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Infojustice Roundup - April 1, 2013

Monday, April 01, 2013

Indian Supreme Court Rejects Novartis Appeal; Upholds High Standard for Section 3(d)

[Lawyers Collective] In a triumphant victory for patients fighting for access to medicines, a division bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising Hon’ble Justice Aftab Alam and Hon’ble Justice Ranjana Desai, today dismissed Swiss MNC Novartis’ appeal for a patent to Novartis for its anti-cancer medicine, imatinib mesylate (Gleevec). The case is especially pertinent because it involved the interpretation of section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970, a public health safeguard introduced by Parliament in 2005 to prevent evergreening. Putting an end to the controversy over the provision, the Supreme Court has recognised the impact of patents on access to medicines and called for a strict interpretation of section 3(d). Click here for more.

National Human Rights Body Recommends Abolishing Three-Strike-Out Rule

[Heesob Nam] Last week the National Human Rights Commission of South Korea published a special report on information human rights. It is the first report comprehensively discussing the progress of information and communication technologies in terms of human rights and providing recommendations for the protection, promotion, and enjoyment of information human rights. In this report, information human rights covers four different categories: rights to information privacy; freedom of expression online; rights to access to information; and rights to culture and information. Click here for more.

USTR Request for Public Comments on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

[USTR press release] The Office of the United States Trade Representative today published in the Federal Register a request for public comments regarding U.S. interests and priorities related to the planned negotiation of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement. On March 20, 2013, the Obama Administration notified Congress of its intention to enter into negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union. To view a copy of the full Federal Register Notice, click here. For more information on America’s trade with the European Union, please visit the European Union page of USTR’s website. Click here for the full request for comments.

Draft EU Trademark Rules and Goods in Transit

[Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan] The EU has recently released its new proposal for an update of its substantive trademark protection regime. The proposal has interesting language specifically addressing the conditions under which goods in transit infringe – regardless whether they actually are destined for a domestic market of one of the EU member states – substantive EU trademark law. This has significant implications for the ability of right holders to request their detention, based on EU border measure regulations (BMR): To the extent such transit goods infringe the law of the EU transit country, it appears that they may be subject to detention and seizure under the BMR. Click here for more.

The Fair Use/ Fair Dealing Handbook

[Jonathan Band] More than 40 countries with over one-third of the world’s population have fair use or fair dealing provisions in their copyright laws. These countries are in all regions of the world and at all levels of development. The broad diffusion of fair use and fair dealing indicates that there is no basis for preventing the more widespread adoption of these doctrines, with the benefits their flexibility brings to authors, publishers, consumers, technology companies, libraries, museums, educational institutions, and governments. Click here for more.

USTR IP Negotiator Discusses “Binding Commitments” on Copyright Flexibilities in the TPP

[Mike Palmedo] Last week the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) held a panel on “21st Century Issues” in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, which featured speakers on e-commerce/telecommunications, SOEs, regulatory coherence, and intellectual property. According to an account of the discussion on, IP negotiator Probir Mehta “stressed that the U.S. is pushing for binding commitments from TPP partners so that they also achieve a balance in their copyright systems in providing exceptions and limitations for scholarship, criticism, news reporting, research and other legitimate purposes — as in the United States.” Click here for more.

On the (New) New Zealand Graduated Response Law (and Why It's Unlikely to Achieve Its Aims)

[Paper by Rebecca Giblin] Abstract: In 2011 New Zealand controversially introduced a 'three strikes' graduated response law. Under this law, the holders of Internet service accounts which are detected as having infringed copyright via P2P file sharing technologies three times within a specified time period can be ordered by the Copyright Tribunal to pay content owners up to NZ$15,000. The law also provides for Internet access to be suspended, though these provisions are currently inactive pending determination of the efficacy of the financial penalty regime. This paper explores the contours of the NZ graduated response regime – and then outlines a number of technical and practical reasons why it's unlikely to achieve its aims. Click here for the full paper.

Innovation, IPR Cooperation Among Top Priorities For BRICS in Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework

[IP Watch] The trade ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) have concluded a framework for cooperation that includes innovation and intellectual property rights, but separately. The ministers met… on the eve of the fifth BRICS summit, being held in Durban, South Africa. Click here for more.

Senators Baucus and Hatch Write USTR Seeking 12 Years of Data Exclusivity for Biologics in TPP

[Mike Palmedo] Sen. Max Baucus (Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) and Sen. Orin Hatch (the Committee’s Ranking Minority Member) wrote Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis on March 22 asking for “comprehensive, strong, binding and enforceable” intellectual property protections in the Trans Pacific Partnership. Specifically, the letter from Sens. Baucus and Hatch asks that USTR seek “commitments from our trading partners that reflect the level of protection under U.S. law, for example 12 years of regulatory data protection for biologic pharmaceuticals.” Click here for more.

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