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Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

ACTA

The USTR has released a 6 page (pdf) outline of issues being dealt with under the proposed ACTA.

Link via Intellectual Property Watch.

The IP Dragon has links to a 48 page document with rather more information.

More tea leaf sifting here.

(Sino) Free Trade Agreements

IPDragon reviews Professor Yu’s analysis of why free trade agreements (STAs) are different from the things the USA imposes on people or EU agreements here (with links to Professor Yu’s article Sino Trade Agreements and China’s Global Intellectual Property Rights).

Free trade Dream Time

Australia has entered into Free Trade Agreements (1) with NZ and ASEAN and (2) with Chile.

ASEAN as a bloc is apparently our largest trading partner.

Chapter 13 deals with Intellectual Property. Various fact sheets, e.g. Pharmaceuticals, deal with our exports or imports thereto.

Minister Crean’s press releases here and here.

AANZFTA here and chapter 13 here; Australian guide with links to all sorts of things. Trade overview. The words “may” and “shall endeavour to” feature quite a lot in Chapter 13.

Australia-Chile FTA index and chapter 17 (IP) here.

Hey, our 12 month grace period for filing patents will work in Chile, see art. 17.22! Can’t spot a corresponding provision in the AANZFTA? Also, to facilitate domain name dispute resolution, Chile has agreed to adopt an UDRP-style dispute resolution process for its cc.TLD (assuming it doesn’t already have one, of course).

Unfair contracts

The Australian Government has announced that it will be fastracking new consumer laws protecting against unfair contracts, with the aim of the law being introduced in June 2009 and in force by January 2010.

David Jacobson has a detailed report with links to consultation papers etc. here.

Stephen King gets exercised about the economics here.

Whatever happened to that old case involving Fleetwood Mac and Clifford Davis management or Amadio?

The USA, China and the WTO dispute

The dispute resolution panel’s decision in the USA’s complaint against China’s rules on enforcement, “Measures affecting the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights” (DS362) (background here) has been published.

There’s a range of commentary around the web.  The  IPKat reproduces the conclusions and, applying sophistaKatted Euro reading between the lines, scores it at 3-all.

Intellectual Property Watch’s summary here.  According to the USTR, the US won.

Not sure what has happened to the “market access” dispute?

USA, China, Famous Brands and WTO

The USA has has commenced formal consultations – the first steps in another WTO complaint – in the WTO against the People’s Republic of China, alleging China is providing illegal protection for famous Chinese brands.

From the fact sheet:

China appears to be providing numerous WTO-illegal subsidies at multiple levels 

of government.  These include providing exporters: 

• Cash grant rewards for exporting 

• Preferential loans  

• Research and development funding  

• Cash grants to lower the cost of export credit insurance  

• The subsidies at issue offer significant benefits, particularly through cash grants that can reach over $400,000 to a single producer from a single level of government.

It would seem these are different “famous” brands to all those famous brands that are now “made in China”.

USTR press statement here.

USTR fact sheet here.

ACTA – December meeting

The Canadian and US governments carry short press releases on the latest (15 – 18 December) round of negotiations over the secretive ACTA.

Australian (DFAT) homepage (not updated) here.

Pharmaceutical patents

The European Commission has published its preliminary report into its inquiry into the state of competition in the pharmaceutical industry in the EU – comment and links via IPKat.

The IPKat also has links to what they describe as “the powerful speech” delivered by Sir Robin Jacob (aka Jacob LJ) in the Commission’s public meeting on the issue.

Meanwhile, the developing countries are developing a proposal which envisages greater involvement of WHO; see here, while there are also reports of the Director General of the WTO appearing to acknowledge some significance to the issue.

ACTA-phobes

The “gang” secretly negotiating ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeitng Treaty) is starting to attract increasingly organised opposition:

*  “100 groups” (ranging from the EFF in the USA to the Australian National University to …) have signed a “letter” challenging much of what is (assumed) to be going on behind closed doors

* China, supported by Brazil and India, amongst others, has launched a campaign to force ACTA back into WIPO

Of course, one might speculate that the developing countries or the “South” (in a non-US civil war sense) might feel they have better voting prospects in WIPO than, say, a treaty which is being negotiated without them by, apparently,  Australia, Canada, European Union, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, United States, and the United Arab Emirates.  Then again, one might wonder if that will dissuade the gang of 13 (if one may count the EU as “one”) from rushing headlong onwards?

ACTA DownUnder

It seems DFAT has been considering ACTA since December 2007.

An overview here and here.

Now, DFAT has called for submissions and has flagged these as interesting topics.

Lid dip, Cheng Lim.

Meanwhile, IPKat reports of a UK Intellectual Property Office consultation paper on penalties for copyright infringement.

IPKat also draws attention to some further EU perspective on counterfeiting here (scroll down to 7.2).

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