Monday, November 29, 2021

Statement by President Joe Biden on the Omicron COVID-⁠19 Variant; The White House, November 26, 2021

The White House; Statement by President Joe Biden on the Omicron COVID-19 Variant

"In addition, I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally.  I endorsed this position in April; this news today reiterates the importance of moving on this quickly."

Biden pressed to support intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines; Marketplace, November 26, 2021

Lily Jamali, Marketplace; Biden pressed to support intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

"Anne Pritchett, senior vice president with the industry group PhRMA, said that lifting patent waivers for COVID vaccines could backfire in the next global health crisis.

"We don’t want to be deterring innovation by saying to companies, ‘There’s no incentive for you to invest in that, because we’re just going to take your IP and give it away,'” she said. 

Countries in the EU, plus Switzerland and the U.K., support that view."

Nursing unions around world call for UN action on Covid vaccine patents; The Guardian, November 29, 2021

   , The Guardian; Nursing unions around world call for UN action on Covid vaccine patents

"Nursing unions in 28 countries have filed a formal appeal with the United Nations over the refusal of the UK, EU and others to temporarily waive patents for Covid vaccines, saying this has cost huge numbers of lives in developing nations.

The letter, sent on Monday on behalf of unions representing more than 2.5 million healthcare workers, said staff have witnessed at first hand the “staggering numbers of deaths and the immense suffering caused by political inaction”.

The refusal of some countries to budge on rules about intellectual property rights for vaccines had contributed to a “vaccine apartheid” in which richer nations had secured at least 7bn doses, while lower-income nations had about 300m, it argued."

Frustrated by vaccine inequity, a South African lab rushes to replicate Moderna’s shot; The Washington Post, November 28, 2021

Lesley Wroughton, The Washington Post ; Frustrated by vaccine inequity, a South African lab rushes to replicate Moderna’s shot

"At the World Trade Organization (WTO), trade ministers had been scheduled to begin meetings Tuesday over a contentious proposal by South Africa and India to temporarily waive intellectual property rights on coronavirus vaccines and therapies or find a way to allow developing countries to access the technologies. The meeting has been postponed because of the omicron variant. No new date has been set...

African countries have historically depended on Western donors and United Nations-backed programs such as the vaccine alliance known as Gavi, a partnership of donors and pharmaceutical companies that buys vaccines at lower prices and makes them available to countries that need them. Covax, a vaccine marketplace that was meant to secure coronavirus inoculations for developing countries, has struggled to access enough supplies during the pandemic...

Moderna has said it will not prosecute those found to be infringing on its covid-related patents during the pandemic, which amounts to an informal waiver, said Marie-Paule Kieny, a French virologist who chairs the U.N.-backed Medicine Patent Pool, which is part of the WHO’s efforts in Africa.

The concern with a waiver, Kieny said, is what happens once the pandemic ends. Any broader waiver agreed on at the WTO talks would likely have a time limit, she said, without a commitment from the drugmakers to enter into licensing agreements.

She said companies should negotiate now with drugmakers such as Moderna to reach formal licensing agreements before the pandemic is over."

Sunday, November 28, 2021

193 countries adopt first-ever global agreement on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence; UN News, November 25, 2021

UN News; 193 countries adopt first-ever global agreement on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

"Artificial intelligence is present in everyday life, from booking flights and applying for loans to steering driverless cars. It is also used in specialized fields such as cancer screening or to help create inclusive environments for the disabled.

According to UNESCOAI is also supporting the decision-making of governments and the private sector, as well as helping combat global problems such as climate change and world hunger.

However, the agency warns that the technology ‘is bringing unprecedented challenges’.

We see increased gender and ethnic bias, significant threats to privacy, dignity and agency, dangers of mass surveillance, and increased use of unreliable Articificial Intellegence technologies in law enforcement, to name a few. Until now, there were no universal standards to provide an answer to these issues”, UNESCO explained in a statement.

Considering this, the adopted text aims to guide the construction of the necessary legal infrastructure to ensure the ethical development of this technology.

“The world needs rules for artificial intelligence to benefit humanity. The Recommendation on the ethics of AI is a major answer. It sets the first global normative framework while giving States the responsibility to apply it at their level. UNESCO will support its 193 Member states in its implementation and ask them to report regularly on their progress and practices”, said UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay."

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

After COVID boom, ebook aggregators face licensing questions from Congress; The Verge, November 18, 2021

Makena Kelly, The Verge ; After COVID boom, ebook aggregators face licensing questions from Congress

"“Many libraries face financial and practical challenges in making e-books available to their patrons, which jeopardizes their ability to fulfill their mission,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is our understanding that these difficulties arise because e-books are typically offered under more expensive and limited licensing agreements, unlike print books that libraries can typically purchase, own, and lend on their own terms.”

In September, Wyden and Eshoo first questioned publishers over the terms they set for ebook licensing. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many public libraries to shut down in-person service, and people began using online services like Overdrive’s Libby app to borrow digital books in lieu of physical copies. “Ensuring that libraries can offer an array of resources, including e-books, is essential to promoting equity in education and access to information,” the lawmakers wrote to Penguin Random House earlier this year."

Monday, November 22, 2021

E-commerce and China: Strategies for fighting online counterfeits, Part 2; United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), December 2, 2021

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); E-commerce and China: Strategies for fighting online counterfeits, Part 2

December 2, 2021 9 AM - 10:30 AM ET

"E-commerce now accounts for nearly 14% of all retail sales, and continues to grow at a healthy rate. But U.S. businesses engaged in e-commerce, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), face a number of challenges in protecting their intellectual property (IP) on e-commerce platforms.

Register now for this free program to learn proven strategies for protecting and enforcing your IP rights when selling on e-commerce platforms.

