KEI Staff's blog

Money speaks: USTR releases letters from Congress backing PhRMA on exclusive rights biologic test data in TPP

As part of a partial response to FOIA request, USTR has provided KEI with copies of 13 letters sent by members of Congress, from July 27, 2011 to August 8, 2013, on the topic of biologic drug test data provisions in the TPP negotiation. We had obtained several but not all of these letters earlier from a variety of sources, including from PhRMA's web page -- where some had been proudly displayed. (See link below).

Were there letters on the other side? Yes, three. (see below).

With the FOIA request, we have also obtained the responses to the letters.

KEI's comments on Special 301, March 7, 2014

KEI’s Additional Comments Special 301

March 7, 2014

James Love, Knowledge Ecology International

Docket # USTR-2013-0040

These comments supplement KEI’s February 7, 2014 written submission (Also available here:, and, and our February 24, 2014 oral testimony, and provide also comment or reply to the written or oral submissions by others.

1. India is an important source of affordable medicines.

ITC Investigation No. 332-543, KEI written statement, February 14, 2014 hearing

The KEI written statement for the February 14, 2014 US International Trade Commission (USITC) hearing on India is attached here.

Among other things, the Statement includes 15 pages describing US compulsory licenses.

We also have a video play list with more than 9 hours of the Feb 12 and Feb 14 hearing.

James Love on India bashing at USTR's Feb 24, 2014 Special 301 hearing

Claire Cassedy did this interview at the KEI offices, following the February 24, 2014 USTR hearing on the Special 301.

Blogs and Press coverage of Pharma/Medicine device industry lobbying on South Africa patent reform (pharmagate)

Boseley, Sarah. 17 January 2014. "South African pharma firms accused of planning to delay patents law reform." The Guardian.

De Wet, Phillip. 17 January 2014. "Motsoaledi: Big pharma's 'satanic' plot is genocide." Mail & Guardian.

GE's Thaddeus Burns wrote to US Ambassador Betty King requesting US postpone Marrakesh Diplomatic Conference

Thaddeus Burns of GE spent months trying to derail the WIPO treaty for the blind negotiations

NGOs, academics evaluate four USTR negotiators in TPP IPR negotiations

KEI has asked 21 persons following the TPP IPR negotiations, what they thought of four of the USTR negotiators, including:

  • Ambassador and USTR head Michael Froman,
  • TPP Chief negotiator Barbara Weisel
  • Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property and Innovation Stanford McCoy, and
  • Deputy Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property and Innovation Probir Mehta.

Audiovisual Materials in the Classroom and the WIPO treaty for copyright exceptions for persons with disabilities

Fedro De Tomassi

My name is Fedro De Tomassi. I am a student at St. Olaf College, class of 2014, and next week I will be a volunteer (as a guide and interpreter) at the Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities (June 17 to 28, 2013 – Marrakesh, Morocco)

More notes on the India EU FTA (BTIA)

Earlier KEI published sections of the the EU India Negotiating FTA/BTIA negotiating text dealing with enforcement, along with some commentary on Article 17-31:

On March 28, 2013, KEI obtained another document with Article 1-5,7-8,10-33 of the negotiating next. The new text is available at

Krista Cox will be providing her impressions here:

Here are KEI's quick reactions to the text.

Among the provisions in the TRIPS which protect consumers are Article 7, 8 and 40.

Hague Conference again seeks global norms on Recognition and Enforcement of foreign judgments

On Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013, the Department of State will convene a meeting to discuss a proposal by the Hague Conference on Private International Law ("Hague Conference") to developing a new "instrument" on the recognition and enforcement of judgments, including "new jurisdictional filters."

KEI letter to Steve Ricchetti, asking recusal in matters that involve former clients

On March 12, 2012, Tedmund Wan posted a note on Joe Biden's appointment of Steve Ricchetti, exploring potential conflicts of interest with the clients in a lobbying firm that he ran. On March 29, 2012, KEI formally asked Ricchetti to recuse himself in matters concerning his former clients. The letter follows.


29 March 2012

Steve Ricchetti
Counselor to Vice President Joe Biden
The White House

Who is Sally Susman, and why does she want poor people to pay higher prices for medicines?

Sally Susman of Pfizer leads the most lethal lobbying effort on drug patents and prices. She's also a big Obama campaign fundraiser.

For several years, Pfizer has been considered a hardliner among big pharma companies on international negotiations over intellectual property rights and drug pricing. This has not changed despite the company having had three CEOs in the past five years.

February 22 noon Washington, DC meeting to discuss international negotiations on copyright (With international call-in)

On Wednesday February 22, 2012, from 12:30pm to 2:30pm, KEI will host a roundtable discussion on international copyright negotiations. The location of the meeting will be 1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009. There will be an opportunity to participate by telephone, via toll free calls in many countries. (To register or for details on call-in, email If you want to try to join by skype, we will do our best.)

The topics to be discussed are the following International copyright negotiations:

KEI files affidavit in India compulsory licensing case involving Bayer patents on cancer drug Sorafenib (Nexavar)

KEI has provided an affidavit in an India compulsory licensing dispute involving Natco and Bayer, for patents on the cancer drug sorafenib (sold by Bayer under the brand name Nexavar).

bayer_logo.gifThe Bayer price for sorafenib/Nexavar in India is $47 per 200 milligram tablet. At a daily dose of 4 tablets, this comes to $5,637 per month, or more than $68 thousand per year. In 2010, per capita income in India was $1,330.

NGO views on the Africa IP Summit

Sangeeta Shashikant from TWN recently collected and published several NGO statements on the Africa IP Summit, in the TWO Info Service on Intellectual Property Issues (Feb12/03), which included a link also to a letter to WIPO signed by more than 100 NGOs.

Syndicate content