- Commitment on Investment in Access to Essential Medicines Signed at UNCTAD14: On July 21, 2016, UNAIDS and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the African Union (AU), and the Kenyan and South African governments signed a commitment at the 14th session of UNCTAD to facilitate investment in Africa’s pharmaceutical industry in order to boost the sector’s production and make available essential medicines for millions of needy people. The commitment named Nairobi Statement on Investment in Access to Medicines aims at spurring, particularly, the manufacture of antiretroviral medicines in the continent worst affected by HIV and AIDS. The commitment is in line with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health, which emphasises access to essential medicines for all (No 3), innovation and domestic technology development (No 9) and on international cooperation and policy coherence (No 17).
- SAP/SEP Suffers a Huge Blow: A joint Australia-New Zealand proposal for a unified patent application and examination process appears to have been mooted following its rejection by the New Zealand Parliament’s Commerce Committee on the basis that the purported benefits of the mechanisms either do not exist, or are outweighed by the costs. The proposed single application process (SAP), and single examination process (SEP), was simple – to allow applicants wanting to obtain patents in both Australia and New Zealand to file one common application which would be subject to search and examination by an examiner either at IP Australia or at the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). More on that here.
- Marrakesh Treaty to enter into force soon: Canada recently became the key 20th nation to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, which will bring the Treaty into force by September 30, 2016. Stevie Wonder, a longtime supporter of the Treaty has this to say.
- The access to medicine debate never ends. This time, India and HIV/AIDS are at the forefront.
- Still on access to medicine, a Commitment on Investment in Access to Essential Medicines was signed at UNCTAD14.
- IP Watch analyses the significance of Uruguay’s Win Over Philip Morris International in relation to plain tobacco packaging.
- Significant developments in cloud privacy within Europe and US.
- On publication on the Internet Prior to filing Israel Design Applications
Japan Establishes Overseas Intellectual Property Litigation Insurance Scheme Established for SMEs: The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has established Japan’s first insurance scheme to cover the cost of overseas intellectual property (IP) litigation, to provide a safety net for SMEs that become embroiled in disputes over IP infringements in other countries. The premium will be halved for SMEs enrolling in this insurance scheme if they belong to a nationwide organization that includes SMEs among its members. More on that here.
- Medicines Patent Pool Signs New Round of Generic Manufacturing Licences for HIV and Hepatitis C Treatments: Earlier this month, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced new generic manufacturing licences for four antiretrovirals and hepatitis C direct-acting antiviral daclatasvir. The organisation signed licences with Aurobindo, Desano, Emcure, Hetero Labs, Laurus Labs, Lupin and new partner Zydus Cadila for a total of nine new sub-licensing agreements to produce generic versions of key World Health Organization-priority HIV and hepatitis C treatments. According to MPP’s Executive Director – Greg Perry, it is expected that these new sub-licences will secure greater volumes of low-cost medicines for people living with HIV and hepatitis C in low- and middle-income countries.
British IP Day: July 5, 2016 marked the first British IP Day intended to celebrate the huge contribution that Intellectual Property (IP) makes to the UK. More on that here.
V4 Countries Launch Visegrad Patent Institute: The four member states of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) launched the Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI) on July 1, 2016. The Institute is aimed at strengthening regional cooperation in IP. Applicants will be allowed to communicate with the institutions in their respective mother tongues, and fees for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications will be reduced by as much as 40 percent, according to Poland’s Patent Office (UPRP).
Intellectual property fees rise by up to 6,200% in Gulf countries: IP fees have risen in Arabian Gulf countries (UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) by as much as 6,200%. While there has been no official explanation from the governments of the affected countries, some lawyers believe that the hike may not be unconnected to attempts to increase revenue following the global oil price slump as well as the move by the Gulf countries to unify their trademark laws and move services online. More on that here.
Thomson Reuters to Sell Intellectual Property and Science Business: Plans are underway for Thomson Reuters Corp. to sell its intellectual property and science business to private-equity funds affiliated with Onex Corp. and Baring Private Equity Asia for $3.55 billion in cash. About $1 billion of the proceeds will be used to buy back shares and the balance will be used to pay down debt and reinvest in the business.
That’s all folks!
Really, that’s all.
