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

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

Comments on inadequacy of voluntary measures to ensure equal access to copyrighted works for persons with reading disabilities

In discussions about a possible WIPO Treaty for persons who are blind or have other reading disabilities, there have been suggestions by some that voluntary licensing by rights holders presents a sufficient solution to the problem. I studied several publications since 1985 to take a closer look at this viewpoint and find out what were the common perceptions.

Request for Solidarity from Korea: Gleevec price reduction

Korean civil society has asked KEI to disseminate this request for solidarity and action in their efforts to reduce the price of Gleevec, a leukemia treatment pill. The current price is approximately 2,300 USD per month for an adult patient and the Korean government has been sued by Novartis for trying to reduce the price a 14%. Korean civil society is also requesting Novartis to introduce a higher form, 400 mg, in Korea.

REQUEST for Solidarity:

Wanda Noel's 1985 Report on Problems Experienced by the Handicapped in Obtaining Access to Protected Works

In 1985, the Executive Committee for the Berne Convention and the Intergovernmental Committee of the Universal Copyright Convention published a report by Ms Wanda Noel, a Barrister and Solicitor from Ontario, Canada, on the topic of Problems Experienced by the Handicapped in Obtaining Access to Protected Works, as Annex II to a report of an agenda item "Copyright Problems Raised by the Access by Handicapped Persons to Protected Works."

Ms Noel's report is 26 pages, and is a readable and concise presentation of the main issues facing the WIPO SCCR today.

USTR Ron Kirk's September 30, 2009 Speech on Intellectual Property

USTR head Ambassador Ron Kirk made another speech on intellectual property on September 30, 2009. The text of his speech is here. Below are a few relevant quotes.

On access to medicine:

Timeline: Addressing Copyright Related Barriers to Overcoming Reading Disabilities

This is a work in progress

Louis Braille invented a system of reading and writing by means of raised dots.


WIPO General Assembly renews mandate of IGC

On October 1, 2009 the WIPO General Assembly renewed the mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee on Generic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. Here below is the consensus decision reached by the General Assembly.

Bearing in mind the Development Agenda recommendations, the WIPO General Assembly agrees that that the mandate of the WIPO intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore be renewed as follows:

KEI files brief in Bilski case, focusing on role of non-patent mechanisms to stimulate innovation

Malini Aisola has written some background on the Bilski case here. Today KEI filed a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case. A copy of our brief as filed is available here.





Intervention of India at MSF workshop at the WTO Public Forum

India delivered the following intervention at MSF's workshop at the World Trade Organization Public Forum today. The title of the MSF workshop was "Controversy at customs - the detention of medicines in transit: what impact on access to medicines?"

WTO Public Forum ( MSF event)

Controversy at customs - the detention of medicines in transit: what impact on access to medicines?

Wednesday 30 September 2009, 14:15 to 16:15

WTO building, Room A

World Blind Union general statement to WIPO 2009 General Assembly

This is the general statement delivered by the representative of the World Blind Union today (September 29, 2009) at the WIPO General Assemblies.

WBU statement:

The World Blind Union is the worldwide organisation representing the interests of 160 million blind and partially sighted persons in 177 member countries.

U.S. statement on the IGC Mandate at the 2009 WIPO General Assembly

IGC is short for "The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. The IGC

was established by the WIPO General Assembly in October 2000 (document WO/GA/26/6) as an international forum for debate and dialogue concerning the interplay between intellectual property (IP), and traditional knowledge (TK), genetic resources, and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs)/(folklore).

The following is the statement read by the U.S. on the topic of the renewal of the IGC Mandate:

KEI general statement to 2009 WIPO General Assembly

The following is the general statement that KEI delivered to the WIPO General Assembly on September 29, 2009.

General Statement of KEI
WIPO 2009 General Assembly
September 29, 2009


Outside of WIPO, some countries are involved in secretive negotiations on a new Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). KEI asks WIPO to adopt a resolution calling for an end to the secrecy of this negotiation. Global norms for the enforcement of IP should be transparent and benefit from comments from the public before decisions are made on substantive provisions.

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