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USTR asks that briefing on position on ACTA transparency be off the record

The January 2010 Guadalajara, Mexico, meeting on ACTA included an agenda item on transparency. I asked USTR if they could provide TACD with a briefing on transparency and other issues in the negotiation. The one hour briefing was held today. I can report nothing of what the USTR said at the meeting, other than they insisted it be off the record. TACD has asked for an on the record meeting, but that apparently will have to wait until after the New Zealand meetings are held the week of April 12.

The Carbon Dioxide Capture Technology Prize

Senators Barrasso, Bingam and Enzi have proposed a prize fund for "competitive technology financial awards for carbon dioxide capture from media in which the concentration of carbon dioxide is dilute." This bill is is now being proposed as an amendment to an energy bill that might see some action this year. A few things to highlight.

  • First, the prize requires that:
  • "an applicant shall agree to vest the intellectual property of the applicant derived from the technology in 1 or more entities that are incorporated in the United States."

Entertainment Industy letter to Obama on ACTA

Just in case anyone does not appreciate how difficult it will be to change the USTR direction on ACTA, note that today the USTR proudly put this letter on the USTR Blog:

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/march/new-information-ustrgov/acta

(Maybe best to first skip down to see who signed it).

March 22, 2010

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Why would blind people get less than the Olympic Committee? Choosing between Convention, Recommendation and Declaration

When I first heard David Mann representing the World Blind Union at the information session of November 2003 SCCR, call for the "creation of international agreements which would allow the unhindered transfer of accessible material created in one country to blind and partially sighted people in another country", I did not know that this issue had been the subject of a WIPO/UNESCO report in 1983, which had then proposed Model Provisions Concer

Tie up with Pfizer in India a mistake, says USPTO

On March 5, 2010, KEI published documents received from a FOIA request, about a collaboration between the USPTO and Pfizer to hold workshops in India. On March 11, the USPTO responded with a statement of regret concerning the collaboration, which it termed a mistake.

The Business Standard of India has written an article about the USPTO/Pfizer collaboration here:

ACTA to cover seven catagories of intellectual property

KEI has access to a recent draft of ACTA. Chapter One, Section B of the agreement provides for "General Definitions." It is interesting that the term "counterfeits" does not have a general definition. The ten defined terms include:

  • days
  • intellectual property (See below)
  • Council (ACTA Oversight Council)
  • measure
  • person (natural or juridical)
  • right owner (includes federation or assicaitons that have legal standing or authoirty to assert rights)

WIPO Open-ended Consultations on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Persons with Print Disabilities

On April 23, 2010 and May 27-28, 2010, WIPO will hold open-ended consultations on copyright limitations and exceptions for persons with print disabilities and on the protection of audiovisual performances as mandated by the conclusions of the 19th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

ACTA New Zealand meeting agenda

The 8th round of the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations is scheduled to take place in Wellington, New Zealand from April 12-16, 2010. The March 3 draft agenda obtained by KEI provides details of the program, venue and logistics, and also notes that:

New Zealand intends to hold a function for stakeholders and delegates on the evening of Tuesday 13 April from 18.00, which will be an opportunity for stakeholders to meet and interact with ACTA negotiators.

ACTA: the new institution

KEI has access to yet undisclosed sections of the negotiating ACTA text. The text is organized in 6 chapters. The longest is Chapter 2 on "legal framework for enforcement of intellectual property rights." The second longest is Chapter 5, on "Institutional Arrangements." In ten pages of text, the ACTA negotiators have set out a plan to create a new institution to administer, implement and modify ACTA.

EU proposes ACTA require criminal sanctions for inciting, aiding and abetting infringements

(Updated March 17, 2010, 12pm).

KEI has learned that the European Union has proposed language in the ACTA negotiations to require criminal penalties for "inciting, aiding and abetting" certain offenses, including "at least in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting and copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale."

The EU proposal is reported on a recent (but still secret) version of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Consolidated Text, and reads as follows:

PhRMA's asks regarding special 301, drug pricing and reimbursement

Below are asks from the 2010 PhRMA submission to the USTR Special 301 list on the topic of drug pricing and reimbursement decisions, and described as 'Market Access Barriers.' In its assertions, PhRMA attack countries for government price negotiations, making use of reference pricing, the insufficient involvement of pharmaceutical companies in setting government pricing policies and the composition of drug formularies, among other things.

CHINA

Ari Emanuel: Did he mention lobbying the President or the Vice President?

See update at the end. ----------

Day after European Parliament votes against ACTA, Obama expresses support

  • March 10, 2010. In the Guardian: Ari Emanuel, the co-chief executive of William Morris Endeavor, the biggest Hollywood talent agency, was among several executives attending a meeting in Abu Dhabi, calling for governments to get tough on illegal downloading.

    Emanuel, the brother of US presidential adviser Rahm, said the industry was talking to the US government in a bid to introduce a "three strikes and you're out" law to govern illegal downloading.

633 to 13, EU Parliament votes to make ACTA public, and more sensitive to civil liberties and consumer protection

In a stunning 633 to 13 vote, the EU Parliament voted for a resolution on ACTA that addresses a wide range of criticisms that civil society groups have made of the process and substance.

The KEI statement on the EU vote follows:

Jeffrey Kindler rewarded by Pfizer for his influence with governments

On July 28, 2006, Jeffrey Kindler replaced Hank McKinnell as CEO of Pfizer. That day the Pfizer stock price closed at $26.11. With the stock trading today at a little more than $17, it would seem that shareholders have lost a significant amount of their investment. Nonetheless, Kindler is doing well.

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