Public Citizen Submits Comments on EC Customs Regulation 1383/2003

Public Citizen's comments to the European Commission on the DG TAXUD consultation paper, “Review of EU legislation on customs enforcement of intellectual property rights,” are available online. Our first recommendation is that the EC should propose revisions to council Regulation 1383/2003 limiting ex officio intellectual property customs actions to cases of willful trademark counterfieting and copyright policy on a commercial scale...

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Note on ACTA and Access to Medicines

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The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is inappropriately named. Its current scope proposes to extend minimum enforcement and legal remedy requirements to a broad range of intellectual property law far beyond the limited terrain of criminal trademark counterfeiting. The draft is a fairly clear product of close consultation with rights holders with little concern for or representation of the interests of competitors.

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WCL Intellectual Property Brief Publishes First Issue, Issues Call for Papers

The Intellectual Property Brief (http://www.ipbrief.net) is currently accepting submissions for our summer issue. We are looking for papers that address a legal topic relating to any area of intellectual property. Please submit completed papers by June 4, 2010.

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India and Brazil Request Consultations at WTO Over EU Seizures of Generic Medicines

India and Brazil have requested formal consultations with the EU concerning its repeated seizures of generic medicines. This is the first step in the WTO’s dispute settlement process. European customs agents seized at least 17 shipments of medicines believing they violated patents, often at the request of companies that held European patents on the medicines. However, these medicines were not patented in their country of origin (India) nor their destination countries in Latin America and Africa.

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South Africa to Debate Traditional Knowledge Bill

Next week, the South African Parliament will debate the Intellectual Property Laws Amendments Bill, which was introduced by the Minister of Trade and Industry in 2008. The bill aims to increase protection of traditional knowledge by amending the Performers’ Protection Act, the Copyrights Act, the Trade Marks Act, and the Designs Act.

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PIJIP and the AU Center for Social Media Submit Comments to FCC on the Future of Media

WCL Professor Peter Jaszi and AU Center for Social Media Director Patricia Aufderheide recently submitted comments to the FCC for its examination of the “Future of Media and Information Needs of Communities In a Digital Age.” Their comments describe the importance of flexible copyright laws for creators who build on the works of others to produce new media. They urge protection of these including fair use, in the digital realm. They urged the FCC not to “Change Sec. 107, which articulates the fair use doctrine.

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Counterfeit Versus "Confusingly Similar" Products

The current Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) text calls for products to be stopped at borders if they are suspected on prima facie – i.e. very little – evidence of being "confusingly similar" to trademarked products. Health advocates worry that this ambiguous term will be misused by border officials to detain and delay legitimate drugs. “Confusingly similar” is a much lower standard for trademark infringement than that for true counterfeits, which are defined by both the WTO and WHO as products that are intentionally identical with a purpose to deceive.

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PIJIP and GW to Cosponsor Event: "Media Piracy and Enforcement: Global and Economic Perspectives"

Media piracy has been called a global scourge and a nirvana for criminals. But it could equally be described as a global pricing problem, shaped by high prices for media goods, low incomes, and cheap digital technologies, or as the gap between wildly successful global marketing campaigns and inadequate efforts to serve local audiences. On May 11, two reports will be presented at an event cosponsored by PIJIP and the GW Institute for Global and International Studies.

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Review of the 2010 Special 301 Report Sections on IP and Access to Medicines

On preliminary review, it looks like the public health representation before USTR this year on the 301 report had some noticeable effect on the Report, although the report as a whole is still very bad for access to medicines. The most notable change is on the issue of linkage. In 2009, a lack of linkage was the second most cited medicines-related complaint in Special 301 (after data exclusivity). This year, the only countries cited for lacking linkage in the report are those that agreed to linkage requirements in FTAs signed before the New Trade Deal with Peru and other countries.

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Public Health Responses to the Release of the Special 301 Report

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Public health groups released statements Friday afternoon after USTR released the Special 301 Report. In general, the comments noted some improvement over years past, yet continued to criticize the report for attacking countries that produce and sell lifesaving generic medicines. This blog post contains quotes from Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam America, Knowledge Ecology International, Health GAP (Global Access Project), and PIJIP.

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