more troubling than the initial case described yesterday.

USPTO blocks web access to "Political/Activist Groups" including KEI, ACLU, EFF, Public Citizen, Redstate, DailyKos

Update: At 5 pm the USPTO called and said that the public access wifi network was using a filter, provided by a contractor, to block "political activist" sites. This filter was not used by the network providing Internet access for the USPTO staff. After our meeting, the USPTO reviewed its policies, and has removed the filter. USPTO says the filter was implemented by a contractor, and no one we talked to at USPTO was aware of who was being blocked. In any event, the filter has been removed.

Members of Congress and Governors backing PhRMA/BIO, calling for 12 years data protection for biologic drugs in TPP

While the GOP and Democratic conventions highlight the differences between the parties, there are some bipartisan issues, and one of the biggest is taking care of corporate interests.

Data on Chinese patent applications and grants suggests growing gap between political rhetoric and current realities

The GOP platform mentions China 15 times, including these passages:

Our serious trade disputes, especially China’s failure to enforce international standards for the protection of intellectual property and copyrights, as well as its manipulation of its currency, call for a firm response from a new Republican Administration. . .

Birch Bayh's competing interests and evolving views

The 1980 Bayh-Dole Act is named after two former US Senators, Birch Bayh and Bob Dole. In 2002 both claimed the Bayh-Dole Act march-in provisions were not intended to address cases where prices for inventions are unreasonable, and Senator Bayh repeated this view during a 2004 march-in case involving Abbott patents on ritonavir.

Among the provisions of the Act that suggest otherwise are the following:

ISP sources defend USTR proposals in TPP on copyright limitations: undermine opposition to USTR proposal

A story today by Adam Behsudi in the trade publication, Inside U.S. Trade, quotes from ISP industry sources who basically defend the USTR position, which is the worst among the TPP negotiating countries. Taken as a whole, we read the ISP positions as both weak and incredibly damaging, as they are undercutting real opposition to the USTR proposal by non-US governments in the TPP negotiations.

Copyright exception for U.S. libraries and archives when works not available at reasonable price

Interesting exception in US copyright law tied to pricing of works, and year of copyright term.

Berne Exceptions not subject to 3-step test

When politicians and trade officials tell you they want to impose a restrictive 3-step test to narrow the copyright limitations and exceptions permitted under the Berne Convention, take a minute to review what the Berne exceptions cover, and ask yourself, why would anyone want to further limit these exceptions?

[The related rights in the Rome Convention, the rights in the WCT, WPPT and Beijing treaties, and the flexabilities in the WTO TRIPS Agreement require a separate discussion].


Article 2(4,7 and 8) - Protected Works:

Four drafts from SCCR 24

  • Chair’s Non Paper, PROTECTION OF BROADCASTING ORGANIZATIONS, SCCR 24, July 23, 2012
  • Working document (Rev. 5), July 25, 2012, Provisional Working Document Containing Comments On And Textual Suggestions Towards An Appropriate International Legal Instrument (In Whatever Form) On Limitations And Exceptions For Educational, Teaching And Research Institutions And Persons With Other Disabilities
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