Swaraj Paul Barooah

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Internet Access is a Human Right declares UN Report!


The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank La Rue, put forward a report to the UN Human Rights Council stating that internet access is a human right. Several current issues are addressed in the report. Emphasising the growing importance of internet in today’s society, the Special Rapporteur writes:  “Unlike any other medium, the Internet enables individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds  instantaneously and…


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Patent

Patents do not hinder Access?


Recently, Mr. Ranjit Shahani, the president of Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) and vice chairman and managing director of Novartis India, gave an interview to the Financial Express regarding the importance of patents to the pharmaceutical industry and its effects on access to medicines. I’d like to take this chance to react to his statements. I’ll be extracting certain excerpts but the full interview is available here (and it’s a quick read). Disclaimer: I’ll be focusing on the parts…


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Data Exclusivity

Anand Sharma gives a No to Data Exclusivity


Picture Credit: Kevin Dean from www.betaart.com As we’ve highlighted several times on this blog, the pharmaceutical lobby in EU and US have (through their governments) tried to push India into accepting many stronger IP rights, including data exclusivity. As we’ve also highlighted several times, data exclusivity has been consistently been opposed by the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance as well as several NGOs; however we haven’t been as sure as to what position the government was going to take in the EU-India…


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Innovation

SpicyIP Tidbit: Google test pilots its Innovation Incubator program in SA


While Google may be facing criticism for trying to take too much power into their own hands with respect to their digitalisation of orphan works (see Amlan’s upcoming post for more on this), I doubt they will face any such opposition in their efforts to empower others by fostering innovation in Africa. Google has launched Umbono (Zulu for “idea/vision”) , a technological innovation incubator at Cape Town, South Africa. In a  statement from Google, they say: “For six months, teams will enjoy free office…


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Innovation Patent

Informing the pharma innovation debate: Harmonised IP standards and its effects


Image from here  [Since this is a more theoretical post, in the interests of our readers, I’m stating at the outset that this piece is essentially regarding policy questions that ought to arise while considering global drug innovation policies, either patents or otherwise. For the purposes of this post, I’m keeping the “access to medicines and drug innovation policy” debate as the context, and for purposes of convenience I am broadly dividing the parties in this debate into two sides…


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Data Exclusivity

March 2nd marks aggravated protests against FTA


While the government continues to march on with the EU-India FTA, protester’s have also continued to voice their concerns over the impact that the IP provisions of the draft Agreement will have on making medicines inaccessible. March 2nd marked a day of protest by health activists from across India including PLHIV Networks and Network of People who use Drugs, as well as activists from affected countries such as Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines who came to New Delhi to voice their concerns…


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Patent

SpicyIP Tidbit: Medicines Patent Pool in talks with Big Pharma


UNITAID’s Medicines Patent Pool which received it’s first patent late last year is now making more headway by entering into negotiations with several key HIV medicines patent holders. Patent pools work by allowing patent holders to share their IP with other parties via licences. The working of this patent pool in particular therefore relied on the key patent holders contributing their patents to the pool for it work. To the skeptics (me included) of how well this would work, there is…


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Submissions invited for USTR’s 2011 Special 301 report


The annual Special 301 report is something we’ve covered a bit in the past, and the 2011 edition will be coming out soon. The USTR is requesting comments and submissions to be made for the 2011 edition for the public hearing on March 2nd. The deadline for submitting these is February 15th. For those who don’t know about USTR’s Special 301 Report, it is a unilateral measure taken by the USTR which essentially ranks countries according to how much the…


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Wikileaks on ACTA’s development


Wikileaks: Giving a helping handImage from here Wikileaks, which first brought our attention to the ACTA back in mid 2008, has now brought attention to the history of how the ACTA came about. Expectedly, it shows that there had been explicit communication regarding the eventual imposition of TRIPS plus standards on developing countries. Somewhat surprisingly however, it appears that the EU behaved as rather weak negotiating party and were not completely happy with how the events unfolded. La Quadrature du Net  has come out…


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India, South Africa gain from J&J-generic deal, Patent Pool loses out


Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Tibotec has granted multiple non-exclusive licenses for a new HIV-AIDS treatment to generic manufacturers including Hetero Drugs Ltd, Matrix Laboratories Ltd from India and Aspen Pharmacare from South Africa. The drug in question, rilpivirine hydrochloride (TMC278)  is still pending approval however. Tibotec would recieve 2-5% of what is received for the pills. The press release by Tibotec is available here.  The licensing allows the Indian generic companies to manufacture, market and distribute TMC278 in Least Developed Countries, Sub-Saharan…


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