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Access To Medicines Resolution Adopted By UN Human Rights Council
A resolution on access to medicines proposed by a number of developing countries was adopted today by the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as a resolution on enhancing capacity-building in public health. This marks yet another United Nations fora in which developing countries seek to raise the issue of access to medicines, particularly with regard to high prices.
WIPO Patent Law Committee Adopts Work Programme; Good Omen, Some Say
World Intellectual Property Organization members attending this week’s patent law committee meeting agreed on a work programme, reflecting divergent views on patents and health, exceptions and limitations, and patent quality.
European Music Industry Presses Brussels To Solve “Value Gap” From User Uploads
More than 1,000 recording artists and songwriters from Europe, and artists who regularly perform there, have urged the European Commission to stop the “value gap” created by user upload services such as Google's YouTube from “siphoning value away” from the music community. Google, however, said digital services aren't the problem, and that greater transparency on royalties is needed.
WIPO Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For Visually Impaired Enters In Force
The World Intellectual Property Organization treaty to facilitate access to books in special formats for visually impaired people will enter into effect, as the 20th member state acceded to the treaty today.
US Sees Weak African IP Protection, But Not Enough To Lose Unilateral Trade Benefits
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today (29 June) released its annual report on the eligibility of African nations for unilateral trade benefits offered by the US. While some countries were praised for progress on intellectual property protection, others were found to be weak in this area, but none were removed from eligibility for that reason. Overall, reporting on IP rights varied widely in the report.
Africa Regional Group Proposes Patents And Health Programme At WIPO
This week in the World Intellectual Property Organization patent law committee, the African Group submitted an updated proposal for a work programme on patents and health that would help developing countries tailor patent law to their circumstances.
Russian IP Industry At Center Of Massive Scandal
The Russian IP industry is in the center of a massive scandal, caused by the yesterday’s arrest of Sergei Fedotov, director general of the Russian Authors' Society (RAO), a public association, which is responsible for the collection and distribution of royalties among rights holders, on the suspicion of multi-million dollar theft and withdrawal of funds to abroad.
Embassy In London Under Siege, IP A ‘Neo-Liberal Pillar’, Ecuador Minister Says
A top Ecuadoran official said today at the United Nations in Geneva that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s health is deteriorating after four years confined in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, while the United Kingdom and Sweden are ignoring the findings of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which called for Assange’s release. The Ecuadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs also said Ecuador will carry on issuing compulsory licences for medicines as it sees fit, underlining the increasing role of intellectual property and the greater privatisation of knowledge.
A Comprehensive And Fair Solution To The Price Of Medicines
WHO's Marie-Paule Kieny writes: Amid public outcry, political battles and media articles, no one seems to understand how, exactly, medicines prices are set. For years, pharmaceutical research companies have cited the large investment of time and resources that go into bringing a drug to market. More recently, they argue that their medicines are actually saving money by preventing expensive medical interventions like surgery and hospitalization.But whatever the argument used, the price setting mechanisms for commodities that are inextricably linked to people’s health and survival must be made more transparent so that we can, as a global community, devise effective solutions.
Clinton Lays Out Presidential Tech & Innovation Plans
US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has issued highlights of her plan to boost the nation's competitiveness in and attention to technology, internet and innovation if elected. The platform hits many of the latest issues and buzzwords in those fields, continuing existing programs but also pushing further in some areas. Among the plans: appoint a chief innovation advisor, reduce frivolous patent litigation, support allowing the US Patent and Trademark Office to keep its fees, boost access to orphan copyrighted works and open licensing, support multi-stakeholder internet governance, and keep the internet open worldwide. Clinton also gave a nod to personal privacy online and took a jab at the SOPA bill that was defeated for over-reaching on behalf of IP rightsholders.

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