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Infojustice Roundup - December 23, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Update: 200 People Sign Global Congress Declaration on Public Interest Principles for International IP Negotiations

[Mike Palmedo] To date, 200 people from around the world have signed the Third Global Congress Global Congress Declaration on Fundamental Public Interest Principles for International Intellectual Property Negotiations. The Declaration, drafted at the recent Global Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, calls for “a positive agenda in international intellectual property law making” which would include a more open negotiating process, respect for stakeholders’ social and economic welfare, and preserve states’ freedoms to protect access to knowledge goods. The full declaration and the initial signatures are below. Click here for more.

Broadcasting Treaty Moving At WIPO; Library Copyright Exceptions Slower

[Catherine Saez] After a week of work on the three current subjects of the World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee, member states mostly made progress on a potential treaty to protect broadcasting organisations, while exceptions and limitations to copyright for libraries, archives, education and research remain in the stage of determining broad concepts. Click here for the full story on IP Watch.

Polish Copyright Law in Transition: On Social Norms Related to Content Usage-New Survey Report

[Katarzyna Rybicka] In December 2013 Centrum Cyfrowe has accomplished two-year research project on copyright law and social norms related to content usage. The main purpose of the study was to provide reliable knowledge about what people today think on issues related to copyright. What is permitted, and what is not? What is right, and what is wrong? We thus give a voice to users – a group that in the debate on copyright is usually ignored. Click here for more.

The Cell Phone Unlocking Saga

[Jonathan Band] On March 4, 2013, the White House announced that it disagreed with the decision of the Librarian of Congress not to allow consumers to unlock their cell phones to access other mobile networks. The White House took this position in response to a “We The People” petition that gained over 114,000 signatures. With legislation to address this issue pending in Congress, the five largest mobile carriers on December 12, 2013, adopted a voluntary commitment to allow cell phone unlocking after the expiration of a service contract. While this voluntary commitment provides some benefit to consumers, a comprehensive legislative solution may be precluded by the free trade agreements to which the United States is a party. This paper examines the legal background of this matter. Click here for more.

The Implementation of Exhaustion Policies Lessons from National Experiences

[Shubha Ghosh] The concept of the exhaustion, which determines the point at which the IPRs holder’s control over the good or service ceases, is the subject of increased attention by policymakers and courts in different countries. It was, in particular, at the centre of two recent United States Supreme Court decisions (Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons and Bowman v. Monsanto). While the TRIPS agreement (Article 6) leaves WTO Members the latitude to adopt their own exhaustion regime (national, regional or international), regional and bilateral trade agreements are increasingly placing limitations on the ability of developing countries to do so. Click here for more.

Analysis of Territorial Access Issues in the MPP/BMS Atazanavir License

[Brook Baker] On December 11, the Medicines Patent Pool announced a new licensing agreement for a 2013 WHO recommended second-line antiretroviral, atazanavir (ATV). At this point, it is important for IP activists, generic companies, and countries to understand both the express territorial coverage of the license (110 countries) and its “effective” territorial coverage as well (144 countries plus the possibility of compulsory licensing expansion). Because royalty payments are actually limited to situations where granted patents are in effect – and with some exceptions even then, it is also important to identify the limited circumstances where royalties will be imposed. Finally, it is important to analyze some of the licensed or patent-free availability or ritonavir or cobicistat for co-formulated boosting. Click here for more.

EC Trade Negotiators and Industry Discuss How to ‘Re-Educate’ Public About Intellectual Property Rights (talk about employment)

[Mike Palmedo] The EU Greens have sent around a first-hand account of a December 5 meeting between trade officials including Velasco Martins (the EC’s top negotiator for IP in TTIP), and lobbyists from “TimeWarner, Microsoft, Ford, Eli Lilly, AbbVie (pharmaceutical, formerly Abbott) and the luxury conglomerate LMVH. The participant list also included representatives from Nike, Dow, Pfizer, GE, BSA and Disney – among others.” There is a lot of interesting stuff in the account, including the statement that the Commission has “received ‘quite a Christmas list of items’ on IP from corporate lobbyists and that they are working to implement this list. The list has already been discussed with the US in several meetings, in person as well as online.” Click here for more.

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