Seven Members of House of Representatives Send Letter to USTR Calling For Waiver of WTO Patent Rules for LDCs

October 2, 2015
CONTACT: Zack Struver
+1 (202) 332-2670

Seven House Members Push U.S. Trade Representative to Support Indefinite Waiver on Pharmaceutical Patents for Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

Press Release: Coalition for Affordable T-DM1 Asks UK Government to grant compulsory licenses on Roche breast cancer drug

Press Release: Coalition for Affordable T-DM1 Asks the UK Government to Employ Crown Use Authority to Lower Price of Expensive Cancer Drug sold by Roche


Diarmaid McDonald

Susannah Markandya

Zack Struver
Cell: +1.914.582.1428
Office: +1.202.332.2670 (between 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM BST)

Senator Bernie Sanders Asks USTR to Endorse Waiver of WTO Patent Rules for Least Developed Countries

Knowledge Ecology International Press Release
28 September 2015

CONTACT: Zack Struver
+1 (202) 332-2670

Senator Bernie Sanders asks USTR to endorse “indefinite waiver” of WTO requirements to grant drug patents for Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

KEI urges investigation of trade pressures on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in light of Executive Order 13155

Knowledge Ecology International sent letters today (attached to this release), September 21, 2015, to the Office of the General Counsel to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Commerce, asking that they investigate USTR and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the potential violation of an Executive Order issued by Bill Clinton — which prohibits the use of trade pressures to hinder polices related to access to HIV/AIDS medicines in sub-Saharan Africa — in their attempt to stop a request by Least Develop

USTR releases documents from 2012 R&D treaty negotiations

On September 28, 2012, nearly three years ago, KEI submitted a FOIA request to USTR for "all documents relating to the World Health Organization (WHO) consideration of an agreement or treaty to support medical R&D."

Three years later USTR has released 89 pages of documents, with some redactions. But USTR also withheld 64 documents pursuant to FOIA exemption 552(b)(5) and three documents pursuant to FOIA exemption 552(b)(1).

Senator Bernie Sanders proposal to expand Veterans access to patented medical inventions

This is a video by Zack Struver about Senator Bernie Sander's proposal to expand Veterans access to patented medical inventions. The video discusses both the proposal by Senator Sanders to give the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to use compulsory licenses on patents on medical inventions, including drugs, and the history of "government use" provisions in current U.S. statutes, including 28 U.S.C. 1498, which Sanders proposes modifying.

Joint NGO letter to USTR and USPTO: What is the US Position on LDC Pharmaceutical Extension of TRIPS Transition Period?

On Friday, 11 September 2015 five public interest groups (Health GAP, Knowledge Ecology International, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam America and Public Citizen) sent a letter to Ambassador Michael Froman (United States Trade Representative) and Michelle Lee, (Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office) requesting that the Obama administration disclose its position on the LDC request for an extension of their pharmaceutical production transition period under the WTO TRIPS Agreement.

USTR provides the names of the TPP Chapters (as of September 10, 2015)

On June 4, 2015, KEI asked USTR to provide the names of the TPP Chapters. The contents of the chapters are all officially secret, but we thought the names of the chapters should be public, and made a request for the chapter names under the Freedom of Information Act (FIOA). Today, more than 3 months later, USTR has responded to that FOIA. According to USTR, as of September 10, 2015, the names of the TPP Chapters are as follows:

  1. Intial Provisions and General Definitions
  2. Trade in Goods
  3. Textiles and Apparel
  4. Rules of Orgin

European Commission supports indefinite exemption for LDCs from WTO IP rules for pharmaceuticals

In a closely watched announcement, the European Commission issued a press release on Thursday, 10 September 2015 supporting the indefinite exemption for least developing country Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) from TRIPS obligations on pharmaceutical products. These TRIPS obligations include pharmaceutical patents, pharmaceutical test data protection, exclusive marketing rights and the mailbox provisions.

The LDC Group, in their February 2015 submission to the WTO TRIPS Council, requested the following:

KEI TPP Briefing Note: Conflicts with US legal norms and TPP provisions on IP remedies for infringement

KEI TPP Briefing Note: Conflicts with US legal norms and TPP Article QQ.H.4: {Civil Procedures and Remedies / Civil and Administrative Procedures and Remedies} (*based upon May 11, 2015 TPP negotiating text.
Draft September 9, 2015

KEI comments on MPP consultation regarding mandate to expand into HCV (and other diseases).

These were comments KEI provided to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), for its consultation on expanding the mandate to include drugs to treat the hepatitis C virus.

Date: August 28, 2015
Re: Comments by James Love on behalf of KEI for the consultation regarding the MPP mandate to expand into HCV (and other diseases).

KEI has submitted joint comments with UAEM in this consultation. Here on behalf of KEI I make a few additional points.

Five groups ask USTR to protect orphan works in TPP

Five groups, the Authors Alliance, Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and New Media Rights have written to Ambassador Froman at USTR, asking that the TPP not adopt measures that would prevent the Congress from enacting legislation to limit the remedies for copyright infringement that were proposed by the Register of Copyrights in June 2015, to expand access to orphan copyrighted works.

A copy of the letter is available here:

IMS Health May 2015 comments on patient access to oncology drugs

IMS Health, the global information and technology services company, known for its statistics on sales of drugs, published a study in May 2015 that estimated the global market for oncology drugs now exceeds $100 billion per year.

Switzerland pressures Colombia to deny compulsory license on imatinib


Ambassador Livia Leu, Head of the Bilateral Economic Relations Division and Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements, Switzerland

17 WTO Members (Brazil, China, India, Russia) submit draft Ministerial Decision on Non-Violation and Situation Complaints

On 24 July 2015, 17 Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) tabled a draft Ministerial decision (published by the WTO secretariat on 29 July 2015) on "Non-violation and situation complaints" for "consideration at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO" (Source: IP/C/W/607). The 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO will take place in Nairobi from 15 December 2015 to 18 December 2015.

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