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Transition At IP-Watch: A New Path Forward

Dear Readers, After 15 years of original, independent, thoughtful, and timely reporting on global policymaking from the inside, Intellectual Property Watch (IP-Watch) is announcing today a pause on reporting services as it embarks on a transition phase to devise new strategies for future work.

Industry News

Health Policy Watch – Continuing The IP-Watch Tradition Of Vibrant Health Reporting

Following today’s announcement of a one-year pause on IP-Watch reporting, we invite all IP-Watch readers to sign up here for free daily, weekly or monthly news bulletins from our sister publication, Health Policy Watch, which will include health-related IP reporting as part of its portfolio. You can follow Health Policy Watch (www.healthpolicy-watch.org) on Twitter @HealthPolicyW.

Industry News

Inside Views: Everything Is Obvious

Ryan Abbott writes: For more than sixty years, “obviousness” has set the bar for patentability.  Under this standard, if a hypothetical “person having ordinary skill in the art” would find an invention obvious in light of existing relevant information, then the invention cannot be patented.  This skilled person is defined as a non-innovative worker with a limited knowledge-base.  The more creative and informed the skilled person, the more likely an invention will be considered obvious.  The standard has evolved since its introduction, and it is now on the verge of an evolutionary leap: Inventive machines are increasingly being used in research, and once the use of such machines becomes standard, the person skilled in the art should be a person using an inventive machine, or just an inventive machine.  Unlike the skilled person, the inventive machine is capable of innovation and considering the entire universe of prior art.  As inventive machines continue to improve, this will increasingly raise the bar to patentability, eventually rendering innovative activities obvious.  The end of obviousness means the end of patents, at least as they are now.

Industry News

Inside Views: Interview With Charles Gore, Medicines Patent Pool Executive Director

Charles Gore took over the role of Executive Director at the Medicines Patent Pool in July 2018, just after its board decided to greatly expand its mandate into essential medicines. Nine months into his term, IP-Watch’s William New talked with him about his role and how the expansion is going.

Industry News

Inside Views: South Africa Moves Forward With Creator Rights Agenda

Prof. Sean Flynn writes: The South Africa National Council of Provinces has cleared the Copyright Amendment Bill for a final vote. The bill would adopt an innovative fair use right as well as new rights of creators to receive royalties, partially own commissioned works, protect works through technological protections (with exceptions for fair use), establish of a tribunal for lower cost enforcement and regulate collective management companies. It establishes what is being referred to as a creator rights model for copyright reform including rights to create, own and earn.

Industry News

EU Agrees To Accede To Controversial WIPO Agreement Raising GI Protection

European Union member states today agreed to accede to an agreement negotiated under the World Intellectual Property Organization that raises protections for geographical indications, products whose names derive from a particular regions with certain characteristics. Joining the so-called Geneva Act establishes a GI register for agricultural and non-agricultural products and appears to have the effect of requiring EU members to protect registered GIs of other members.

Industry News

Saudis Seek Alternative Energy Partners Through WIPO Green Program

The government of oil-dependent Saudi Arabia has posted a series of requests for proposals for renewable energy technology partnerships via the World Intellectual Property Organization "Green" initiative that provides a marketplace for IP-protected products related to the environment.

Industry News

Inventors, Licensing Groups Back US Withdrawal From Standards-Essential Patent Pact

A coalition of inventors, patent licensing, business and political groups has issued a letter of support for an effort by Trump administration agencies to withdraw from an Obama-era arrangement with the US Patent and Trademark Office on standards-essential patents that the groups say is harming innovation.

Industry News

Max Planck Institute Director Reto Hilty: Europe Might Miss Chance For Real Copyright Law Modernization

With the final vote over Europe's new copyright directive being expected during the Parliament’s March 26th session in Strasbourg, two decades of the copyright wars seem to culminate in another hot battle. Thousands of citizens have taken to the streets during recent weeks warning that the intended changes to liability fundamentally change how citizens can use social media platforms in the future. Article 13 will make providers liable for any copyright violation, pushing them to automatically filter content uploaded by their users. Article 11, the so-called snippet law or link tax, has been pushed for by large publishers in order to compel Google and the likes to share their revenues. Amidst the ongoing fight, Reto Hilty, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (MPI) in Munich, took a cool, analytic look into the two most debated provisions and concludes that the reform–even after a number of amendments - misses on what it originally set out to achieve: adapting copyright to digital times. [Note: this interview by IP-Watch writer Monika Ermert first appeared in German in heise online, hereheise online, here.]

Industry News

WIPO Election: Who Will Run To Be The Next Director General?

The decision is a year away, but there has been buzz for months around who might run in the election to be the next director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Intellectual Property Watch shares with you some of the names we've heard in the early going, completely unofficially and in no way intended to be exhaustive.

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