Today USTR held a one hour "listening session" with several Washington, DC public interest groups. The topic was the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.
On 1 May 2013, USTR released its 2013 Special 301 Report. Ukraine was put on the Priority Foreign Country list this year, a designation not used by USTR for several years. USTR's 2013 report spends more than six pages discussing China and two full pages on India. Below are some comments regarding this year's report.
Least Developed Countries
On 18 December 2012 and 20 December 2012, the World Trade Organization (WTO) undertook a trade policy review of the United States of America. All members of the WTO are subject to review under the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM). The questions raised by WTO Members during the US TPR touched upon on compulsory licensing (including cases of judicial compulsory licensing following eBay v. MercExchange), copyright (Golan v. Holder), the Special 301 report and the Medicines Patent Pool. On 30 April 2013, the WTO released the records of the meeting including WT/TPR/M/275.
Below are several links to recent Huffington Post articles about the WIPO negotiations for a treaty on copyright exceptions for blind persons.
The first is a link to my report for HuffPo on the April 2013 negotiations, which have not gone well. The blog includes a discussion of some of the changes in key provisions of the text over time, and the recent quite harmful MPAA lobbying efforts.
88 brackets in text, plus 17 "Alternative" versions of text.
8 references to: "do not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work," plus 3 additional references the "three-step test."
11 references to technological protection measures
The WBU just issued the attached press release. (On a related note, a video of their statement Saturday morning is available here).
WORLD BLIND UNION (WBU) press release 20th April 2013
Press Release – WIPO Negotiations Treaty for Blind people
A treaty for the blind or for the rights holders?
Treaty for the Blind: US démarche opposes references to "fair practices, dealings or uses to meet their needs"Submitted by thiru on 19. April 2013 - 7:32
As mentioned in our piece, State of Play: Treaty for the Blind negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization, the February 2013 special session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) reached agreement on a cluster of provisions on the Treaty's treatment of the copyright three-step test that resulted in the ARTICLE(S) section contained in SCCR/25/2/Rev.
In Geneva this week the US government is taking a harder line in the WIPO negotiations for a treaty on copyright exceptions for the blind, and the reason is simple -- lobbyists for the MPAA and publishers have been all over the White House, demanding a retreat from compromises made in February, and demanding that the Obama Administration push new global standards for technical protection measures, strip the treaty text of any reference to fair use and fair dealing, and impose new financial liabilities on libraries that serve blind people.
SCOTUS Oral Arguments in AMP v. Myriad Genetics; Court to Determine Answer to Question: Are Human Genes Patentable?Submitted by Krista Cox on 15. April 2013 - 12:05
On 15 April 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the case Association for Molecular Pathology, et. al., v. Myriad Genetics, et. al, hearing arguments over the question: are human genes patentable? The case, which has been litigated since 2009, specifically involves two genes, known as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which are associated with an individual's susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer.
On 11 April 2013, the United States made the following intervention on day 2 of the WIPO inter-sessional meeting on the protection of broadcasting organizations. The US noted the concerns expressed by content holders, technology companies, consumer and civil society groups about "creating extra layers of protection requiring additional clearance of rights".
In 2007 the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) buried the broadcast treaty in cold storage when it decided (WO/GA/34/16) that the convening of a Diplomatic Conference for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations could only take place "after agreement on objectives, specific scope and object of protection has been achieved." Commenting on the broadcast treaty and the break down in negotiations, KEI noted in 2007:
This week the WIPO Standing Committee is holding a meeting to consider a possible treaty for broadcasting organizations. KEI thought this treaty negotiation had been blocked by fundamental differences over the purposes and scope of the treaty in 2007, but in the past few years the US Copyright office asked to put the issue back on the SCCR agenda, and subsequently Francis Gurry and Ambassador Trevor Clarke from the WIPO Secretariat have pushed to reach a conclusion, and more recently South Africa, Mexico, Japan and some other countries are now quite active, in favor of a new treaty.
In the final phase of negotiations leading towards the Marrakesh Diplomatic Conference to conclude a Treaty for the Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons (17 June 2013 to 28 June 2013), it is important to take stock of where things stand in respect of the current negotiations.
In a bid to generate sympathy for its defeat in the Supreme Court of India over efforts to evergreen patent protection for the cancer drug imatinib (trade names Gleevec or Glivec) in developing countries, Novartis has been making increasingly spectacular claims as regards its investments in the development of the drug.
In the final stretch towards the Marrakesh Diplomatic Conference to conclude a Treaty for the Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons (17 June 2013 to 28 June 2013), it is perhaps important to take note of one important area of divergence, namely, the language contained in Article F of the Draft Text of an International Instrument/Treaty on Limitations and Exceptions for Visually Impaired Persons/Persons with Print Disabilities (SCCR/25/2 REV) w