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White House says ACTA text a State Secret. EU parliament says time for more transparency

On January 31, 2009, KEI submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to USTR for copies of seven documents containing much of the negotiating text of the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Today the White House office the United States Trade Representative denied the request, claiming the documents are “information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.”

PhRMA Special 301 submission on Thailand

The following discusses the 2009 PhRMA submission for the USTR Special 301 list on Thailand. Thailand is one of three Asian countries (China, Philippines and Thailand) that were singled out by PhRMA for the harshest treatment. The submission on Thailand covers several topics, including these:

PhRMA’s Aggressive Special 301 submission for the Philippines

One of the more aggressive PhRMA submissions to the USTR Special 301 list is the section on the Philippines. Excerpts, which are given below, illustrate the breath of PhRMA’s demands on the USTR.

India: Intervention at WTO TRIPS Council on public health dimension of the TRIPS Agreement

On 3 March 2009, India delivered the following intervention at the WTO Council for TRIPS meeting on the issue of the public health dimension of the TRIPS Agreement in the context of the Dutch seizures.

_______________________________________________________________________

INTERVENTION by INDIA

Agenda item ‘M’ – OTHER BUSINESS – Public Health dimension of TRIPS Agreement
Chair,

FT on Dutch Seizures of Generic Abacavir

In today’s Financial Times, Andrew Jack, Frances Williams and Michael Steen report on Dutch seizure of generic Abacavir in transit to Africa:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0a0a0a9e-0928-11de-b8b0-0000779fd2ac.html

Dozens of HIV patients have been placed at risk after the Dutch authorities seized consignments of Indian-made medicines shipped via Schipol airport for distribution to clinics in Nigeria, a multilateral agency yesterday said.

KEI Statement on March 9 letter from Pascal Lamy, regarding Dutch confiscation of medicines in transit to developing countries

Today Pascal Lamy responded to a February 18, 2009 NGO letter that among other things requested he use his office to mediate the dispute regarding the European Union policy of seizing generic medicines that are in transit to developing countries. The original letter and Mr Lamy’s response are available here:

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy’s response to joint NGO letter about seizures of medicines in trasit to developing countries

On 18 February 2009, sixteen NGOs sent a letter to the head of the World Trade Organization regarding a series of seizures by the Dutch custom authorities of generic medicines in transit to developing countries. The letter is available at

http://www.keionline.org/misc-docs/seizures/WTO_seizures_18feb.pdf

Today, Director General Pascal Lamy responded to the letter which is available at

Statement by Brazil at TRIPS Council: Public Health dimension of TRIPS Agreement

On 3 March 2009, the following intervention was delivered by Ambassador Roberto Azevêdo, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the WTO and other economic organizations in Geneva.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

TRIPS Council
Agenda item ‘M’ – OTHER BUSINESS – Public Health dimension of TRIPS Agreement

Statement by Brazil

Mr. Chairman,

KEI opposition to Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger

The following is the KEI letter to the US Department of Justice on the proposed merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

February 25, 2009

US Department of Justice
Antitrust Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
E-mail: antitrust.atr@usdoj.gov

Re: Opposition to Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger

To whom it may concern:

Senate holds hearings on Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary had a hearing before the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights on “The Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger: What Does it Mean for Consumers and the Future of the Concert Business?

LINK http://judiciary.senate.gov/about/subcommittees/antitrust.cfm

The witnesses were:

Check your Bookshelf 2 (at home)

Over the weekend, I looked at a small section of one of my bookshelf at home.

As in my previous blog, I wrote down the titles and author names for all of the books, and then checked on Bookshare.org to find out what is actually available for reading disabled persons. For purposes of this survey, I considered all books on Bookshare of “fair or above quality” (the lowest of 4 categories that include publisher’s quality, excellent and good), as “being available.”

Check your bookshelf!

Today, I checked the books on my bookshelves at work. I found 69 books. 9 of them are available in formats accessible to the reading disabled in the US and 1 is available to the print disabled worldwide.


An international treaty for reading disabled persons at WIPO

Do we need an international treaty for reading disabled persons?

Yes, and today the World Blind Union is seeking international support for a proposed Treaty for Reading Disabled Persons at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The next meeting where this matter could be taken up is at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights taking place in Geneva, May 25-29, 2009.

KEI reaction to GSK announcement on patent pool for neglected diseases

As an early proponent of the use of patent pools to expand access to medical technologies, our initial reaction to the GSK announcement is that GSK is responding to several new developments.

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