I have written a KEI Research note about Compulsory licensing of copyright under Article 44.2 of the TRIPS, in light of eBay, which is now on the web here.
On 23 May 2007, the 60th World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization’s highest governing body, adopted resolution WHA60.30 on Public health, innovation and intellectual property. This resolution bolstered the work program of WHO’s Intergovernmental Working Group on Public health, innovation and intellectual property (IGWG/PHI). This is the key operative section of the resolution, and the reactions by several key persons.
Representative Daniel Lungren (R-CA) has introduced HR 1451, the “New Options Petroleum Energy Conservation Act of 2007,” a bill that seeks to provide incentives to reduce dependence on foreign oil. It includes, among other things, a $1 billion prize the first U.S. car manufacturer to sell 60,000 midsized sedan automobiles that can travel 100 miles per gallon.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 9, 2007
According to this account:
Many of us have heard about the X-Prize, but what about the Mprize?
Legislation to create and fund an “H-Prize” has been re-introduced in the 110th Congress (S. 365, 3 co-sponsors, HR 632, 37 co-sponsors). The bills would “authorize the Secretary of Energy to establish monetary prizes for achievements in overcoming scientific and technical barriers associated with hydrogen energy.”
Prizes would be given in the following areas:
Rep Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) has introduced a bill that includes a section requiring the Secretary of Energy to enter into an arrangement with the National Academies of Sciences to evaluate the feasibility of prizes to promote the development of farms that are net producers of both food and energy.
110th CONGRESS,1st Session H. R. 80
This prize program is part of S. 280, a bill to address global warming. The high powered sponsors include Senators Lieberman, Carper, Clinton, Coleman, Collins, Durbin, Lincoln, McCain, Nelson, Obama and Snow.
This is a fairly significant prize program. It seems as though a single award can exceed $100 million, with the approval of the Secretary of Energy.
110th CONGRESS, 1st Session, S. 280
In April 2007, Senators Bingaman (D-NM), Domenici (R-MM), Dorgan (D-SD), Lugar (R-IN), Akaka (D-HI), Murkowski (R-AK) and Craig (R-ID) introduced legislation dealing with energy efficiency. One section of the bill requires the United States Treasury to create a Bright Light Tomorrow permanent fund, without a fiscal year limitation, to finance prizes for energy efficient lamps. There are three specific prizes.
The prize is not huge (5,000 Euros), but the purposes and winners are interesting. According to this account:
The city of Aachen and the district (Kreis) of Aachen have conferred the Aachen Innovation Prize jointly since the year 2000. From 1992 until 1999 it was granted by the city of Aachen alone under the name of the “City of Aachen Prize for Innovation and Technology”.
There are, it seems, twelve prizes and awards. Among the more interesting are these:
The MacRobert Award for Innovation in Engineering
The final text of the resolution is here:
Peter Pitts doesn't like the KSR decision, and he also doesn’t like prizes. His recent Spectator article says:
DISTURBINGLY, SOME FOLKS ARE now advocating a “prize” system where there are no drug patents. Instead, the government would pay a drug maker a lump sum for its innovation, and then the new drug would immediately be placed in the public domain.
According to Thiru Balasubramaniam, the WHA has now adopted a resolution on the WHO’s Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property. We are waiting for the official text. However, it seemed better than many had predicted earlier this week. The U.S., while not blocking the resolution, noted it did not join the consensus on the text. Now attentions will turn to the WHO’s next move, which will be the July draft of the global strategy and plan of action.