James Love's blog

2011 WIPO General Assembly begins week long meeting

The 49th WIPO General Assembly began today, in a packed hall of the CICG convention center. The agenda and other documents for the meeting is available here. The Director General, Francis Gurry, began his talk focusing on financial challenges, and, among other things, several references to the work of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). Gurry talked about progress on the AV treaty, and progress on an "instrument" for persons with disabilities. He talked about the new SCCR work program on the broadcast treaty. He did not mention the WIPO work on libraries, education or other copyright limitations and exceptions issues.

The meeting is webcast. Countries have been given 5 minutes for opening statements.

DHHS Secretary Donna Shalala to Rep Jan Schakowsky in 2000, on WHO access to fed funded patent rights

In 2000, President Clinton asked Donna Shalala, then the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to write to Representative Jan Schakowsky. Schakowky had asked President Clinton to provide the World Health Organization with royalty free rights to health care products, for which the United States holds rights.

Schakowsky was pressing President Clinton to share its rights, under 35 USC 202(c)(4) -- a federal statute that reserves certain rights in patents where the federal government provided funding for the invention.

What the 2001 Doha Declaration Changed

As the UN meets to discuss non-communicable diseases, one area of controversy is the effort by White House trade officials and the European Commissioner for Trade to block any mention in a Political Declaration of the November 14, 2001 WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.

This note explains why the Doha Declaration was important, and what USTR and DG-Trade are trying to do in the NCD resolution. I will start with a very quick history of the events that led to the 2001 WTO resolution.

Vietnam cables: Data exclusivity should be automatic, comprehensive, retroactive and without procedures and formalities

Michael W. Michalak, former Ambassador to Vietnam, pressured Vietnam on behalf of PhRMA.

Cables recently published by Wikileaks illustrate the degree to which the U.S. has been engaged in writing laws and training judges and government officials in Vietnam, on a wide range of pharmaceutical and intellectual property issues.

USTR releases new White Paper on Access to Medicine: includes almost no specifics in terms of negotiating positions

USTR has released its new White Paper on Access to Medicine. Here is the press release. A copy of the White Paper is available here:


USPTO award of $4 million in fy 2010 grants to groups advising developing countries on intellectual property issues

Last year the USPTO announced the award of $4 million in fy 2009 grants to advise developing couintries on intellectual property policies. The first set of grants were done under Arti Rai, then Administrator for External Affairs at USTPO. The grants went to a variety on pro-right owner groups, including those associated with Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party, and several supported by firms like Pfizer and Microsoft. Seven of the groups receiving the fy 2009 have in common the fact they received funding from either Microsoft or the Gates Foundation.

Cables that mention Novartis

September 6, 2011
KEI staff review of Wikileaks cables (http://keionline.org/wikileaks)

Feb 28, 2003 | Turkey | Consulate Istanbul | Differences Among U.s. Firms Give Rise To New Association Of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies

In Poland, an Ambassador (and former George W Bush roommate) demolishes PhRMA's 2009 Special 301 filing (Wikileaks cables)

From KEI staff review of Wikileaks cables (http://keionline.org/wikileaks)

This cable signed by US Ambassador to Poland Victor H. Ashe provides a through and very tough critique of PhRMA's submission to the 2009 Special 301 list. Ashe rejects every one of PhRMA's main points, and explains why continually putting Poland on the Special 301 list is counter productive.

Cable: US Government collaboration with drug companies to lobby the Finnish Parliament on drug pricing legislation

This July 9, 2008 cable concerns the collaboration between the US government and the pharmaceutical industry to lobby Finland on the pricing of pharmaceutical drugs. The cable was written by Michael A Butler, then the Deputy Chief of Mission in Helsinki, and is worth a read. Among other things, the cable says :


Microsoft meeting with US Ambassador to Brazil regarding politics of Open Document Format (ODF) proposal to ISO

On December 21, 2007, the U.S. Consul General for São Paulo, Thomas White, wrote a cable titled: MICROSOFT SEES GOB ATTACKS AGAINST IPR. The cable was classified by James Story, the Econ/Pol Chief.

Ambassador Clifford Sobel (photo from Wikimedia)

New Zealand measures to prevent parallel trade in medicine from NZ to US

Wikileaks has published 28 cables, dated July 13, 2004 to February 9, 2010, from the US Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand that mention pharmaceuticals (See list here: http://keionline.org/node/1231)

One of the cables discusses in detail the efforts of the New Zealand government to prevent pharmaceutical products that are sold in New Zealand from being parallel traded into the U.S. market. There are several interesting points made in the cable. Here are a few highlights:

Wikileaks cables on the US opposition to Philippines legislation on affordable medicines

From KEI staff review of Wikileaks cables (http://keionline.org/wikileaks)

From September 19, 2005 to January 15, 2010, the US Department of State sent dozens of cables from Manila reporting on disputes in the Philippines regarding IPR and the pricing of pharmaceutical drugs. Much of the U.S. advocacy in the Philippines was done in close cooperation with Pfizer.

Implementing the Jordan FTA rules on exclusive rights in regulatory test data

September 2, 2011
From KEI staff review of Wikileaks cables (http://keionline.org/wikileaks)

On August 30, 2011, Wikileaks published a December 19, 2005 cable written by Daniel Rubinstein. The cable illustrates the degree to which the U.S. Department of State monitors the implementation of the Jordan-US FTA agreement, as regards disputes over rules on data exclusivity.

The CoreValve compulsory license on patent to treat aortic stenosis

On February 7, 2011, a federal judge in Delaware rejected a request for an injunction to prevent the continued infringement of United States Patent No.

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