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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.

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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.

FOIA document: In 2007, US Ambassador Ralph Boyce was pleased that Abbott withdrew life saving drugs from market in Thailand

In 2007, Thailand was involved in a dispute over the granting of compulsory licenses on medicines, including the patents used for Kaletra, an Abbott drug used in the treatment of AIDS. Kaletra is the brand name for a fixed dose combination of lopinavir and ritonavir (LPV/r) -- two drugs invented at Abbott on an NIH grant. In 2007, LPV/r was the preferred combination for protease inhibitor regimes used to treat AIDS.

USTR pressures Taiwan on pricing and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals and medical devices

This from USTR's 2010 Trade Policy Agenda and 2009 Annual Report:

The USPTO-Pfizer collaboration to change India's laws on patents and test data

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a joint program with Pfizer to fund and manage seminars in India on "misconceptions of evergreening" and "the importance of regulatory data protection and patent linkage." KEI has submitted a FOIA request to USPTO on this topic, and received a small installment of documents on Friday. Attached to this blog are 4 pages of documents that we received from two meetings held in Mumbai, India on September 9, 2009. Ten journalists and 15 NGOs attended the meetings.

Six Myths about the treaty for people with disabilities that should be debunked next week?

Next week (March 8-12) delegates from various developing countries will gather in Washington, DC for a week long "INTERNATIONAL TRAINING FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION ON EMERGING ISSUES IN COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS AND ISSUES PERTAINING TO BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSONS" co-organised by the US Copyright Office and WIPO. We hope that at least 6 Myths about the treaty for people with disabilities proposed by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay will be clearly debunked once and for all during the training.

Senator Leahy patent reform bill out of step with ACTA provisions on patent damages

On March 4, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee released its new "compromise bill" on patent reform. Senator Leahy described the objectives of the bill as follows:*

"we wanted to improve patent quality and the operations at the [Patent and Trademark Office], and address runaway damage awards that were harming innovation. We are close to a compromise that will address these issues."

Indian NGOs confront GWU Law School efforts to push maximalist IPR norms in India

The ties between Universities and businesses are often complex and blurred. Private companies or trade associations fund research and seminars, and have consulting relationships with faculty members, trying to shape public policy and judicial decisions on a wide range of issues. A particularly interesting industry/university connection concerns something called the "India Project," that is associated with the George Washington University (GWU) Law School.

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