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Intellectual Property and Trade

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Obama Administration Backs Away From Anti-Tobacco Efforts Under TPP Proposal, The Hill Reports

“The Obama administration is backing away from plans to protect U.S. tobacco-control measures from legal challenges under a pending Pacific trade deal, earning the wrath of public health groups,” The Hill’s “Global Affairs” blog reports. “The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) last year suggested creating a ‘safe harbor’…

U.S. Trade Officials Should Side With Public Health In Trade Negotiations

“Give thanks to Malaysia for heading off, at least temporarily, an American effort to weaken the ability of countries to impose stiff rules on the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products within their own borders,” a New York Times editorial states, noting, “The Malaysian proposal to preserve that ability…

IPS Examines Debate Surrounding TPP Trade Agreement Tobacco Regulation Proposals

“Between concluding rounds of negotiations towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a major U.S.-proposed free trade agreement, a divisive fight has heated up over the extent to which countries should be allowed to regulate the sale of foreign — potentially far cheaper — tobacco products,” Inter Press Service reports. “In dueling…

MSF Webcast Examines Issues Of Access To Medicines

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) features an archived webcast from September 5 of “a short preview and discussion of [the new documentary] ‘Fire In The Blood’ and current U.S. government trade and global health policies, with expert panelists, including the film’s director, as they examine this history and explain…

South Africa Publishes Draft Intellectual Property Policy With Potential Effects For Pharma Patents

“South Africa’s government has published a draft intellectual property policy with potential far-reaching effects for pharmaceutical patents, which rights groups hailed Monday as a move towards lower medicine costs,” Agence France-Presse reports. “If accepted, the reforms will facilitate the production of cheaper, generic medicines, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF)…

CFR Blog Examines Debate Over TPP Tobacco Regulation Proposals

In a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) “Expert Brief,” Thomas Bollyky, a CFR senior fellow for global health, economics, and development, examines debate over the treatment of tobacco under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), “the pending trade deal between the United States and eleven other countries.” He continues, “The White House…

Report Examines Intersection Of Human Rights, Health And Intellectual Property

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog highlights a paper (.pdf) from Yale’s Global Health Justice Partnership, a joint initiative of Yale Law School and Yale School of Public Health, in which the authors “seek to counter the weight given to intellectual property rights with human rights laws,…

Honduras, Ukraine Challenge Australian Laws On Tobacco Marketing At WTO

“Ukraine and Honduras are reviving a dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging Australian laws that impose uniform drab green packaging and large graphic health warnings for cigarettes, diplomats said on Friday,” Reuters reports. “Tobacco firms say the Australian rules, which outlaw logos, infringe their trademarks,” the news agency…

TPP Should Address U.S. Business Concerns But Address Health Risks Of Tobacco

“Tobacco sickens and, eventually, can kill if consumed as intended. Every country, the United States included, should be taking every effective step to prevent smoking,” a Washington Post editorial states. The U.S. “has wisely pursued pacts to expand free trade with partners around the world,” but “[w]hat to do ……