- 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
KIPI Publishes Drafting Instructions for Public Comment: Following proposals made by the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) and its stakeholders to repeal the Trade Marks Act, Cap 506 of the Laws of Kenya, KIPI has published soft copies of the Drafting Instructions and the proposals to repeal the Trade Marks Act:
Comments, additions and or amendments to the Drafting Instructions from the public are to be submitted to the Institute on or before April 30, 2016 via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Indian Government releases Indian Intellectual Property Panorama: The Indian Government has launched a customized version of IP Panorama Multimedia toolkit, developed by WIPO, Korean Intellectual Property Office and Korea Invention Promotion Association. The toolkit has been adapted to cater to SMEs and start-ups, especially in the ICTE sector of India, based on an agreement signed between WIPO and DeitY. More details here. In the alternative, the Indian IP Panorama can be accessed here.
- GlaxoSmithKline to Restrict Patent Filings in Developing Countries: Patents have often been at the receiving end of the access to medicine debates. Accordingly, GSK has decided not to file patents in the world’s poorest countries (50 of them). It will file patents in lower middle income countries, but will grant licences to generic manufacturers in exchange for a “small royalty”. This will allow for generic versions of GSK medicine to be produced without delay and restrictions. In addition, GSK will put all its future cancer drugs into the Medicines Patent Pool. More on that here. While this is good news, the Lady is of the opinion that developing countries still need to invest in research and development given the abundant natural resources in some of these countries.
- One-day strike at the European Patent Office (EPO): On Thursday, April 7, 2016 workers of the EPO embarked on a one-day strike protesting management behaviour and demanding fair treatment of staff. More details here, here and here.
- Managing IP has published the final 2016 rankings of the top firms for copyright work in over 20 jurisdictions. More on that here and here for Nigerian firms.