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Posts Tagged: "World Trade Organization"

Letter to President Trump on China IP Probe is Latest Sign of Conservative Support for Private IP Rights

A group of 16 leaders from politically conservative institutions sent a letter addressed to President Donald Trump lauding the Trump Administration’s decision last summer to initiate an investigation into Chinese trade practices regarding intellectual property. The investigation, authorized under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, was aimed at identifying instances where U.S. technologies have been forcibly transferred to Chinese entities as a cost of entering the Chinese domestic market as a foreign entity… The recent letter to President Trump from conservative leaders is the latest indication that right-leaning institutions and think tanks have been more engaged with the debate surrounding the current U.S. intellectual property system.

New Balance wins largest verdict ever for foreign plaintiff in Chinese trademark suit

This latest victory for a foreign plaintiff asserting intellectual property claims is proof of yet another step down the road leading to a reformed, intellectual property friendly China, with China cracking down on infringers — as promised by Chinese President Xi Jinping… The Chinese IP court in Beijing reportedly ordered three domestic shoemakers to pay a total of 10 million yuan ($1.5 million USD) to New Balance for infringing upon the slanted ‘N’ logo utilized by New Balance on its branded shoes. That’s not a huge damages award in the grand scheme of trademark damages ordered around the world but reports indicate that the damages in this cases were the most ever handed out by a Chinese court to a foreign plaintiff for trademark infringement allegations.

Trump Administration opens probe into alleged Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property

President Donald Trump has signed a memo at the White House which authorized the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to make an inquiry into the alleged theft of American intellectual property which is believed to be aided by the Chinese federal government. Although there are concerns that the statement could increase tensions with China just as the U.S. government is seeking more cooperation from China on issues surrounding North Korea, the recent Trump memo comes in response to the $600 billion American intellectual property owners lose each year, a majority of which is due to Chinese tech transfer policies.

Trump Administration to open probe into deceptive intellectual property policy in China

Plans are being made by the Trump administration to open a probe into deceptive Chinese trade practices by invoking Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974… Where joint venture tech transfer rules are concerned, however, the Trump administration may well find out that the Chinese government is enabling practices that do violate international treaties. Foreign entities who want to operate in the Chinese market are typically forced to do so as joint ventures with domestic entities and the transfer of intellectual property assets from the foreign entity to the domestic one is often enforced. That policy runs afoul of the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

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.

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.

Plain confectionery packaging a heavy-handed response to health concerns

Legislating for tobacco-style plain packages for confectionery is a disproportionate response to the obesity crisis and strips companies of valuable trademarks, writes the Institute of Economic Affairs’ head of lifestyle economics.

‘Plain packaging’ is a policy which eliminates all branding and visual design elements on products and forces manufacturers to use state-mandated colors and typefaces to create homogenized packaging with no differentiating features. Plain packaging is currently only applied to tobacco products in a handful of countries worldwide, but if health activists have their way that will change.

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.

Compulsory Licenses Won’t Solve a Healthcare Crisis

Over the past two years, India has invalidated or otherwise attacked patents on 15 drugs produced by innovative pharmaceutical firms. While the claim is that this promotes lower prices and expanded access to medicines, in truth this is industrial policy not health policy. The clear beneficiaries are local generic manufacturers, not Indian patients. The majority of Indians do not need Nexavar, or any of the other patented drugs being considered for compulsory licenses. They need doctors, nurses, clinics, and hospitals. Put simply, a functioning healthcare infrastructure. Basic health statistics clearly illustrate the real problem, India currently accounts for one-third of the deaths of pregnant women and close to a quarter of all child deaths.[3] The battle for health in India will not be won with compulsory licenses. It will be won with investments of resources on the ground in local communities.

Protecting Innovation is not ‘Satanic Genocide’: Intellectual Property Policy in South Africa

South Africa currently faces a stark choice between protecting and incentivizing innovation and stymying life-saving therapeutic breakthroughs. Policymakers must choose between shoring up the protections that encourage the development of medicines that enhance and extend life, or sabotaging innovation through the weakening of the patent system. South Africa is purported to have the highest number of people living with HIV in the world, people who have the most to gain from breakthrough therapies. Innovative medicines have contributed to the 85 percent decline in the death rate from HIV/AIDS since 1995. The benefits of future medicines will become a reality only if these medicines are incentivized and developed. Strong, effective IP protection is essential to that process.