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External News

Ebola Crisis Has Severe Impact On AIDS Response In Sierra Leone, UNDP Report Says
According to an internal report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Fund Partnership team, the Ebola epidemic has virtually halted national HIV efforts in Sierra Leone. In particular, patients stopped their treatments and the supply chain was disrupted.
UK To Revamp Law On “Groundless Threats” Of Infringement Suits
Recommendations for key reforms to laws against “groundless threats” of infringement lawsuits in patent, trademark and design rights cases won general UK government backing today. IP lawyers said the government's stance will go far toward resolving longstanding concerns.
Tobacco Plain Packaging Discussion Lights Up Again At WTO
The issue of plain packaging for tobacco products as a health measure has been smouldering at the World Trade Organization since Australia decided to implement legislation requiring plain packaging in 2012. Now, as more countries seek to enact similar legal provisions, some tobacco producing countries continue to try to stub them out, including at the WTO intellectual property committee.
WTO Least-Developed Countries Request Waiver Of IP Rights On Pharma Products
This week at the World Trade Organization intellectual property committee meeting, least-developed countries submitted a request to extend a waiver allowing them not to enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products. The countries have extended the waiver before, but this time they are seeking to make it indefinite, until they are no longer considered LDCs.
New Quiet Initiative To Improve Drug Access In Middle-Income Countries, Change Country Classification System
This week a confidential high-level expert meeting was convened in Geneva to start work on a potential change in the country classification used by global health actors to remedy the growing problem of access to medicines in middle-income countries.
Medicines Patent Pool Nails Down Another Key Paediatric Drug
The Medicines Patent Pool today announced it has struck a licence with MSD, the North American-based Merck pharmaceutical company, to boost access to and innovation on raltegravir, a child-approved HIV medicine. The outcome is particularly significant because it opens options for very young children.
WIPO Members Propose Changes To Draft Legal Instrument Protecting GIs
In the run-up to the May high-level negotiating meeting to amend a World Intellectual Property Organization treaty to enhance the protection of geographical indications, member countries were invited to suggest changes to the basic negotiating text. Ten countries issued proposed changes by the 1 February deadline, some asking for full participation of WIPO members in the negotiations of the 28-member treaty.
US Again Target Of Complaints Of Persistent Non-Compliance At WTO DSB
Discussions at the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body meeting yesterday again included the long-running dispute on a rum brand with Cuba accusing the United States of persistent non-compliance, and other WTO members – such as China and the European Union - urging the US to finally repeal its bill. The US measure was ruled inconsistent with the WTO intellectual property rules 13 years ago, and critics warn that the US recalcitrance is harming the dispute settlement system.
Status Of WTO Wines And Spirits Register Discussed
World Trade Organization delegates were convened this week to discuss an international register for wines and spirits in the context of the organisation’s agreement on intellectual property. The discussion, dating back nearly 20 years, has long involved different views on the register, which were reaffirmed this week, according to sources in Geneva.
In 21st Century No One Should Die For Lack Of Access To Medicines, Participants At UN Forum Say
Last week’s 2015 Social Forum led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to facilitate access to medicines. In particular, the functioning of the intellectual property system was put into question. A number of recommendations were drawn by the secretariat after having been identified by participants.

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