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WIPO Copyright Committee Opens With Ideas, Questions On Internet, Terms Of Protection

This week's meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee opened today with what officials perceived as good momentum. Argentina tabled a proposal to help discussions on deferred transmissions in the context of a potential treaty protecting broadcasting organisations, which have been a sticking point in negotiations. Civil society, however, voiced concerns on the provisions of a potential treaty protecting broadcasters against signal piracy, underlining the 50-year envisioned protection and the need to carve out strong limitations and exceptions.

Industry News

MPP Board Gives Green Light To Expansion, Now Has To Identify Candidates

The Medicines Patent Pool announced this week that its Board agreed on the extension of the MPP mandate to patented medicines on the World Health Organization Essential Medicines List. The decision follows an extensive feasibility study. During a side event held on the margins of the annual World Health Assembly, Patent Pool officials explained the findings of the study, while in the audience, a representative of the pharmaceutical industry suggested a cautious approach.

Industry News

Did The WIPO Copyright Committee Just Approve A Group With Mission To Free The World From “Space Lizards’ Control”?

The World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee this morning started its weeklong meeting by rubber-stamping three nongovernmental organisations as observers, without discussion.

But a look at the website,, of one of the groups, as provided in the WIPO document as approved, states that the mission of the group is a "global conspiracy investigation institution" whose mission is to "free individuals and organizations from space lizards' control."

Industry News

South Africa Approves New IP Policy, With Guidance From UN Agencies

It took nine years of policy development, two different draft policies and various rounds of public consultation, to finally see Cabinet give the nod to the new Intellectual Property (IP) policy in South Africa.

Industry News

Global Health Policymakers Take Action To Improve Access To Assistive Products

Some 90 percent of people in the world who need assistive technology – such as glasses, walkers, or hearing aids - cannot access it, with the worst deficiency in developing countries. Today, World Health Organization members agreed on a resolution to improve access to those technologies, with overwhelming support. The WHO is instructed to provide support to countries and prepare a global report by 2021. Member states are requested to promote innovation and find ways to reduce prices.

Industry News

EU Governments Reach Negotiating Stance On Copyright Reform

European Union member states today reportedly agreed on their negotiating position on the proposed copyright directive, and early reactions are unenthusiastic.

Industry News

WHA Agrees On Recommendations To Reinvigorate Plan Of Action To Boost R&D, Access

Ten years after the adoption of a World Health Organization plan of action meant to stimulate innovation for diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries, and with very little to show for it since, delegates at the World Health Assembly this week agreed to a number of recommendations to reinvigorate the effort. How to finance the implementation of those recommendations, however, is unclear.

Industry News

Ingredients For WHO Roadmap On Access To Medicines At Civil Society Side Event

On the side of this week’s World Health Assembly and hours before the Assembly agreed on preparing a roadmap on access to medicines, two civil society groups held an event on the same subject. The Brazilian ambassador, a senior official from the Netherlands, and a WHO assistant director general among others delivered their thoughts on the issue and the way forward. Key words were high prices, transparency, and trade flexibilities.

Industry News

WHA Agrees On Drafting Of Roadmap For Access To Medicines And Vaccines; US Blasts Compulsory Licences

The World Health Assembly yesterday agreed on a roadmap to be designed by the World Health Organization in consultation with member states to facilitate access to medicines and vaccines, including actions and activities for the period 2019-2023. If everyone agrees access to medicines and vaccines is indispensable for universal health coverage, views are still divided when it comes to intellectual property rights. The ranks of strong proponents of IP resulting in high prices are however thinning. The United States remains unshakeable, criticising compulsory licences used by countries to ensure affordable medicines are available.

Industry News

Swiss Group Suggests Switzerland Use Compulsory Licences To Curb Cancer Drug Prices

During a side event held alongside this week's World Health Assembly, public health advocates proposed that Switzerland use compulsory licensing as a way to decrease what they said are exorbitant drug prices.