Posts Tagged: "USMCA"

The U.S.-Mexico Patent Prosecution Super-Highway

For the past several years, the patent offices in the United States and Mexico have operated under a type of patent examination fast-tracking and work-sharing agreement known as a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). This agreement between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) was set to expire in June of this year, and the status of the program going forward was uncertain. But on January 28, the Offices announced a new agreement that promises to improve upon the PPH system by creating an even “more streamlined approach” to obtaining a Mexican patent once a corresponding U.S. patent is granted than that presently offered under the PPH.

USMCA Set To Export U.S. Copyright Law to North American Neighbors

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was passed by the U.S. Senate on January 16, 2020 and will be signed by President Trump today. The treaty, which renegotiates and cancels the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is expected to dramatically affect many areas of law of its three member states. With respect to copyright law, the USMCA largely exports copyright standards from the United States. Once it is implemented, content creators and owners, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and copyright professionals can expect the laws of Mexico and Canada to more closely resemble those of the United States with respect to liability and safe harbors for ISPs, the term of the life of a copyright, rights for sound recordings used in interactive streaming and anti-circumvention measures.

This Week in Washington IP: Increasing Inventor Diversity, USCMA Implementation and EU Investments Into R&D

This week in Washington-based IP events, the Senate will host a series of committee hearings to explore the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) implementation bill recently passed by the House of Representatives, although political turmoil in D.C. is expected to delay the Senate’s passage of that legislation. The Senate Commerce Committee will also convene a hearing this week to focus on how the U.S. can maintain a competitive edge in several areas of innovation. Over in the House, the Small Business Committee will discuss findings on minority and women patenting rates in the recent SUCCESS Act study. Other House committees will focus on steps towards a carbon-free shipping industry, facial recognition technologies, and new frontiers in energy science research. Elsewhere in D.C., the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will look at ways that the EU is planning on funding research and development across Europe, and the Brookings Institution will host an event on the ethical use of AI algorithms.

USMCA Takes Another Step Forward in 25-3 Senate Committee Vote

The United States Senate Finance Committee today considered the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in an Open Executive Session and voted 25 to 3 to move the bill forward.

The USMCA enjoys wide bipartisan support, but Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) voted against the bill. Toomey and Cassidy objected largely to process issues, as the Committee was not allowed to present amendments under a fast-track process, while Whitehouse was critical of the agreement’s lack of urgency on climate change. President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached agreement on the USMCA, which would, if ratified, replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on December 10. Notably for the IP community, the new version struck down provisions that would have expanded regulatory data protection for biologics inventions from five years in Mexico and eight years in Canada to 10 years in both countries.

This Week in Washington IP: Voting System Security, USMCA Implementation and Consumer Deception on the Internet

This week in Washington D.C., Capitol Hill remains rather quiet as both houses of Congress begin to return from the holiday recess. However, the House of Representatives will host hearings on forms of Internet deception that are harmful to American consumers as well as cybersecurity issues related to digital voting platforms. In the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee will discuss the implementation of the USMCA, the recently negotiated North American free trade agreement replacing NAFTA, which includes important provisions on intellectual property. Elsewhere in the Capital., the Center for Strategic and International Studies explores NASA’s role in American foreign policy while The Wilson Center gathers educators and esports executives for an event focused on improving outcomes for U.S. students. 

Final USMCA Text is a Missed Opportunity for Innovation

Earlier this week, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reached an agreement with President Donald Trump on passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which if passed into law would replace the defunct and much maligned North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Not everyone is happy about the latest version of the USMCA agreed upon by the White House and House Democrats, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which continues to support the overall agreement but has great concerns about the new provisions in the latest negotiated agreement between President Trump and Speaker Pelosi, which strikes expanded protection for biologic drugs from the agreement completely. Over the summer, House Democrats vocally opposed granting 10 years of regulatory data protection (RDP) for biologics inventions—an increase from 8 years in Canada and from 5 years in Mexico—arguing it would result in higher drug prices and delayed entry for biosimilars.

Agreement on USMCA Strikes Expanded Protections for Biologics

President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have reportedly reached an agreement on the much debated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would, if ratified, replace the defunct and maligned North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreement, announced by Speaker Pelosi on Tuesday morning, comes as the House prepares to impeach President Trump, which makes it somewhat surreal, given that House Democrats seem poised to deliver President Trump a victory. During his presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump promised at nearly every campaign stop to renegotiate NAFTA. “It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,” Ms. Pelosi said. “It’s a victory for America’s workers.” In remarks posted on Twitter, President Trump said: “America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions – tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!”