Part 2 of the two-part series will focus on administrative and judicial mechanisms for enforcing IP rights and combatting the sale of Chinese counterfeits on e-commerce platforms in China. The program will feature presentations by senior United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) IP attorneys with extensive China IP experience and experts from Mattel, Specialized Bicycles, and Amazon.

Topics to be covered include: 

  • overview of administrative, civil, and criminal IP enforcement
  • strategies for collaborating with e-commerce platforms
  • industry perspectives and experiences
  • establishing a criminal case"

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Music Copyright Value Hit $32.5B in 2020, With Streaming Taking Its Biggest Slice Yet; Billboard, November 18, 2021

Glenn Peoples, Billboard; Music Copyright Value Hit $32.5B in 2020, With Streaming Taking Its Biggest Slice Yet

"Global music copyright grew $800 million to a record $32.5 billion in 2020, according to an Omdia report released Tuesday (Nov. 16) by Music & Copyright. Authored by Will Page, a former chief economist at Spotify, and Omdia analyst Simon DysonThe Global Value of Music Copyright aggregates revenues for record labels and publishers for streaming, purchases and public performances.

For record labels, the pandemic limited annual revenue growth to $1.5 billion, bringing it to $21.1 billion. Streaming was a “stay-at-home stock,” as the report described termed it, that benefitted from consumers’ need for entertainment when public interaction was limited. Not that 2020 was without challenges. Ad-supported streaming was hit by a global pull-back in ad spending. Brick-and-mortar sales slowed, however, despite some retailers’ efforts to ease losses with curbside pick-up and mail orders. But labels fared better than their counterparts, music publishers. Music publishers were especially exposed to the pandemic’s ill effects on public performances from live venues, retail shops, fitness studios and other businesses shut down — some permanently — because of extended restrictions imposed by local governments. As a result, music publishers’ global income in 2020 fell by $700 million to $10.4 billion."

Friday, November 19, 2021

Barbara Ringer’s Legacy of Fighting for Equity at the Copyright Office: An Interview with Amanda Levendowski; Library of Congress, November 19, 2021

, Library of Congress ; Barbara Ringer’s Legacy of Fighting for Equity at the Copyright Office: An Interview with Amanda Levendowski

"Forty-eight years ago today, November 19, Barbara Ringer was appointed the Copyright Office’s first female Register of Copyrights. She spent her career fighting for equity within the Office and beyond and led the way for the four women who have since served in the role. In 1995, the Library of Congress awarded Ringer its Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her lifetime contributions to the field of copyright and the Library.

To commemorate Ringer’s legacy, I spoke with Amanda Levendowski, associate professor of law at Georgetown Law and the founding director of the Intellectual Property and Information Policy (iPIP) Clinic, about the inspiration Barbara Ringer provides to those in the field of copyright. Through articles and events, Levendowski has shined a light on a visionary leader who continues to inspire current and future intellectual property professionals."

Will the Supreme Court Finally Declare Copyright Infringement As “Theft”?; The Hollywood Reporter, November 17, 2021

Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter; Will the Supreme Court Finally Declare Copyright Infringement As “Theft”?

"For quite some time, there’s been an esoteric debate running in intellectual property circles as to whether copyright infringement is best characterized as thievery. Those arguing against the proposition generally make the point that piracy is not stealing because the owner is not deprived of using the work. Under this view, copyright infringement is more tantamount to trespass. On the other side are those who think it matters not that intellectual property is an intangible something incapable of being physically controlled. To quote President Joe Biden, “Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft, and it should be dealt with accordingly.”"

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Pfizer agrees to let other companies make its COVID-19 pill; Associated Press, November 16, 2021

Maria Cheng, Associated Press ; Pfizer agrees to let other companies make its COVID-19 pill

"Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has signed a deal with a U.N.-backed group to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental COVID-19 pill, a move that could make the treatment available to more than half of the world’s population. 

In a statement issued Tuesday, Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up about 53% of the world’s population.""

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

International exchange: Promoting the inclusion of women in intellectual property; United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), November 16, 2021 4 PM - 6 PM ET

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); International exchange: Promoting the inclusion of women in intellectual property

"Studies of patent data conducted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and others have shown that women inventors are significantly underrepresented in the patent system worldwide. Despite an increased number of women entering the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in recent years, there is still a large gap between the number of women entering these fields and men. This has led to fewer women participating in the intellectual property (IP) system overall.

Register today to hear presentations by representatives of IP offices from around the world, who will discuss these trends and explain how some countries have succeeded in increasing the participation rate of women in their IP systems. Topics will include:

  • Strategies for increasing the participation of women in the IP system
  • How to recruit, retain, and promote women in IP fields

You will hear from leading officials from the USPTO, IP Australia, the Canadian IP Office, the IP Office of the Philippines, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, the IP Office of New Zealand, the Industrial Property Protection Directorate of Jordan, and other national offices."

The NIH and Moderna Are Fighting Over Who Owns Their Vaccine; Intelligencer, November 10, 2021

, Intelligencer; The NIH and Moderna Are Fighting Over Who Owns Their Vaccine

"While last year the government was calling the shot the “NIH-Moderna COVID-19 vaccine,” the biotech giant filed a patent made public this week in which it found that “only Moderna’s scientists” designed the vaccine. The patent, filed in July, is specific to the genetic sequence creating spike proteins, which allow vaccine recipients to build antibodies to block the virus when the body is actually exposed. As the New York Times reports, the NIH was surprised by the attempt at a solo effort. If the two parties cannot figure out a way to split the credit, the government will have to determine if it will take the expensive step of going to court. Already, the U.S. has paid $10 billion in taxpayer funds for Moderna to help create the vaccine, test its efficacy, and provide shots for the federal government."