Okay, there’s more, but I suppose we all know that the result of the EU Referendum has without a doubt cast a shadow over any other news, but even then, life goes on.
- BREXIT – United Kindgdom votes to leave the European Union: On Friday June 24, 2016, many people (including the Lady) woke up to the news that majority in the UK had voted in favour of Brexit. Well, majority in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against Brexit. The lady spent the entire day on this BBC webpage following the developments. How does this affect IP you ask. Well, if you are an ardent reader of the Manor, we covered that in previous editions of our Saturday Reads. Nevertheless, the links in our most recent Saturday Reads pretty much sums up all you need to know about the impact of Brexit on the IP community. You can catch up on all of that here.
- Innovation Prize for Africa Announces 2016 Winners: Big winners from this year’s edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) awards are Dr Valentin Agon for his ground-breaking anti-malarial drug (Api-Palu) made from natural plant extracts; Dr Imogen Wright for her software aimed at testing for HIV drug-resistance medication; and Dr Eddy Agbo for developing a cheap, simple urine test for malaria. More on that here.
Scientists create new bio-ink for 3D printing: Scientists from the University of Bristol have found a new bio-ink for 3D printing with stem cells that allows printing of living tissue known as bio-printing. The new bio-ink contains two different polymer components: a natural polymer extracted from seaweed and a sacrificial synthetic polymer used in the medical industry. Read more here. The Lady may or may not have revealed her vested interests in this emerging field of technology in this post.
India may lose its position as the ‘pharmacy of the world’: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned that if India adopts the proposals contained in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP), the country will not remain ‘pharmacy of the developing world’. The RCEP, which has been likened to the infamous US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, is a regional trade agreement being negotiated between the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries currently in Auckland. More on that here.
The Lady has been working on a project for a while now, which led to her signing up for a course on FutureLearn titled ‘Bioprinting – 3D Printing Body Parts’. The course was organised by the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials, University of Wollongong and facilitated by Prof Gordon Wallace.*
This was the Lady’s first time hearing about FutureLearn and she was impressed by the courses on offer, most of which are provided at no cost to participants. All you need do is sign up. Upon completion of at least half of the course, participants may choose to purchase a Statement of Participation. The Lady did complete the course and will be purchasing hers at a later date (Her excuse? Falling oil prices and forex shortage in Nigeria).
The course ran for four weeks (23rd November – 14th December 2015). The first week was an introductory session, which introduced the principles, methods and materials. Week 2 dealt with putting stuff in the body. Current research on bioactives was the focus of week 3. In the final week, we covered regulation and ethics, which the Lady had been looking forward to. Lecture materials were a mix of videos and texts with discussion threads for each topic. What the Lady loved most was that there was a transcript for the videos. The Lady had been concerned about how much data would be consumed during the duration of the course so having a transcript was a huge relief.
Participants were active and the Lady learnt a lot from reading through the discussion threads for each week. The course is still available indefinitely for those who may be interested, but the facilitator may not be around to join in any further discussions.
As someone who remains fascinated with the concept of 3D printing, bioprinting provides a higher level of fascination. The possibilities are huge whatever the arguments against bioprinting are. Bioprinting will hopefully serve as a viable alternative to organ transplants. Think of how many lives could be saved if body parts were available on demand.
Kudos to the FutureLearn team. The Lady will certainly be signing up for more courses in the future. Learning never stops.
*Director of the Intelligent Polymer Institute, University of Wollogong
A career in Law or Medicine have always been the preferred choices put forward by Nigerian parents to their wards. Medicine was a no-no for the Lady who thought she had an aversion to blood at the time. Having been certain about a legal career, the Lady thought a wise way to marry both options was to marry a Medical Doctor. Oh, the simple ways of a child!
In recent years, the Lady has had the opportunity to learn about the intersection between the Law and Medicine from an IP perspective. Fascinating! I tell you. As such, when the Lady was requested to make a presentation in any field of law to an interview panel, you can bet what choice the Lady made. At the time, Ebola was a huge topic in Africa. That formed the basis of the topic: Ebola Virus Disease – Matters Arising. Remarks from the panelists indicate that it was unexpected, but it was well received.
Between the drama over life/image rights in the soon to be released movie – 93 Days and the recent news about Ebola treatments failing, the Lady has chosen to revisit her presentation by sharing same with her esteemed readers here.