Posts Tagged ‘copyrights’

Brazilian government proposes to “ignore” US patents and copyrights in trade dispute.

March 16, 2010 1 comment

The Brazilian government has announced its intention to cross-retaliate against the US by “ignoring” certain patents and copyrights belonging to US citizens as part of a trade war between the two countries over cotton.

This is the second set of measures Brazil has unveiled in a week to pressure Washington to obey a ruling by the World Trade Organization that found the U.S. cotton subsidies and export credit guarantee program illegal.

Diplomats, trade experts and business leaders are closely watching the case, one of a few in which the WTO has allowed cross-retaliation, in which the wronged party can retaliate against a sector not involved in the dispute.

Brazil would become the first country ever to apply cross retaliation under WTO rules.

The new measures, which are still subject to public hearings, would suspend for a limited time U.S. patents on pharmaceuticals, chemicals and biotechnology.

They would allow Brazil to restrict copyrights in the music and audiovisual industry. The measures listed in an official publication would also allow the government to increase fees and tighten regulations on registration of intellectual property rights.


International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) Files 301 Report

A short while ago I reported that the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (the “IACC”) filed a 301 report with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (the “USTR”).

Now, I want to report on the filing with the USTR done by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (the “IIPA)(Don’t you wish sometimes that these organizations came up with better names for themselves).

The IIPA is based in Washington, DC and has been around for many years. It is a kind of association of associations, representing the IP interests of the various copyright organizations in the US . Early this month, the IIPA President, Eric Smith, testified before the USTR and summarized the IIPA positions as follows:

“This year, we ask the U.S. government to pay heightened attention to countries
where enforcement is inadequate and non-deterrent. We should ask our trading partners to:

• Undertake more criminal actions against piracy of software in the corporate
environment; against growing online and mobile device piracy of music, motion
pictures, software, video games and books and journals; against continuing
piracy of optical disc products and the unauthorized printing and commercial
photocopying of books and journals; and, against the manufacturing and
trafficking in circumvention devices.

• Dedicate sufficient enforcement resources, and train and empower enforcement
authorities, in a manner commensurate with the scale of the problem.

• Remove onerous and unnecessary procedural barriers to the judiciary acting in
civil and criminal cases.

• Impose deterrent penalties in criminal cases and adequate (and deterrent)
damages and remedies in civil cases.

The U.S. government should also ask our trading partners to:

• Encourage cooperation of ISPs with all content owners, including workable and
fair notice and takedown systems and graduated response mechanisms to deal
with repeat infringers online.

• Direct government agencies, contractors and educational institutions to use only
legal software and legal copies of textbooks, and to ensure that their networks
or computers are not used for infringement of any copyrighted content.

• Enact and enforce laws against camcording motion pictures.

• Implement the obligations in the WIPO Internet treaties and to ratify those
treaties, if they have not yet already done so.

• Dismantle market access barriers and refrain from establishing market access
conditions based on the nationality of the IP owner.”

The USTR’s Report based upon the filings of interested parties like the IACC and the IIPA will be out later this Spring. I hope that the US government will adopt the recommendations filed by the IACC and the IIPA.

ACTA Negotiations Continue In Mexico, But Secrecy Remains A Concern

January 25, 2010 Leave a comment

The United States is among more than a dozen countries meeting this week in Mexico for the next round of negotiations for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) a proposed treaty to crack down on copyright and other IP theft, but discussions remain shrouded in secrecy.

Internet industry figures fear that ACTA will force participating countries to introduce tough penalties for copyright breaches to bring them into line with US laws. But the impact on many countries might be limited because the governments have already adopted many US measures as part of an earlier trade agreements between the nations.

Negotiations, which have gone for more than two years, continue with four days of meetings in Guadalajara, Mexico, starting today.

The agenda has set aside several hours for discussion of civil enforcement, border measures and enforcement procedures but has scheduled just an hour for discussion of transparency, adding to fears of secrecy among critics of the agreement.

The accord is intended to upgrade laws surrounding copyright protection for digital content following an explosion in piracy and a booming trade in counterfeit goods.

The treaty is expected to empower copyright holders, including major music and film studios, and put extra responsibility on the shoulders of internet service providers to assist with enforcement.

Participating countries – mostly developed nations, including the US, Japan, Australia and the members of the European Union – have agreed not to release detail of discussions beyond a broad overview at the start of discussions. In fact, all the governments participating in the negotiations are bound by confidentiality agreements.

5th Global Congress Combating Counterfeiting And Piracy

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment


See you at the Congress


The 5th Global Congress On Counterfeiting And Piracy will take place in Cancun, Mexico from December 1 – 3.  The organizing organization for this Congress is Interpol and there will be a special emphasis on the problems of counterfeiting and piracy in Latin America.

My partner, Jose Werner, and I will be attending the Congress and would like to meet you if you are attending.  Contact me at  See you there.