Hot Topics


Why is it a big mistake to link funding of R&D costs with drug prices?:

US signs Marrakesh treaty for the blind

USPTO has confirmed that on October 2, 2013, the United States has signed the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. The U.S. signing, which was not accompanied by a press release, took place on the last day of the WIPO General Assembly, and one day after the United States government began to shut down non-essential operations as a consequence of disputes over the Affordable Care Act.

Congress asked to hold hearings on NIH failure to address abuses of government financed medical inventions

We sent this letter to the Hill today.

October 8, 2013

Dear Senators Reid and McConnell, Representatives Boehner and Pelosi,

We are writing to ask that Congress hold a hearing on the failure of the NIH to exercise its authority to protect the public from abuses in federally funded inventions.

Since the passage of the Bayh­Dole Act in 1980, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has never granted a petition to "march in" to permit third parties to use patents invented on federally funded research in response to abuses of the patent rights.

EPO and OHIM publish misleading report on intellectual property rights intensive industries in EU economy

In 2012 the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a study titled "Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus" which estimated the number of jobs if various "IP intensive" industries. The study was immediately panned by critics for its broad definitions -- grocery stores were the top "ip intensive industry" in the United States, but it became a source of go-to-statistics for every PhRMA and publisher lobby group pushing new privileges and subsidies. (Commentary here:

Evolving Copyright and the Relationship With the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

Table of Contents:

I. Parallel Importation
II. Copyright Terms
III. Technological Protection Measures
IV. Fair Use
V. Marrakesh Treaty
VI. Libraries, Archives and Museums
VII. Statutory Damages
VIII. Orphan Works


Broadcasting & Webcasting is Back on Track at WIPO

The webcast of WIPO General Assemblies taking place this week (September 23 to October 2, 2013) in Geneva, Switzerland is now available on demand. The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) work program starts at minute 33 of the morning session of Thursday September 26 (first video of the day). It is all about broadcasting & webcasting and whether or not the casting treaty is ready or not ready for prime time, it seems to be moving quite fast to the top of the agenda of the SCCR.

Opening Statement of the Holy See at the 51th WIPO General Assembly

Noting that the "decisive factors in productivity have shifted from land and capital to know-how, technology and skill," and the need for an intellectual property system that will "balance the private rights of inventors with the public needs of society" the Holy See gave the following opening statement at the 51th WIPO General Assembly.

Statement by H.E. Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva
51th Series of Meetings of the WIPO Assemblies
September 24,  2013

KEI opening statement at WIPO General Assembly

Delivered September 24, 2013, during NGO statements on agenda Item 5.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.

As regards the Marrakesh treaty, KEI offers its sincere and profound thanks to Secretary Francis Gurry, Ambassador Trevor Clarke, Michelle Woods and Geidy Lung and others members of the WIPO staff for their dedication to a successful conclusion to this difficult negotiation.

DAG opening statement at WIPO General Assembly

This was the Developement Agenda Group (DAG) statement from Monday at the WIPO Geneval Assembly.

Thank you Madam President.

First of all, I would like to congratulate you upon your election as Chair of the General Assembly of WIPO. Our group is confident that under your able stewardship we will achieve important results for developing countries, as well as for the intellectual property system.

South Africa Draft Policy on Intellectual Property rejects giving ownership interest in copyrighted works to broadcasters

On 4 September 2013, the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI) of the Republic of South Africa released its long-awaited "Draft National Policy on Intellectual Property". This policy framework was gazetted in the Government Gazette as Vol. 579, No. 36816. Public comments will be accepted until 17 October 2013.

Hot Topics in the Intellectual Property Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP): How Will Things Shake Out?

More than two-and-a-half years ago, the United States tabled their text for the intellectual property chapter at the Fifth Round of negotiations which took place in February 2011 in Santiago, Chile. In March 2011, that text was leaked and contained many aggressive proposals as well as some placeholder text for pharmaceuticals in other areas.

Survey: 7 out of 8 persons say US residents should not pay more than other high income countries for NIH funded drugs

Seven out of eight persons want the NIH to use its rights in federally funded patents to prevent U.S. consumers from paying more than other high income countries, according to a survey of 170 randomly selected U.S. residents. The survey was conducted August 26 to August 28, 2013, and involved two questions regarding NIH funded drug development.

Question 1.

19th Round of TPP Negotiations: Reduced engagement for "stakeholder engagement" day

On Wednesday, 27 August, the 19th round of TPP negotiations held its "stakeholder engagement" day.

Chief's briefing changed to "dialogue"

TPP Trade Ministers Press Briefing/Statement (Update from 19th Round of TPP Negotiations in Brunei)

On August 23, 2013, the TPP Ministerial meeting concluded with a press briefing. Stakeholders were not allowed to attend, but according to media sources, the briefing lasted only 20 minutes and reportedly the ministers only took a handful of questions before ending the briefing. Apparently, Ambassador Froman confirmed that the October 2013 deadline was not possible, but that countries were now looking for "milestones" by October with the hope of concluding the agreement by the end of the year.

Updates from the 19th Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) Negotiations in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

The 19th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) began this week in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Although this round just started yesterday, it is evident that there are many differences between this round and previous rounds.

KEI Director James Love among those selected for EFF 2013 Pioneer Awards

Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced KEI Director James Love as one of four distinguished winners of the 2013 Pioneer Awards. The annual award recognizes the leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier. In addition to Love, this year's fellow honorees are Aaron Swartz, the late digital rights activist, and Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, the journalists that broke the Edward Snowden/NSA stories.

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