Posts Tagged: "TRIPS agreement"

Big Pharma, Generics and Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

Generic drug manufacturers can pose major financial threats to those companies that invent and develop the copied drugs both domestically and internationally… Before TRIPS, most of the world’s developing countries had very weak patent protections, especially for pharmaceuticals. These weaknesses included — but were not limited to — shorter patent terms ranging from 4 to 7 years, narrowly defined patents which allowed for imitations, and greatly reduced monopoly rights of the patent owner by the permissive use of compulsory licenses. This divergence demonstrates a disconnect between the above mentioned weaknesses and the strong protections of industrial countries with their 20-year patent terms and almost unlimited monopoly rights… For pharmaceutical patent owners, these TRIPS amendments try to harmonize the worldwide rights afforded to them by balancing the interests of the rights holder and those of consumers.

President-Elect Trump Says the TPP is Dead, but What Now for IP?

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced that he will withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement on his first day in office. So ends more than five years of often heated negotiations led by President Barack Obama’s administration as part of an overall strategy to strengthen the US position in the Pacific Rim region… Pulling out of the TPP is a missed opportunity for the US to pursue its IPR agenda in the Pacific Rim economies.

Recent study on lost copyright royalties may reopen WTO case on Section 110 exemptions in U.S.

A recent report from French consulting firm PMP Conseil made waves in the media for indicating that public performance exemptions in U.S. copyright law, such as Section 110 exemptions, cost copyright owners $150 million each year in lost royalties, $44 million of which is attributable to U.S. copyright owners in Europe. On November 11th, this study was presented by the International Council of Creators of Music (CIAM) at it’s annual conference in London. CIAM maintains that the U.S. is one of two “more economically developed countries” that have an exemption in place for playing music in bars, restaurants and retail establishments by radio or television.

Estimating the Costs for Filing, Registering, and Renewing Single-class Trademarks across the Globe

Estimates for renewing the trademark for one term (including the attorney costs) in the U.S. and the other seven Convention countries vary from $320 in Thailand to $2,120 in the U.S., while the same amounts to $4,556 under the Madrid Protocol (Figure 5). The estimates are inclusive of the costs for filing combined affidavits under Section 8 (affidavit of use) and Section 15 (incontestability) in the U.S., in addition to the costs for filing an “Affidavit of Continued Use” under Section 9 in the U.S. The individual country renewal fees under the Madrid Protocol vary from $80 in India to $925 in the EU (Figure 6).

UN Secretary General’s Panel on Access to Medicines Reports: Government Knows Best

Delayed for months beyond its expected issue date the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicine’s report emerged yesterday. Apparently the panelists scrambled to better disguise their predetermined agenda behind reams of soothing rhetoric. While lip service is given to the unimagined advances in medicine under the current industry led drug development system, that’s quickly discarded under the pretext of providing better access to health care for the world’s poorest citizens through a system run by international bureaucracy. These recommendations are largely directed at the US life science industry. Luckily, one panel member provides an effective rebuttal to this approach but unless his message is repeated many public officials, media outlets and the general public could come to accept that a government run system would be “more fair.”

Brand Owners Watch as Smoke Clears on Plain Packaging Efforts

The major premise of plain packaging is that when stripped of producers’ logos, brand images and promotional matter, tobacco products simply aren’t as attractive to consumers. Reduced focus on logos and images also increases the effectiveness of health warnings. Chan points to research from Australia, the first country to fully implement plain packaging, to show that by stripping tobacco products of gratuitous trademarks and other producer advertising elements, there were 100,000 fewer smokers over the first 34 months after implementation in 2012. Not all groups agree, however.

Stabilization and Association Agreement and its Impact on the Protection of IP Rights in Kosovo

After several years of negotiations between the Kosovo government and the European Commission, the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) entered into force on April 1, 2016. The entry into force of the SAA is an important development for Kosovo since this constitutes the first contractual relationship between Kosovo and the European Union. The SAA includes several chapters on various political and economic issues as well as provisions aiming to promote EU standards in many areas, including intellectual property. I will first highlight the main provisions of the SAA concerning IP rights and compare them with the respective provisions in a few other SAAs that the EU signed with other countries in the region. I will then analyze what the entry into force of the SAA means for the Kosovo government in terms of IP protection and how this development will positively affect trademark holders and IP practitioners.

To license or to abandon? The Advantages of Open Licensing

Open licenses are private arrangements that work within the current legal regime to encourage innovation, discourage trolls, and help attract top engineering talent. It is a win-win solution for different patenting companies and user’s society. There are several different types of most common open licenses. A License of Transfer Agreement (or shortly, a LOT agreement), that helps to prevent legal suits from non-practicing entities that purchase patents for the sole purpose of enforcing them (called Patent Assertion Entities, or PAEs). Under the LOT Agreement, every company that participates, grants a license to the other participants where the license becomes effective only when patents are transferred to non-participants.