KEI urges investigation of trade pressures on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in light of Executive Order 13155

Knowledge Ecology International sent letters today (attached to this release), September 21, 2015, to the Office of the General Counsel to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Commerce, asking that they investigate USTR and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the potential violation of an Executive Order issued by Bill Clinton — which prohibits the use of trade pressures to hinder polices related to access to HIV/AIDS medicines in sub-Saharan Africa — in their attempt to stop a request by Least Develop Continue Reading

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USTR releases documents from 2012 R&D treaty negotiations

On September 28, 2012, nearly three years ago, KEI submitted a FOIA request to USTR for “all documents relating to the World Health Organization (WHO) consideration of an agreement or treaty to support medical R&D.”

Three years later USTR has released 89 pages of documents, with some redactions. But USTR also withheld 64 documents pursuant to FOIA exemption 552(b)(5) and three documents pursuant to FOIA exemption 552(b)(1).

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Senator Bernie Sanders proposal to expand Veterans access to patented medical inventions

This is a video by Zack Struver about Senator Bernie Sander’s proposal to expand Veterans access to patented medical inventions. The video discusses both the proposal by Senator Sanders to give the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to use compulsory licenses on patents on medical inventions, including drugs, and the history of “government use” provisions in current U.S. statutes, including 28 U.S.C. 1498, which Sanders proposes modifying.

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Joint NGO letter to USTR and USPTO: What is the US Position on LDC Pharmaceutical Extension of TRIPS Transition Period?

On Friday, 11 September 2015 five public interest groups (Health GAP, Knowledge Ecology International, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam America and Public Citizen) sent a letter to Ambassador Michael Froman (United States Trade Representative) and Michelle Lee, (Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office) requesting that the Obama administration disclose its position on the LDC request for an extension of their pharmaceutical production transition period under the WTO TRIPS Agreement.

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USTR provides the names of the TPP Chapters (as of September 10, 2015)

On June 4, 2015, KEI asked USTR to provide the names of the TPP Chapters. The contents of the chapters are all officially secret, but we thought the names of the chapters should be public, and made a request for the chapter names under the Freedom of Information Act (FIOA). Today, more than 3 months later, USTR has responded to that FOIA. According to USTR, as of September 10, 2015, the names of the TPP Chapters are as follows:

  1. Intial Provisions and General Definitions
  2. Trade in Goods
  3. Textiles and Apparel
  4. Rules of Orgin
  5. Continue Reading

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European Commission supports indefinite exemption for LDCs from WTO IP rules for pharmaceuticals

In a closely watched announcement, the European Commission issued a press release on Thursday, 10 September 2015 supporting the indefinite exemption for least developing country Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) from TRIPS obligations on pharmaceutical products. These TRIPS obligations include pharmaceutical patents, pharmaceutical test data protection, exclusive marketing rights and the mailbox provisions.

The LDC Group, in their February 2015 submission to the WTO TRIPS Council, requested the following:

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KEI comments on MPP consultation regarding mandate to expand into HCV (and other diseases).

These were comments KEI provided to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), for its consultation on expanding the mandate to include drugs to treat the hepatitis C virus.


To: consultation@medicinespatentpool.org.
Date: August 28, 2015
Re: Comments by James Love on behalf of KEI for the consultation regarding the MPP mandate to expand into HCV (and other diseases).

KEI has submitted joint comments with UAEM in this consultation. Here on behalf of KEI I make a few additional points.

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