USPTO Meeting on Humanitarian Patent Program

Photo by M.V. Jantzen

The October 27th USPTO meeting on humanitarian patent vouchers was largely devoted to soliciting comments and questions from the non-profit representatives. The NGOs and non-profits represented at the meeting included Doctors Without Borders, Knowledge Ecology International, and the Medicines Patent Pool among others.

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Challenges to ACTA Mount: The week in Review

It is difficult to find anyone outside of USTR and the other negotiating party offices that believe that the ACTA process is legitimate and that this is a good and democratic means to create a new global framework on intellectual property. It is time to slow down, open up the process, analyze the text and amend it where necessary.

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Experts Testify to U.N. Special Rapporteur, Webcast + Release

Washington, DC: At a consultation with UN Special Rapporteur on Health, Anand Grover, health advocates gave testimony today relating to their complaint filed with the UN about U.S. trade policies continued from the Bush administration that violate the right to health.The webcast for the event is now available.

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Yet another ACTA problem: The new copyright crime of “aiding and abetting”

Creative Commons license on publicknowledge.org

The ACTA has caused concern for many reasons, such as secret negotiations and controversial provisions. One clause in particular has slipped under the radar. Article 2.14 of ACTA would require participating nations to "ensure that criminal liability for aiding and abetting is available." This liability would apply to parties that assist others in engaging in "willful . . . copyright . . . on a commercial scale." Such scale includes "commercial activities for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage."

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Over 75 Law Profs Call for Halt of ACTA

Over 75 intellectual property professors have written to President Obama asking him to “direct the USTR to halt its public endorsement of ACTA and subject the text to a meaningful participation process that can influence the shape of the agreement going forward.”

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Copyright Principles Project Releases Refreshing Report Regarding Copyright Reform

Beginning in 2007, Professor Pamela Samuelson of the University of California at Berkeley convened a diverse group of twenty copyright experts in order to interact and deliberate regarding ways that our copyright system could be improved. The group recently released "Directions for Reform." It is an impressive and remarkable example of how open-minded and attentive discussions can produce thoughtful proposals regarding complex and politically sensitive subjects.

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Oct 28: Public Consultation on Trade, Access to Medicines and the Right to Health with Anand Grover, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health

This meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to present information to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health on the intersection of trade policy, access to medicines and the right to health. The morning session will be devoted to discussion of use of the U.S. “Special 301” program to promote intellectual property norms in developing countries that threaten access to affordable medicines.

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Nov 8: DC Copyright Society Event - Supreme Court Confidential - Costco v. Omega

The DC Chapter of the Copyright Society of the USA is sponsoring a great upcoming event at the George Washington University Law School. The invitation is posted below. I encourage everyone interested in copyright law – and especially WCL students – to attend the event and to join the Society.

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Oct 19: International Intellectual Property Law

Lunch with PIJIP faculty – Prof. Michael Carroll, Prof. Sean Flynn, and Dean Christine Farley and – will discuss ongoing initiatives and research on public interest concerns in international intellectual property law. Topics will include the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), international trademark, and cyberlaw.

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Relections on "A Fracas about Fragrance: Copyright’s Application to Perfume"

On October 14, PIJIP and IPLS hosted a lunch with Charles Cronin, a 1985 WCL graduate, and he gave a talk on whether copyright should apply to manufactured fragrances. There was one case in the French courts claiming that a manufactured fragrance is not copyrightable because it is a technical creation. Lately though, the trend in France and The Netherlands seems to be that manufactured perfumes are copyrightable to their creators.

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