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Infojustice Roundup - October 14, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Brazilian Officials Launch Report Recommending the Incorporation of TRIPS Flexibilities into Domestic Law

[PIJIP] Last week, the report Brazilian Patent Reform: Innovation Towards Competitiveness was launched at an event at the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. This report was developed through a long consultative process (including seven workshops in 2011 and 2012) by a technical team led by FGV’s Pedro Paranaguá. It proposes legislative reforms that would incorporate lawful TRIPS flexibilities into domestic law, enhancing access to generic medicines. Proposed reforms include: eliminating patent term extensions and data exclusivity, restricting patents on new forms and new uses and tightening the inventive step requirement (following the India example), adopting a government use procedures, and clarifying the role that ANVISA, its drug regulatory agency, plays in the patent examination system. Click here for more.

President Obama on Intellectual Property, TPP, and China

[Mike Palmedo] Thanks to Inside U.S. Trade for posting the full transcript of President Obama’s October 8 press conference about the government shutdown. During the press conference, New York Times reporter Mark Landler asked Obama if China benefited from his absence from the recent APEC and Trans Pacific Partnership meetings in Bali. Obama’s response brought up the way that the U.S. wants to raise norms on intellectual property through the Trans Pacific Partnership in order to eventually raise them in China. Click here for more.

Call for Sign-On: Open CSO/Academic Letter to Department of Trade and Industry on South African Patent Law Reform

[Lotti Rutter] On September 4, 2013, the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published the Draft National Policy on Intellectual Property, 2013, for public comment. This draft policy is an important first step toward reforming the country’s patent laws to better ensure access to affordable medicines. Amendments to intellectual property systems may occur at a national level, but they have international ramifications. The pressure is high for countries to sign up to trade agreements that undermine legal flexibilities to protect the right to health. South Africa’s draft policy pushes back against such trends, and should be supported as a positive step toward striking a balance between recognising intellectual property rights on one hand, and protecting public health by promoting access and innovation on the other. Click here for more.

Fracking and Trade Secrecy Letter Open for Signatures

[David Levine] You may recall that I circulated a letter for signature earlier this year in support of Alaska’s proposed fracking regulations, specifically the requirement that chemical industry trade secrets be shared with the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC). After a summer of regulatory advocacy, the AOGCC opened a second round of comments. Please find a short cover letter that restates the position that these trade secrets should be shared with the AOGCC and attaches the earlier letter. Click here for more.

US Pharma v. India Patent Act: Myths Abound

[Brook Baker] The U.S. pharmaceutical industry and its Big Brother Chamber of Commerce have launched an all-out disinformation campaign against the India Patent Act and decisions rendered thereunder. They have enlisted allies in the U.S. government, including Members of Congress, the United States International Trade Commission, Secretary of State Kerry, and even President Obama, to carry their claims to the highest levels of the Indian government. They have threatened to insist that the U.S. file a WTO trade complaints against India in 2014 and that India no longer be permitted to export duty-free products to the U.S. under the Generalized System of Preferences. Click here for more.

IP in Practice: Filtering Testimony at the United States Trade Representative

[Alex Dent] Abstract: Policy is made in small-scale situations mediated by language. This article examines the ways in which the United States Trade Representative establishes a mandate by esoterically interpreting canonical texts and then using that mandate to filter testimony. Its goal is to maintain a watch list of countries that disrespect intellectual property. This involves managing intertextual relations in ways that efface some perspectives and highlight others, while creating three subjectivities: industry, public interest, and foreign governments. Click here for more.

Reflections on OER policy workshop in Berlin

[Alek Tarkowski] A week ago, the European Commission launched the “Opening Up Education” initiative, a proposal for modernizing the European educational system. The proposal contains a strong “open” component. We’re using this opportunity to strengthen open educational policies in Europe, and we started our project with a workshop in mid-September. Below you can learn about the outcomes of our workshop, including an overview of the OER landscape in Europe, concept for a policy brief, and ideas for policy-related activities. Click here for more.

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