Kenyan Court Will Soon Rule Whether the Anti-Counterfeiting Law is Constitutional

The Kenyan Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the petition of three HIV positive Kenyans who claim Kenya’s recent Anti-counterfeit Law will stifle their access to affordable HIV medicine, thereby violating their right to life under the Kenyan Constitution. This case could influence the debate over similar anti-counterfeiting laws in the rest of the East African Community.

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European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade to Host ACTA Stakeholders' Meeting in Brussels in March

International stakeholders will gather in Brussels on Mar. 22nd to debate whether the European Union should ratchet up its enforcement of intellectual property rights, during a meeting hosted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade. The meeting aims to inform and consult interested parties about the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)...

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President Obama and USTR's Ron Kirk Support ACTA Despite EU Parliament 663- 13 Vote Rejecting the Agreement

On March 10th, the EU Parliament rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in a 663 to 13 vote. The main reasons for this vote involve the disapproval of ACTA secrecy and also the restrictions placed on consumer and civil rights. Despite this resounding vote against ACTA, both President Obama and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk have shown continued support for the agreement.

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Future Uncertain for East African Community Draft Policy on Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy

The East African Community Draft Policy on Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy has influenced domestic laws in East African Community member states, notably in Kenya and Uganda. However, in mid-February leaders in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi said they would not support the East African Community Draft Policy because they fear its definition of counterfeit goods is over-broad and will jeopardize the generic medicines industry.

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European Parliament ACTA Resolution Passes Overwhelmingly, Threatens Possible Court Action

The European Parliament today overwhelming approved a resolution on ACTA calling for transparency and raising concerns about substantive elements in the treaty such as the prospect of three strikes and personal border searches. The final vote was 633 in favour, 13 against, and 16 abstentions.

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IP Watch: Submissions To US Unilateral IP Enforcement Process Highlight Piracy, Health, and ACTA

Submissions to the United States annual review of how well it says the rest of the world is protecting US intellectual property are being assessed this week, with marked changes from previous years... A joint submission of several major global health organisations coordinated by Sean Flynn of the American University College of Law (Washington, DC) called on USTR to stop using the Special 301 report to promote so-called “TRIPS-plus restrictions on access to medicines,” which the groups said violates the Doha Declaration on IP flexibilities and public health.

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Special 301 Review Includes Hearing for the First Time, Participants Still Seek Greater Transparency

Ambassador Miriam Sapiro opened a recent trade policy hearing by recognizing “the importance of transparency and public consultation” in the Special 301 process, a reference to the USTR’s recent decision to open the annual review process to members of the public. In the past, the USTR has faced criticism for conducting its annual review behind closed doors. But many of the participants called for greater openness in the future.

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European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx Raises Privacy Concerns Regarding ACTA Proposed 3-Strike Approach

In a newly released opinion, European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx raises a number of privacy issues with a 3-strike Internet disconnection policy discussed in leaked ACTA documents. He goes on to state that "less intrusive means for achieving the same purpose exist" and should be considered. The European Data Protection Supervisor favors public and transparent dialogue on ACTA.

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InternetNZ to host PublicACTA Conference in April 2010

On April 10, 2010, Internet New Zealand (InternetNZ) will host PublicACTA, a conference open to the public for people to express their concerns and critiques about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). This conference comes at an appropriate time as the 8th round of the controversial negotiations will occur on April 12-16th in Wellington, New Zealand.

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PIJIP Calls for USTR Policy Change to Promote Access to Medicines

PIJIP will represent public health advocates before the US Trade Representative (USTR)“Special 301 Subcommittee” on Wednesday to criticize the use of trade policy to block generic competition in international and domestic pharmaceutical markets. USTR’s promotion of ever-higher levels of patent protection on needed medicines leads to unreasonably high drug prices that limit access to medicines for many around the world.

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