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

Patents and Doctors, and the USTR TPP text

The recently obtained US draft text for the intellectual property rights chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) contains provisions that go far beyond the requirements of international agreements as well as the standards of US law itself. One particular area of concern involves the broad definition of patent eligible subject matter that fails to provide for any exception from patentability for surgical methods or procedures. Nor does the draft language contain any exception for the enforcement of surgical method patents.

The complete Feb 10, 2011 text of the US proposal for the TPP IPR chapter

KEI has obtained the February 10, 2011 US government draft of the intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

United States Patent and Trademark Office’s "Humanitarian Pilot Proposal." Comments by KEI, MSF, Oxfam, PC and UAEM

The USPTO is considering a pilot program to consider the benefits of providing a voucher for certain accelerated reviews of patent applications, as a reward for licensing patents for humanitarian uses. On March 2, 2011, Anne Guha provided a very useful summary of public comments on the proposal, which is available here:

Interview with David Hammerstein regarding negotiations on WIPO treaty for persons who are blind or have other disabilities

David Hammerstein is a former Member of the European Parliament from Spain. He now works for the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD). Among other things, he is an advocate for a new WIPO copyright treaty for persons who are blind or have other disabilities. The following is an interview with David, carried out from March 3 to March 6 by email.

David Hammerstein at SCCR 19

Intervention of Brazil to the WTO TRIPS Council (March 2011) providing details about the Brazilian HIV treatment program

On Tuesday, 1 March 2011, Brazil made the following intervention at the WTO Council for TRIPS during discussions of the paragraph 6 system.

Mr. Chairman,
Brazil welcomes the opportunity for this follow-up to the review on the implementation of the paragraph 6 system. Our aim here is to assess whether this system is indeed an expeditious solution for countries lacking manufacturing capacity and to address any shortcomings for the system’s effective operation.

Comments on Incentivizing Humanitarian Technologies and Licensing Through the Intellectual Property System

On September 20, 2010, the PTO published "Request for Comments on Incentivizing Humanitarian Technologies and Licensing Through the Intellectual Property System" in the Federal Register (75 Fed. Reg. 57261, available here):

Michel Barnier tells the European Blind Union the EU does not support a treaty for persons with disabilities

Michel_Barnier_200x202.jpgOn March 2, 2011, Michel Barnier, the EC Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, wrote to Dan Pescod of the European Blind Union, to defend the European Commission decision to back a soft alternative to a treaty at WIPO. (More context, including the text of all of the proposals at WIPO, here.

Response of WHO to KEI letter regarding McKinsey, vaccine policy and competing interests

On 20 February 2011, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director-General - Health Security and Environment, World Health Organization, responded to KEI's letter (16 February 2011) regarding McKinsey, vaccine policy and competing interests. Here is the response in full (email contacts have been redacted).

From: "Fukuda, Keiji"
Date: February 20, 2011 4:14:05 PM GMT+01:00
To: "Thiru Balasubramaniam"

Seven being considered for new US Register of Copyrights

Apparently it is now down to seven final candidates to be the new US Register of Copyrights. These include two employees of the Copyright Office (Carson and Kasunic), a lawyer in private practice (Fries), a full time professor (Brauneis), a professor/USPTO negotiator (Hughes), a trade negotiator (McCoy), and a representative of a trade association (Perlmutter). By gender, the finalists are two women, and five men.

They are, in alphabetical order:

Robert Brauneis

WBU suspends participation in WIPO & EU Stakeholder discussions, pending agreement at WIPO on legal framework

On February 26, 2011, the World Blind Union issued a statement announcing it would "suspend participation in the WIPO Stakeholder Platform and EU Stakeholder Dialogue projects, pending agreement at WIPO on a proper binding legal framework." [See full statement below]. The WBU statement is expected to dramatically change the environment for considering a new WIPO treaty for persons who are blind or have other disabilities.

38 groups (including KEI) ask Congress to make CRS reports public

Congressional Research Service reports are prepared in response to requests from members of congress. For decades, right to know groups have been asking that they be available online. The CRS describes itself as follows:

KEI comments on USTR 2011 Special 301 Review

KEI's comments on the USTR 2011 Special 301 Review are available here.

For further background on the 301 process, see:

KEI letter to WHO regarding McKinsey, vaccine policy and competing interests

On 15 February 2011, the Co-Chairs of the WHO Open-Ended Working Group of Member States on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits (OEWG) held a consultation with civil society. The Co-chairs of the OEWG are Ambassador J. Gomez-Camacho, Mexico and Ambassador B. Angell-Hansen, Norway.

Greens/EFA MEPs Engström, Sargentini, Beliér, Albrecht ask question on ACTA and Vienna Convention

Four Green/EFA MEPs (from four parties and four countries) have asked a follow-up question on ACTA and the Vienna Connection, trying to get at the "is the US bound?" issue.

Greens/EFA MEPs Christian Engström, Judith Sargentini, Sandrine Beliér and Jan Albrecht have asked the European Commission this follow-up question on ACTA and Vienna Convention:

WikiLeaks cable details UK/US strategy during IGWG negotiations in 2007

On 4 February 2011, WikiLeaks passed on to the UK newspaper, The Telegraph, a cable dated 1 November 2007 from the US Embassy in London entitled "UK AGREES WITH US APPROACH TO UPCOMING WHO INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP ON PUBLIC HEALTH, INNOVATION, AND IP" signed by "LEBARON".

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