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External News

WIPO General Assemblies 2018: External Offices, Treaties, New African Collaborations
World Intellectual Property Organization members gather next week for their annual General Assemblies. Among the topics to be discussed is which countries will host new WIPO external offices in 2018-2019. Also on the agenda are the reports from various WIPO committees, with some raising the prospect of convening high-level final negotiations on international treaties next year. A number of side events and exhibitions are also scheduled, focusing on issues like health, women, and innovation.
Inside Views: Why Follow-On Pharmaceutical Innovations Should Be Eligible For Patent Protection
Christopher M. Holman writes: Despite the important role of intellectual property rights in incentivizing innovation, the patenting of pharmaceutical innovation is frequently accused of impeding access to medicine. Criticism of the prevailing patent regime has focused in particular on patents directed towards follow-on pharmaceutical innovation, i.e., innovation that seeks to improve upon existing pharmaceuticals and their use in treating patients. Patents on follow-on innovation are often derided as “secondary” patents, with the implication that the underlying inventions are somehow lesser in nature than the subject matter claimed in “primary” patents, i.e., the drug active ingredient per se. While implicitly acknowledging the legitimacy of primary patents, critics of so-called secondary patents contend that patents on follow-on innovation allow drug innovators to “evergreen” their products, i.e., to extend the period of patent exclusivity beyond the expiration of any original patent on the drug active ingredient, and in doing so contribute to the high cost of drugs, thereby limiting the ability of patients to access the drugs upon which they have come to rely.
WHO Releases Draft Roadmap For Access To Medicines; Comments Show Polarised Views
It is now acknowledged by most that the issue of access to medicines is not only a concern for developing and low-income countries, but a global challenge. The World Health Organization was tasked at its last annual assembly in May to draft a roadmap for access for the next five years. A preliminary draft of the roadmap was discussed last week with member states and stakeholders. The roadmap includes 10 priority activity areas, and a number of deliverables.
US, EU Consumer Group Releases Resolution Calling To Delink R&D From Monopoly Incentives
The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), a forum of United States and European Union consumer organisations, yesterday released a resolution calling on policymakers “to break out of the current dysfunctional and harmful trade-off between innovation and access,” and to delink research and development (R&D) from monopoly pricing.
Video: Hackers To The Rescue – Defining Good Hacking
Noci, the fictional city attacked by malevolent hackers during ICON2018, was saved and the challenge was won by a Swiss team. What is a hacker, how do they define themselves? Two members of ICON, a young non-governmental organisation in Geneva, answered that question for Intellectual Property Watch, with the same affirmation: a hacker is first and foremost a curious mind. View the IP-Watch video interviews below.
UN Declaration On Noncommunicable Diseases Upholds Intellectual Property Flexibilities
After weeks of uncertainty among civil society organisations as to whether or not the United Nations political declaration on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) would uphold language on intellectual property flexibilities for affordable access to medicines, the document was finalised today with even stronger language affirming the use of these flexibilities.
Analysis: Move To Contain Global Challenge By Ascending China At Play In Escalating Trade War Between Washington And Beijing
The latest escalation in US-Sino trade tensions following the announcement by President Donald Trump on 17 September that the US will slap 10 percent punitive tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods imports effective on 24 September and increase them to 25 percent on 1 January 2019, and China's counter-salvo announced on 18 September to impose tariffs of between 5 and 10 percent on $60 billion worth of US goods imports to kick in on 24 September may prove difficult to ease back from the brink.
Hackers For Good, Gathering Stakeholders To Find Answers To Cyberspace Challenges
For a number of people, the word hacker means bad news. However, if some hackers have malevolent intentions, there are also hackers for good, and their skills were put to the challenge last week as they tried to save a fictitious city fallen into the hands of a group of cyber terrorists. The challenge was part of a two-day event organised by a young Geneva-based non-governmental organisation seeking to raise awareness about digital trust and bring accountability to cyberspace.
Negotiated Deal Stands For UN Tuberculosis Declaration
The negotiated deal over the language of the United Nations political declaration on tuberculosis, a landmark in the fight against TB, has been maintained by member states and was finalised on 14 September, marking the end of intense negotiations over language on intellectual property flexibilities in the document.
South Africa: Copyright Amendment Bill Could Be Finished Next Month
CAPE TOWN – The South Africa Parliament’s Portfolio Committee of Trade and Industry is expected to finalise the long-awaited Copyright Amendment Bill next month. But one more round of public comments is being sought in the meantime, with a deadline of this week.

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