Department of Commerce (DOC) FOIA requests

  • On October 5, 2009, KEI asked the Department of Commerce for the daily calendar of meetings and events for Secretary Gary Locke.

    -------- Forwarded Message --------
    From: James Love
    To: EFOIA@doc.gov
    Subject: Freedom of Information Act Request
    Date: Mon, 05 Oct 2009 08:22:00 -0400

    Freedom of Information Act Request

    October 5, 2009

    Department of Commerce
    Departmental Freedom of Information Act Officer
    Office of Management and Organization
    1401 Constitution Ave., N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20230.
    Via email: EFOIA@doc.gov

    Dear FOIA Officer:

    Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) is a non-profit organization that
    follows both domestic and global negotiations on intellectual property
    rights, and topics such as open standards for software. More
    information about KEI is available on our web page at
    http://www.keionline.org. KEI interested influence of large
    corporations on public policy.

    Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, I am requesting
    copies of of the following records:

    1. The daily calendar of meetings and events for Secretary Gary Locke.
    KEI intends to publish this information on our web page, to provide the
    public with information about who the Secretary is available to meet.

    If you deny all or any part of this request, please cite each specific
    exemption you think justifies your withholding of information. Notify me
    of appeal procedures available under the law. If you have any questions
    about handling this request, you may telephone me at 1.202.332.2670.

    KEI requests a waiver of all fees. The disclosure of the information is
    in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly
    to public understanding of the operations or activities of the
    government, including but not limited to the degree to which a member of
    the Cabinet meets with officials from large corporations and trade
    association, as opposed to groups that represent consumer, taxpayer and
    non-industry civil society interests. KEI is a non-profit organization
    under 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. The request is not in any way related
    to any commercial interest.

    Sincerely,

    James love
    Knowledge Ecology International

  • October 8, 2009, a FOIA request was sent to NIST requesting the following data:

    In order to conduct our investigation and serve the public interest, KEI requests all documents, including email, letters, faxes and other communications, memorandums, power point presentations, and any other information which addresses the use, request to use or the possibility of using U.S. government rights in patents under provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act, including but not limited to possible or actual exercise of the right to a nonexclusive royalty-free license to use an invention, or the exercise March-in rights. This request also includes any cases where the agency has used or considered using the process laid out in the Commerce Regulations 37 C.F.R. 401 to resolve a dispute about the use of the invention.

    On January 8, 2010, KEI had a conference call with the FOIA officer and we were told no information was found responsive to our request. We decided to withdraw the request.

  • On October 9, 2009, KEI filed another FOIA request with the Department of Commerce regarding Bayh-Dole issues. On January 13, 2010, we received an email saying that the request had been trasfered to NIST and USPTO.
  • On July 2, 2010, KEI requested the Department of Commerce for information regarding country positions on the release of the ACTA negotiating text after the 9th round negotiations in Lucerne, Switzerland:

    1. Documents relating to the position of the United States as shared with third-country negotiating partners during the 9th round negotiations of ACTA that took place in Lucerne, Switzerland from June 28 to July 1, 2010, including but not limited to position papers, analyses and records of verbal communications on the topic of the public release of the draft negotiating text of the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

    2. Documents that identify the positions of any other country in the ACTA negotiation during the Lucerne meeting on the issue of the transparency of the draft ACTA text, including but not limited to position papers, analyses and records of verbal communications.

  • On December 16, 2010, KEI submitted the following FOIA request to the Department of Commerce, regarding communications with India government officials and a patent dispute involving a Gilead drug for AIDS.

    From: James Love
    To: EFOIA@doc.gov
    Subject: Freedom of Information Act Request
    Date: Mon, 05 Oct 2009 08:22:00 -0400
    Freedom of Information Act Request

    December 16, 2010

    Department of Commerce
    Departmental Freedom of Information Act Officer
    Office of Management and Organization
    1401 Constitution Ave., N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20230.

    Via email: EFOIA@doc.gov

    Dear FOIA Officer:

    Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) is a non-profit organization that follows both domestic and global negotiations on intellectual property rights, open standards for software. More information about KEI is available on our web page at http://www.keionline.org.

    KEI is particularly interested in the influence of large corporations on public policy, and on intellectual property negotiations that touch on access to medical inventions.

    Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, I am requesting copies of the following records:

    All records relating to communications involving the pharmaceutical company Gilead, and Secretary Gary Locke and or his staff, officials from other federal agencies (including the USPTO, USTR, the Department of State and the Office of the Vice President), members of the U.S. Congress, and government officials in India or any third parties, relating to patents on Gilead medicines in India, including but not limited to patents on the HIV/AIDS drug Tenofovir. KEI is aware of a December 8, 2010 report in livemint.com regarding communications between the Department of Commerce and Anand Sharma, an official of the India government. The Livemint.com story is available on the Internet here: http://www.livemint.com/2010/12/08022121/A-powerful-push-for-US-frm8.html

    KEI intends to publish information from the FOIA request on our web page, and in academic articles and in other outlets, such as the Huffington Post, to provide the public with information about the U.S. government efforts to influence patent disputes involving Gilead or other companies.

    KEI notes that in 2007 it filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission that references the Gilead licenses on patents for AIDS drugs. (http://keionline.org/content/view/23/1), and that a recent KEI FOIA request regarding a USPTO collaboration with India in Pfizer resulted in news coverage in India and the United States, and a decision by the USPTO to end its official collaboration with Pfizer in India.

    If you deny all or any part of this request, please cite each specific exemption you think justifies your withholding of information. Notify me of appeal procedures available under the law. If you have any questions about handling this request, you may telephone me at 1.202.332.2670, by fax at +1.202.332.2673 or via my cell phone at 1.202.361.3040 or email at james.love@keionline.org.

    KEI requests a waiver of all fees. The disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, including but not limited to the degree to which our government is involved in disputes over patents on AIDS medicines in developing countries, while the US government struggles to sustain treatment for AIDS patients through the U.S. taxpayer funded PEPFAR program.

    KEI is a non-profit organization under 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. The request is not related to a commercial interest. I am attaching a PDF file with and Addendum On Our FOIA Fee Waiver Request.

    Sincerely,
    James love, Director
    Knowledge Ecology International
    James.love@keionline.org
    http://www.keionline.org
    Office +1.202.332.2670
    Fax +1.202.332.2673
    Mobile Phone +1.202.361.3040

  • On January 11, 2011, KEI requested the Department of Commerce for all documents prepared or received on the topic of the use of compulsory licenses on medical patents by the Government of Thailand for the time period of January 20th, 2009 until the present, specifically:

    1. Copies of documents relating to any review and evaluation of intellectual property policies in Thailand, that relate to medical technologies.

    2. Copies of documents relating to communication regarding policies and practices of compulsory licensing of medical patents in Thailand, including but not limited to any notes, memorandums, reports, cables, electronic mail, fax, letter or other communication between your department and the pharmaceutical industry, or law firms, consultants, public relations firms, lobbyists or others working their behalf, as well as communications with any member of congress or their staff, communications with foreign governments or with other agencies within the U.S. federal government, or involving any other person.

    3. Copies of documents relating to any conclusions reached or position papers prepared on compulsory licensing practices in Thailand,

    4. Any other documents relevant to or regarding the use of the compulsory licensing of medical patents by Thailand.