James Love's blog

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

Leak of TPP text on copyright Limitations and Exceptions

Dmitry Medvedev's Nov 2011 message to the G20 leaders on call for new copyright treaty

In 2011, Russia made a very important proposal to the G20 regarding the need for new global norms on copyright. Just a few parts of the message illustrate its ambition.

  • to expand the opportunities of right holders to manage and exercise the rights to the results of intellectual activities on the Internet;
  • to amend the way of obtaining a right holder's consent

TPP IP text would restore right to sue surgeons and other medical professionals for patent infringement. Why?

Kista Cox on a provision in the TPP trade negotiation that would restore right to sue surgeons and other medical professionals for patent infringement. The US law (35 USC 287(c)) was changed after lawsuits were filed against surgeons performing certain procedures in eye surgery. USTR and USPTO have been asked to protect this exception in the TPP Intellectual Property Chapter, but have not done so.

DG-Enterprise - data exclusivity prevents access to life saving drugs (in the EU), even in an emergency situation

On February 20, 2006, Martin Terberger, the Head of Unit for Pharmaceuticals in the European Commission Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry, wrote to Greg Perry of the European Generic medicines Association (EGA). The letter was a follow-up to an inquiry from the EGA regarding "the question of data exclusivity under the European pharmaceutical legislation," in cases where a government overrode the exclusive rights of a patent and granted a compulsory license, and/or in a case of a medical emergency.

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