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External News

A Look At The Proposed EU IP Exception To Promote Generic, Biosimilar Industry Competitiveness
The European Commission has proposed an exception to the extended period of patent protection that the European Union provides to original drug manufacturers for certain products, in order to boost the competitiveness of EU generic and biosimilar industries in global markets. The exception will allow EU generic and biosimilar companies to manufacture protected drugs for export during this patent extension period. Stakeholders are so far unhappy with the exception. Meanwhile, studies analyse its potential economic impacts and legal implications, and the Commission remains confident that safeguards it is putting in place will keep the lower-priced medicines from making their way back into the EU.
EU High Court Rejection Of Copyrights For Food Tastes Worries Rights Holders
A food’s taste cannot be pinned down with enough precision and objectivity to make it copyrightable under EU law, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said on 13 November. The decision creates a new standard that could be applied to all European copyright works, but would likely be the same under US law, intellectual property lawyers said.
European Governments Step Up Attention To Internet Governance
PARIS -- In its thirteenth year, the UN-led Internet Governance Forum finally seems to be able to turn the tide and get much-needed attention from powerful governments. Opened by a UN Secretary General for the first time since its inception and receiving the accolade of French President Emmanuel Macron, the forum looks toward a brighter future. But how to work as a multistakeholder body remains experimental in many regards.
China’s Xi Jinping Signals Higher Focus On IP, Market Opening To Ease US-Sino Tensions, But Global Leadership Friction In Innovation To Persist
SHANGHAI, China -- The President of China, Xi Jinping, in a keynote address on 5 November to political and business leaders attending the opening of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai sent a strong diplomatic signal that Beijing will push ahead with further opening up of the economy to more international competition. In a move to try and ease US-Sino tensions Xi also indicated China will take proactive steps to boost protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs), including harsher penalties against violators - a major grievance for the United States and the pivotal issue in the escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies.
Global Biotech Industry Revisits Geneva, Seeks To Build Relationships To Help Shape Policies
A global association representing biotechnology industries last week made a second annual visit to Geneva's institutions to raise awareness of how the industry works, its needs, and how the association could participate better in policymaking. Dismissing fears of industry unduly influencing public policies, two representatives of the association sat down with Intellectual Property Watch's Catherine Saez to explain the importance of biotechnology in solving the problems of the world, and the need to raise awareness of the perspective of the biotechnology sector.
IP Experts Discuss US Congressional Changes, Prospects For IP Legislation
NEW YORK – Major changes are coming to the makeup of the US Congress from the perspective of intellectual property policy, and while it may translate into more patent-friendly officials, the prospect for legislation is uneven, a panel of IP experts told a private sector conference here last week.
IGF Needs Bold Reform, Internet Needs More Regulation, Says President Macron
PARIS -- French President Emmanuel Macron today opened the 13th Internet Governance Forum (November 12-14) in Paris with a firework of requests to the IGF community and some bold ideas. The IGF after a decade should take on much more responsibility in the development of internet regulation, Macron demanded, and said he together with last year’s and next year’s hosts of the UN forum is collaborating on pushing for more formal results, The IGF according to Macron should become a part of the UN Secretary General‘s Office, Macron proposed, to illustrate the importance. His call for regulation was echoed at the event by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Key Hepatitis C Drug Licensed To Medicines Patent Pool, Access Expanded For LMICs
A key drug to treat hepatitis C has been licensed to the Medicines Patent Pool, enabling generic production and expanding affordable access to the drug in low and middle-income countries, excluding the very largest. The agreement between the Pool and AbbVie had been over a year in the making, MPP Executive Director Charles Gore told Intellectual Property Watch.
WIPO Members Look At Protection Of Country Names, GIs, Icons
A number of countries are voicing concerns about their country name being used by trademark applicants with no relation to the country, riding on the country's reputation or geographical relevance. They are also worried about their country name being used as an internet top-level domain name. Those are among the issues being discussed this week at the World Intellectual Property Organization committee on trademarks, along with questions on the protection of geographical indications, and of icons and typeface on the internet.
WTO TRIPS Council Debates Competition Law, Plain Packaging’s Spread To Other Products
The World Trade Organization intellectual property committee met last week with lively discussions on the benefit of IP rights protection for new businesses, and on the role of competition law to prevent abuses of those rights and in particular ensure greater access to medicines. Also, considering the recent WTO Dispute Settlement Body ruling on the tobacco plain packaging, some countries warned against this decision becoming a precedent and spreading to other goods, and undermining trademark protection.

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