News and Commentary
A revised version of the proposed TRIPS waiver on the requirements to implement and enforce intellectual property rights has been introduced. The new text sets a firmer timetable, with it lasting at least three years from adoption, but narrows the scope of the waiver to “health products and technologies including diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, medical devices, personal protective equipment, their materials or components, and their methods and means of manufacture for the prevention, treatment or containment of COVID-19.”
Last Week, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing with the pharmaceutical company Abbvie on its pricing practices, with a focus on its patent policies. Abbvie is the producer of Humira, one of the most infamous drugs whose patent exclusivity has been extended to almost 40 years, according to research by I-MAK. You can read Tahir Amin of I-MAK’s testimony before the hearing here.
An article in American Libraries discusses the potential risks of copyright trolls in the context of the CASE Act, and how libraries have additional protections provided under Section 108 of the Copyright Act for the purposes of reproduction and archives in addition to the limited added protections built into the CASE Act.
Cory Doctorow was interviewed by Jacobin on his views on intellectual property. He discusses the history of the term. Specifically, he discusses how patents, trademarks, and copyrights were once distinct categories but how over time they merged into one category with different branches and what implications that has for monopoly power among rights holders.
In Techdirt, Joe Mullin writes about the Washington State Attorney General’s suit against Landmark Technology for violating the state’s anti-patent trolling laws. Landmark has sent over 1,000 demand letters for alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,010,508, which was issued to Lockwood in 2006 and claims rights to “automated multimedia data processing network for processing business and financial transactions between entities from remote sites.”
For Research Enterprise, Gerald Barnett debunks a few myths about the definitions of “practical application” under the Bayh-Dole Act, and offers several different views about how the term “reasonable” could be defined as it relates to compulsory licensing and march-in rights. Important to note is that Congress, in 35 USC 200, did not say that the purpose of the Act was to ensure maximum value for patent holders, but to promote the “utilization” of such technologies.
A new paper from Economics of Innovation and New Technology examines the benefits of interlocking technology directorships in the UK and patenting activity. The authors find that interlocking and coordination leads to a higher number of successful patent applications due to the benefits of interlocking directorships in coordinating patent rights.
A working paper forthcoming in the London School of Economics Legal Studies makes the comprehensive case for the TRIPS waiver, arguing that despite current provisions of TRIPS as they currently exist, it’s necessary to grant the waiver for reasons both of efficiency and to give developing countries a stronger negotiating position as it relates to intellectual property rights.