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

Missing Safeguards in ACTA present risks to consumers in the United States, KEI/PK letter to Congress

November 9, 2009

Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman
Senator Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member
Senate Judiciary Committee

Senator Max Baucus, Chairman
Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member
Senate Finance Committee

Representative John Conyers, Chairman
Representative Lamar Smith, Ranking Member
House Committee on the Judiciary

Representative Henry Waxman, Chairman,
Representative Joe Barton, Ranking Member
House Committee on Energy and Commerce

Representative Charles Rangel, Chairman
Representative Dave Camp, Ranking Member
House Committee on Ways and Means

ACTA for beginners

ACTA is a beefed up version of the WTO TRIPS enforcement sections, without the balance and safeguards of the agreement as whole.

  1. The ACTA has ignored or left out the safeguards in TRIPS Articles 1, 6, 7, 8, 40 and 44.2.
  2. The ACTA has refashioned in a more restrictive and anti-consumer way Articles 41, 44.1, 45, 46,47, 50, most of Section 4, and Article 61.

The ACTA Leak is useful, but there are still plenty of secrets

This is a note about the leaked ACTA documents, that have been reported now by several news organizations and bloggers.*

On September 30, 2009, the EU wrote a three page memo on the Internet chapter of ACTA. This is about a week after the USTR held a secret meeting with selected corporate lobbyists and lawyers to debate the ACTA Internet under terms of a tough non-disclosure agreement.

Federal Support for research (Enbrel) etanercept, evidence from CRISP and Clinicaltrials.Gov

KEI was asked to look at federal support for research and development on (Enbrel) etanercept.

A November 1, 2009 search of the NIH CRISP database reports 167 federal grants for research on etanercept.

Flurry of upcoming meetings at international organizations in Geneva (WHO, WIPO and WTO)

The final stretch of 2009 ushers in a host of meetings at Geneva based institutions including the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement, the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property, the WTO Ministerial, the WHO Expert Working Group and the Standing Committee on Copyright. To keep abreast of the hive of activity emanating from WIPO, WHO and WTO, here is a roadmap to keep track of the various meetings.

November 2, 2009
African-Arab Seminar on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions: Addressing the Needs of Affected Constituencies

Petition to President Obama, regarding transparency of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

The following is a letter that was sent on November 3, 2009 to President Obama, asking that the negotiations regarding ACTA be made more transparent.

While the letter was sent on November 3, 2009, people may add their names to the online version of the petition, by sending a note to Malini Aisola at

For more background on ACTA and the disputes over transparency, see

Speech of Mike Foster, UK Minister for International Development at launch of Industry Government Forum on Access to Medicines

On October 12, 2009, the "Industry Government Forum on Access to Medicines" (IGFAM) was launched. The UK Minister for International Development, MP Mike Foster made a a speech to launch this initiative which is reproduced below.

Presentations were also made by Pfizer (Ponni Subbiah), GSK (Abbas Hussain), Rajiv Venkayya (Gates Foundation), Prashant Yadav (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Suerie Moon (Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University).

Sun's "Project Peter" - a plan to migrate Oracle users to MySQL

Distributed earlier on Wikileaks, this is reportedly is an internal Sun document, discussing a strategy to migrate Oracle users to MySQL.

"Project Peter is an internal effort to assist Sun / MySQL customers in migrating from Oracle to MySQL by offering them a comprehensive solution that consists of Professional Services, Best Practices, and a set of approved third party migration tools and utilities that will enable them to move to MySQL in a way that is as easy as possible."

Roger Bate: Eclectic booster of corporate views

The Wellcome Trust convened an "Opinion Formers Conference" on "Counterfeit Medicines: Perspectives and Action" on Monday 26 October 2009. The speakers at this meeting included Dr Hans Hogerzeil, Director of Essential Medicines

USPTO trying to block KEI FOIA over WIPO treaty and stakeholder platform for reading disabilities

USPTO has sent KEI a letter, rejecting our request for a fee waiver for processing a September 30, 2009, freedom of information Act (FOIA) request. The FOIA focused on these items:

KEI, Richard Stallman and ORG ask EC to block Oracle's acquisition of MySQL

Today, Richard Stallman, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and the Open Rights Groups (ORG) sent a letter to Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for Competition for the European Commission expressing their opposition to Oracle's acquisition of MySQL as part of the proposed Oracle-Sun merger. The letter is available here.

Updated: USTR statement on use of NDAs to provide access to ACTA Internet text

Updated October 16, 2009, 11:10 am

White House shares the ACTA Internet text with 42 Washington insiders, under non disclosure agreements

On November 4-6, 2009, the next round of negotiations for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Negotiations (ACTA) will take place in Seoul, Korea. The following is another strange chapter in the secrecy surrounding this negotiation.


Since ACTA was first announced, KEI has pressed the negotiating governments to provide more transparency, including recently, for example

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