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United States’ Opening Statement on Exceptions and Limitations SCCR 26 December 18, 2013

This was delivered this morning, by Shira Perlmutter of USPTO.

United States’ Opening Statement on Exceptions and Limitations SCCR 26 December 18, 2013

* The United States starts with the recognition that exceptions and limitations are a critical element of a balanced and vibrant copyright law regime.

* A combination of strong protections for authors, and appropriate exceptions and limitations on their rights, together serve to further copyright’s goals of encouraging creativity, innovation, and learning.

Michelle K. Lee to become Deputy Director of the USPTO. A very high tech appointment (and that is a good thing)

USPTO has issued a press release, announcing the appointment of Michelle K. Lee as Deputy Director of the USPTO, beginning in January 13, 2014. Currently Lee is the Director of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office. The White House reportedly wanted to appoint Lee as the Director, but may have seen the Deputy position as less controversial. For the near future, Lee will be running the USPTO, and will be the most sophisticated person as regards technology to do so, at least in our memory. According to the USPTO Press Release:

STATEMENT OF THE MINISTERS AND HEADS OF DELEGATION FOR THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP COUNTRIES

STATEMENT OF THE MINISTERS AND HEADS OF DELEGATION FOR THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP COUNTRIES
December 10, 2013
Singapore

We, the Ministers and Heads of Delegation for Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam, have just completed a four-day Ministerial meeting in Singapore where we have made substantial progress toward completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Joe Stiglitz writes open letter to TPP negotiators

Professor Joseph Stiglitz has written an open letter to the TPP negotiators, asking that they resist proposals to weaken consumer rights in intellectual property. The letter identifies 12 specific "grave risks" in the IP Chapter, and calls upon negotiators to publish the investor state dispute resolution text.

Areas where USTR has shown some flexibility on the TPP IPR Chapter

USTR recently asked KEI if there were areas in the IP Chapter where we approved of the positions taken by USTR, and the answer is, yes. Given how critical we have been about the text, I will mention a few here.

USTR now "supports a more flexible approach under which partners could retain reasonable patent pre-grant opposition procedures." This is welcome, and useful.

Katy Athersuch of MSF reports from WHO Experts meeting on R&D demonstration projects

In a word, MSF is disappointed.

Rich, and not rich, in the TPP, as regards certain IPR obligations involving medical technologies

On November 28, 2013, I wrote a blog about the problems in using the World Bank's definition of high income, in the specifc context of a proposal by the United States to use this as a measure of which countries in the TPP should have lower standards for intellectual property rights on medical inventions. (See: http://www.keionline.org/node/1834).

Here a different metric is presented, based upon relative incomes, benchmarked against the five highest income countries in the TPP with a population of more than 1 million persons.

Sign-on Letter -- Against life + 70 year copyright term in the TPP

This is sign-on letter -- Against life + 70 year copyright term in the TPP. See end of letter for details on how to sign.

<-------------------begin letter-----------
December 9, 2013

Dear TPP negotiators,

In a December 7-10 meeting in Singapore you will be asked to endorse a binding obligation to grant copyright protection for 70 years after the death of an author. We urge you to reject the life + 70 year term for copyright.

TPP: Senator Hatch to USTR, 12 years of IPR for Biologics test data, no restrictions on cross border data flows

In a December 2, 2013 letter, Senator Orrin Hatch wrote to USTR's Michael Froman, suggesting TPP exclude any countries that do not meet "high levels of ambition." According to Hatch, these high ambitions include agreeing to 12 years of exclusive rights for IPR in biologic drug test data, and the elimination of barriers to cross border data flows (a privacy issue). A copy of the Hatch letter is attached below.

The timing of the Hatch letter is designed to pressure countries meeting in Singapore on December 7-10 in the TPP negotiation, on these two contentious issues.

Aaron Cooper, leaves Leahy's staff to " help corporate clients on IP and antitrust issues"

I missed this news earlier. Here is a report from IP-Watch:

The World Bank definition of "high income" has slipped, in relative terms, compared to high income countries in general

The United States has proposed that some (but no means all) IPR obligations involving medicines be modified for countries with incomes below the amount the World Bank defines as “high.” The threshold to be considered a high income country was $12,616 in per capita income for 2012, and is adjusted every year. In contrast, the US per capita income was $50,124 in 2012. (More data here)

USTR FOIA, 127 pages of emails between industry and USTR TPP negotiators

Earlier this year, IP-Watch submitted two FOIA requests to USTR about the TPP negotiation. I am attaching two letters from USTR to IP-Watch about the FOIAs, and a file with 127 pages of emails between USTR and various industry lobbyists. (USTR provided KEI with copies of the files provdied to IP-Watch as part a separate KEI FOIA to USTR regarding communications involving the TPP).

A lot has clearly been withheld by USTR. According to USTR's June 19, 2013 letter to IP-Watch

KEI proposal for Antibiotics Innovation Funding Mechanism (AIFM), shortlisted for demonstration project by WHO's EURO region

The WHO is considering potential projects that will demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of open innovation models, delinkage of R&D costs and product prices, and innovative finance mechanisms. The process for selection began at the regional level, as each of six WHO regions was allowed to shortlist four projects that will be considered at a December 3-4, 2013 meeting of experts in Geneva, where the list will be narrowed again, and then considered by the WHO Executive Board in January 2014 and the WHO World Health Assembly in May 2014.

TPP provisions on Injunctions, are the TRIPS exceptions in or out?

Introduction

This note looks at the TPP, ACTA and TRIPS provisions on injunctions, and finds the TPP text unclear, as regards the possibility of exceptions to the obligation to make injunctions available in cases in of infringements. We have asked USTR and USPTO to clarify this issue.

Discussion

The TRIPS text on injunctions reads as follows:

Section 2: civil and administrative procedures and remedies
Article 44 - Injunctions.

KEI TPP Note: Exceptions for regulatory test data

This is the short briefing note that KEI is sending to TPP negotiators, on the issue of regulatory test data, which is currently a monopoly without space for exceptions, in the TPP text:


Exceptions to rights in regulatory test data
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