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New EPO Chief Outlines Priorities With Global Focus; Staff Wary But Hopeful

Antonio Campinos, whose term as president of the European Patent Office began on 1 July, has said he wants to focus on the effectiveness of the organisation, greater global cooperation and “staff engagement.”

Industry News

Negotiations On UN Tuberculosis Declaration Still Open, Reports Say

Negotiations for a United Nations declaration on ending tuberculosis had drawn to a close earlier this week, with the United States seeming to succeed on a hardline position to keep mention of intellectual property rights and affordability of medicines out of the text. But nongovernmental reports say the draft has not been accepted by all members and that negotiations will have to be reopened.

Industry News

Stakeholders Submit Views On South Africa Copyright Amendment

The call for public comments on the Copyright Amendment Bill by South Africa’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry attracted a wide range of interest and contributions from local and international IP stakeholders.

Industry News

New ITU Focus Group On Vehicular Multimedia: Merging Automotive, ICT Industries

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has announced a new Focus Group on Vehicular Multimedia to “explore such innovations as intelligent voice interaction, interconnection between vehicular terminals and smartphones, and connectivity for high-precision navigation,” according to an ITU press release.

Industry News

Inside Views: Conceptualizing Minimum Core Beyond Affordable Goods And Services – Trade For Human Rights As A Minimum Core Obligation

Prof. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr writes: The conception of the Minimum Core Doctrine around low cost goods and services is unnecessarily restrictive. It is also out of line with concerns to meet pressing and priority health needs of the population. It departs from the original concept of obligations of immediate effect. It limits the consideration of the wide range of measures that national governments should take to expand the enjoyment of the right to health such as by reversing damaging policies or setting new ones. A salient example is policy choices governments might make in the area of intellectual protection provisions in free trade and investment agreements.

Industry News

AbbVie Hepatitis C Treatment Patents Challenged In India For Evergreening

The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) and the Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+) filed an opposition with the Indian Patent Office in Delhi on 21 July to prevent the granting of a patent to AbbVie on pibrentasvir, which forms part of Mavyret, their drug used to treat Hepatitis C, according to a press release.

Industry News

UN Political Declaration On TB Finalised: No Commitment To TRIPS Flexibilities

Members of the United Nations concluded negotiations on the draft of the Political Declaration on the Fight Against Tuberculosis on 20 July. After weeks of heated negotiations over the inclusion of references to TRIPS flexibilities in the operative paragraphs, with the Group of 77 pushing for inclusion and the United States against it, the final text of the political declaration reflects the deadlock of these positions. Due to the inability of member states to reach agreement, the final text does not include substantive reference to TRIPS flexibilities.

If no countries object, this final draft of the Political Declaration on TB will be adopted by the General Assembly at the High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, which will take place on 26 September at the United Nations in New York, and will serve as the authoritative agreement from which action plans will be drawn. According to sources, countries have until tonight in New York to decide whether to object, and G77 nations are considering their options.

Industry News

Inside Views: South Africa’s Proposed Copyright Fair Use Right Should Be A Model For The World

Copyright laws the world over are under massive pressure to reform to fit the digital environment. One key area often in need of reform is in the exceptions to copyright that enable the digital practices. Without exceptions, common practices may be illegal, such as sharing photos on social media, making technical copies to send and stream, and uploading excerpts to closed networks for student access, writes a group of experts on the issue.

Industry News

US Perspectives: Native Tribes Can’t Shield Patents From USPTO Review

The strategy was breathtaking in its boldness. Just days before the USPTO was to hear a challenge to Allergan Inc.’s patents on a dry-eye drug, Restasis, the company transferred those patents to a Native American tribe; the tribe then sought to dismiss the USPTO proceedings by asserting sovereign immunity. Following this action, a number of other patentees made similar transfers to Native tribes, in order to protect their patents. More patentees were poised to do so, should this ploy prove effective. It, however, did not. On 20 July, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the tribe’s sovereign immunity did not protect its patents from USPTO review. The ruling thus kept intact a key component of America’s patent system.

Industry News

US Continues To Block Progress On WTO Appeals Body, While Rapidly Adding Cases To The System

The United States is piling up dispute settlement cases against its trading partners at the World Trade Organization while at the same time ironically blocking any progress on the selection of panellists for appeals in the WTO dispute settlement process.