A new caucus of supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement under negotiation was launched yesterday in the US Congress and is headed by four co-chairmen: Republican Reps. David Reichert of Washington and Charles Boustany of Louisiana, and Democratic Reps. Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Gregory Meeks of New York. The four members issued a press announcement with statements on why they are supporting the agreement, which they say is important for US jobs, exports and economic growth.
By Pravin Anand and Archana Shanker.
Intellectual Property cases in India have witnessed an exponential growth in the last 10 years with the increase in infringement actions before the High Courts and the plethora of decisions rendered by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), especially with respect to pharmaceutical patents. These decisions have ramifications for patients in India and around the world, and it is becoming increasingly clear that a top-down reform of the entire system is necessary. To protect the intellectual property of innovators and ensure the latest life-saving medicines are able to reach the Indian patients, India’s patent system must begin to reflect established international norms. Indeed, the rapid increase in cases where patents are revoked, denied or otherwise infringed upon sets a dangerous precedent that could effectively bar new pharmaceuticals from being approved in India, as innovators become increasingly wary that their intellectual property could simply be expropriated without proper compensation.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay, Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., U.S. courts have changed the process by which they determine the propriety of injunctive relief against an adjudicated infringer. Before eBay, permanent injunctive relief was a standard remedy for a patentee and was awarded as a matter of course. However, in eBay the Supreme Court instructed that in determining whether injunctive relief is an appropriate remedy for patent infringement, courts must use the same four-factor test that is used in considering injunctive relief in non-patent cases. This paper examines the ways in which courts have undertaken the newly-required eBay test and the factors courts have considered in determining whether injunctive relief is appropriate.
When the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators gather for the nineteenth and potentially final round of talks later this month in Brunei, the ministers to whom they answer may be nearby.
According to an article published in the Japan Times on Monday, the government of Brunei has put forward a proposal to bring together ministers from the 12 participating countries in order to continue the push for a 2013 conclusion.
An interesting article by Dr. Kristina Lybecker published in IP WatchDog addressing the question of what truly influences a population's access to medicines.
As the TPP negotiations continue this week, the debate over intellectual property rights and access to medicines continues as well. In the quest to eliminate barriers to access it is critical to correctly identify what factors genuinely inhibit access. In the context of this TPP Agreement, strong intellectual property rights enhance trade and growth, which enhances access to medicines. If greater access is to be achieved, safeguarding the protections surrounding innovation is essential, for it encourages investment, technology transfer, and economic prosperity.
The TPP offers an opportunity for governments to encourage patient access to medicines by ensuring that their regulatory and legal frameworks value innovation and the underlying intellectual property to develop new and improved medicines for patients.
Read the fact sheet on Innovation and the TPP.
Guest blog by Durhane Wong-Rieger, PhD -- Chair of the International Alliance of Patients' Organizations.
For patients around the world maintaining an economic and social environment in which innovation can thrive while, at the same time, enhancing affordable access to better preventive and curative care are key issues. Patients have an important role to play in guiding and supporting innovation with special reference to intellectual property development IP and world health improvement.
Last year, Matrix Insights published a report by Dr. Kanavos (LSE Health), Professor David Taylor (The School of Pharmacy, University of London) and others on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and it's potential impact on enhancing trade and continuing health and development.
The report concluded that "Providing the pharmaceutical industry the IP protection it requires to invest in improved health outcomes must sit alongside sustainable programs to address sub-standard medicines, assured means to exceptional health challenges, and a structured approach to availability of low-cost mature off-patent treatments. The TPP provides an excellent opportunity to lead in the establishment of the next generation of FTAs, which seek to meet each of these goals and, in doing so, fully aligning global free trade with global responsibility."
In the lead-up to the 16th round of negotiations, I thought these issues were worth being raised again.
"Every time the U.S. negotiates a new trade deal, it seems that there is an enormous amount of misinformation generated by all sides of the debate in an attempt to frame the issue in the narrowest terms, portraying it as either a panacea or the end of the world.
The fact of the matter is that trade is a complex and nuanced issue that can’t readily be broken down into sound bites. No side gets everything it puts on the table, and tradeoffs must be made depending on priorities: give a little in one area to get back something of value in another. With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement currently being negotiated between the United States and about a dozen Asia-Pacific nations, it’s no different. The countries currently in TPP negotiations comprise the 4th-largest export market for U.S. firms, and the broader Asia Pacific region accounts for more than 40 percent of global trade, so it’s critical that we get the best deal possible."
By Phillip Stevens, Executive Director of the Emerging Markets Health Network
In order to bring some evidence to this debate about free trade and health, Emerging Markets Health Network undertook an econometric study analysing the relationship between trade openness and health indicators such as infant mortality rates and life expectancy. The implications of our study are clear: policymakers – particularly those from low-income countries – should continue to pursue trade liberalisation in order to improve the welfare of their citizens.