As Lighthizer Negotiates on USMCA, Former HHS Secretary Warns Against Buying Into ‘Myths’

On September 13, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reportedly expressed a willingness to negotiate on several points of contention regarding the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), including potentially reducing the 10-year period of intellectual property protection for biologic medicines. In response to this, the Pass USMCA Coalition is touting a memo penned by Former Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson aimed at “debunking the widespread myth that the USMCA will drive up drug prices.” Thompson, also a four-term governor of Wisconsin, now advises the Pass USMCA Coalition. Thompson’s memo focuses on three key arguments that he considers myths

Amidst Push for a Summer Vote on USMCA, Report Argues RDP Requirement Would Not Raise Drug Prices

In the face of pressure to pull provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that would grant 10 years of regulatory data protection (RDP) for biologics inventions, a recent report claims that the requirement would not result in higher drug prices for U.S. patients. The USMCA is currently being negotiated, but the chances of a vote this summer are quickly dwindling. In addition to other objections, many Democrats have opposed granting 10 years of RDP—an increase from 8 years in Canada and from 0 in Mexico (the U.S. period of exclusivity is longer, at 12)—arguing it would result in higher drug prices and delayed entry for biosimilars. Patrick Kilbride, Vice President of International Intellectual Property for the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has argued here before that the data does not support those claims.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, May 10: Congress and Trump Crack Down on Pharma, Amici File Briefs in Acorda, and USPTO to Modify Patent Term Adjustment Procedures

This week in Other Barks & Bites, IPWatchdog’s IP news roundup: the House of Representatives passes drug patent legislation, while antitrust legislation targeting patent-related activities is introduced into the Senate and the Trump administration mandates pricing information for pharmaceutical ads; the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issues a pair of precedential decisions on cases with multiple petitions; the USPTO issues marijuana-related trademark guidelines and a notice on modifying patent term adjustment practices; Gilead strikes a settlement with Teva to bring generic Truvada to the U.S. market in 2020; a new music licensing entity is created in Canada; Fourth Circuit rules that bankruptcy can eliminate damages for trade secret violations; and several amicus file briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to eliminate the Federal Circuit’s “blocking patent” doctrine.

Up and Running: Senate IP Subcommittee Debates USPTO Oversight After Setting Ambitious Agenda in February

Today, March 13, the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property met to discuss “Oversight of the United States Patent and Trademark Office,” with USPTO Director Andrei Iancu as the sole witness. IPWatchdog will report the details of that hearing in full, but in the meantime it is worth reviewing what the Subcommittee covered in its first hearing, held February 26, which included the report of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) on the findings of the IPEC’s Annual Intellectual Property Report. While the hearing was nominally about the IPEC report, comments made and questions raised by Subcommittee members throughout the course of the hearing made it clear that the Subcommittee intends to play an important role in the debate around IP and patent law during the 116th Congress.

A Vote for the USMCA Will Secure the Innovation of Tomorrow

Promoting public health has always been a bipartisan priority in Washington, D.C. Under the previous administration, lawmakers passed the 21st Century Cures Act and launched the cancer moonshot, two initiatives that aimed to transform health outcomes through greater investment in the next generation of medical treatments. In his State of the Union address last month, President Trump announced an ambitious plan to end HIV/AIDS by 2030 and increase funding for often-neglected childhood cancers. For each of these initiatives to be successful, lawmakers must recognize that investing in the cures of tomorrow requires continued bipartisan cooperation. This rings true for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), as well. The next generation of medical innovation depends on significant private sector investments. The intellectual property (IP) provisions of USMCA help to lay the foundation for continued investment into the research and development (R&D) of innovative cures across North America. In particular, the 10-year term of regulatory data protection for biologics will help ensure that North America continues to lead the world in developing life-saving technologies.

U.S. Patent System Jumps to Tie for Second Place in International IP Index

On February 7, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) released the latest version of its International IP Index assessing the intellectual property environments in 50 world economies. Once again, the United States achieved the top overall ranking as the strongest intellectual property regime in the world. The country’s improved ranking in patent rights—moving from its twelfth-place ranking in 2018 to a tie for second place this year—is particularly notable. However, the United States does find itself tied with 10 other countries for that second-place ranking in patent rights and is just as close to being tied with thirteenth-place Italy as it is to being tied with first-place Singapore.

Canada Patent Law Changes Are Bad News for Patent Owners

The effects of changes made to Canada’s patent law at the end of 2018 won’t be fully clear for some time, but Canadian patent owners and those looking to expand patent strategies into Canada may want to take heed.

On December 13, 2018, the Governor General of Canada gave royal assent to pass Bill C-86, known as the Budget Implementation Act, into law. The legislation makes several changes to Canadian patent law relating to how patent and trademark infringement cases are litigated in Canadian courts and prescribes new licensing requirements for patent and trademark agents operating in Canada. The amendments to the Canadian Patent Act are laid out in Part 4, Division 7, Subdivision A of the budget law.