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Swaraj Paul Barooah

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Biological Diversity

Upcoming CBD meet: Sufficient to narrow the gap?


It’s been nearly 2 decades since the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted in the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and this year, which also happens to be the International Year of Biodiversity, marks the 10th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP). It will take place from 18th – 29th October, 2010 at Nagoya, Japan. The item of primary importance on the agenda at COP 10 is that of creating international protocol on Access and Benefit…


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Media goof up over India-EU ‘settlement’ ?


A few posts ago, Prashant had blogged about media reports of a settlement being finally reached in the long-standing India-EU dispute over in-transit drug seizures. Apparently the EU had agreed to amend its laws so that goods in transit could no longer be seized for patent infringement. However, there are a few things a little off about these reports it seems! Firstly, government officials on both sides, Indian as well as EU have apparently expressed surprise at these media reports…


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Student groups ask for reconsideration of TRIPS-plus provisions of EU-India FTA


Earlier yesterday, several student organisations including the European section of International Students Access to Medicines Organisation as well as the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, amongst others, sent a letter to the EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht asking for a reconsideration of the EU-India free trade agreement that is currently being drafted. (We have previously written on this agreement here). Incidentally, we are also currently in the week of international action against EU-India FTA – (Oct 4th – Oct 9th)…


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The problem with the "access to medicine" debate


There is, and has rightly been a long and drawn out debate on the price barriers faced by poorer consumers. And for good reason too.  Access to medicines is a phrase that’s come to be thrown around quite often, almost driving it into rhetoric – with people not stopping anymore to think about what it represents. It has come to be used any time there is talk of high priced medicines. And, although it’s most commonly associated with AIDS medicines,…


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Patent

SpicyIP Tidbit: New Guide on Searching for Medicine Patents


Tahir Amin (Co-founder of I-MAK) on behalf of the World Health Organization (South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions) has written a very useful step-by-step guide on searching for patents on medicines. Given that procuring generic medicines is no longer free from IP considerations, this guide could be especially useful in developing countries. The guide is also an attempt at filling the void on material on this subject. The guide, titled “How to Conduct Patent Searches for Medicines” introduces beginners to…


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Trademark

Guest Post: A Defence of Non-Conventional Trademarks


We bring to you an excellent piece covering a portion of trademark law that is not often discussed in India – non-visual trademarks. This post is brought to us by Vatsala Sahay, an enterprising 4th year student of NLSIU. Without further ado: A Defence of Non-Conventional Trademarks Vatsala Sahay Non-conventional trademarks represent an exciting branch of trademark law. While in India, apart from the shape of the Zippo lighter, the Yahoo yodel and the sound mark registered by Allianz Aktiengesellschaft,…


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Patent

WSJ mixing up issues in Access to Drugs debate?


Recently our friends over at Afro-IP brought to light an article by Alec van Gelder in the WSJ on the problem of access to medicines in Africa. While the article is specific to the problems in Africa, its points about lack of infrastructure and diversion of money being major barriers to access are true across almost all developing countries. [Unfortunately the article is only fully available to subscribers.] The article goes on to state that Big Pharma has been made…


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Critique of the IPRI reports


Bibek Debroy from the Indian Express recently carried an article on the International Property Rights Index (IPRI) and India’s retreat from reforms. While the IPRI 2010 report came out a while ago, I only recently got down to looking at it.  The IPRI, which in its latest edition covers 125 countries, tries to present an index of property rights and show a link to a country’s economic prosperity. Coming under 3 heads – Legal and Political Environment, Physical Property Rights…


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Access to Medicine groups call for a halt on USTR’s 301 Process


Since 1988, the USTR has been coming out with its “Special 301” report, a unilateral measure which essentially patronises the rest of the world by ranking countries based on how much the USTR appreciates their IP regimes, and based on those rankings, threatens lower placed countries with sanctions. (See our previous posts on the 301 process here). As usual, TRIPS-plus policies are the ones US considers desirable and are the ones that are promoted. They are considered ‘adequate’, while IP regimes which…


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SpicyIP Tidbit: IP-Watch requires help


As many of our readers may know, IP-Watch is a great source for international IP and IP policy news. They have often served as a terrific resource for us at SpicyIP as well. As they rightly put it, they have “provoked debate, exposed controversies, and helped thousands to access a policy conversation long seen as highly technical and closed.” They usually keep most of their online content free, while ensuring that all of it is free to developing country readers. This morning, they have…


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