Of possible interest

KEI requests that DHHS Inspector General investigate failure to disclose federal funding in Spinraza patents.

KEI objects to the U.S. Army grant of an exclusive license to Sanofi on U.S. Army-owned patents on a Zika Virus vaccine.

Research and testimony on transparency legislation.

Request to the NIH and U.S. Army to use government royalty free or march-in rights on the prostate cancer drug Xtandi.

Proposal for a WTO Agreement on the Supply of Public Goods.

Innovation inducement prizes as an alternative to IPR monopolies to reward successful innovation.

Now is a good time to donate money to KEI.

KEI timelines, on a variety of topics.


Governments can ration access to cancer drugs, or break patent monopolies. Why is rationing so popular?:

Business Europe seeks to block WIPO treaty on copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities

Markus Beyrer
Markus Beyrer thinks blind people should not have robust copyright exceptions, because it might set a precedent for patents on health or climate technologies

Joint Letter to the 66th World Health Assembly: Follow-up of the report of the CEWG

Joint Letter to the 66th World Health Assembly: Follow-up of the report of the CEWG

20 May 2013

Distinguished Delegate,

We urge the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Member States to exercise leadership, ambition and innovative thinking in developing new paradigms to take forward the work of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) in reconciling the objectives of stimulating medical innovation and ensuring access for all.

Supreme Court Unanimously Finds Patent Exhaustion Does Not Apply to Seeds; Leaves Door Open on Other Self-Replicating Technology

On Monday, 13 May 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that patent exhaustion does not apply to second, third or nth generations of seeds. In an opinion authored by Justice Kagan, the court found that patent exhaustion does not apply to seeds because later generations constitute new copies of the invention.

UK IPO office releases emails that show close collaboration with publishers on WIPO treaty for the blind

On May 10, 2013, a very revealing freedom of information request was made available from the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The request had been filed on April 14, 2013 by the journalist Glyn Moody, for:

KEI Comments on US/EU Trade negotiations (TTIP), Docket No. USTR-2013-0019

A PDF version of our comments is available here.

People have until midnight May 10, 2013 to file comments, here:

This is the table of contents.

Comments on the Administration’s Intention to Enter Into Negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement
Response to Docket No. USTR-2013-0019


May 13 Brownbag lunch on WIPO treaty for blind negotiations

Note, we are adding some video clips from the meeting here:

  • May 13, 2013. KEI meeting on WIPO negotiations. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLw9jWaZPEpzafm6_61VtLb6aW-nFaINa

  • On May 13, 2013, KEI will host a 12:30 to 2:30 brown bag lunch for a discussion of the WIPO Treaty for the Blind negotiations. It will be possible to attend in person, or follow the meeting on the telephone.

    Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) calls WIPO treaty for blind "dangerous precedent for other areas of IP Law"

    On April 15, 2013, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) sent a letter to Teresa Stanek Rea, the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, setting out the IPO "concerns" about the proposed WIPO treaty for persons who are blind or visually impaired. (Copy here).

    Human Rights, Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines, notes from Yale workshop

    On April 26, 2013 I attended a half day meeting on "A Human Rights Approach to Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines" organized by the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Public Health. These are notes from my interventions on behalf of KEI.

    1. KEI does a lot of work on intellectual property rights that has impact on human rights. We do not always give prominence to human rights law or the language of human rights, although at times and in the right context, it can be important to do so.

    PhRMA press release on USTR Special 301, expresses disappointment over language for India, Canada

    Below is the PhRMA press release on the Special 301 Report.

    Key points in the PhRMA release:

    * PhRMA "dismayed that USTR did not grant an out-of-cycle review for India." PhRMA claims that India decisions involving German owned Bayer and Swiss owned Novartis "disproportionately impacted U.S. biopharmaceutical companies." (Perhaps PhRMA could have said, companies that have ownership claims on the US government).

    USTR "listening session" for public interest groups on TTIP trade negotiations

    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.

    Notes on USTR's 2013 Special 301 Report

    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

    WTO: Spotlight on the United States at the Trade Policy Review (December 2012)

    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.

    Huffpo on the WIPO negotiations on a treaty for the blind

    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.

    Final text before Marrakesh, WIPO treaty for the blind

    Attached is the final version of the negotiating text that will be considered at the diplomatic conference in June 17 to 28, 2013 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

    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

    WBU Press Release on WIPO Negotiations: A treaty for the blind or for the rights holders?

    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?

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