|Not often seen in Algeria ...|
|EQE: a term with secondary meaning ...|
"I am probably taking the EQE in 2014 (ages away!), but I got myself a copy of Visser (18th ed) updated till 15.11.2010. I love reading it and annotating it. Do you think I would have to get a new one in 2013? Seems a waste to tab and annotate my current version (cutting up the edges takes time!) if I'm just going to be using a brand new book for the exams. Advice please!! Thanks!"
"This decision has far-reaching consequences; commercial traders cannot for instance escape paying the private copying levy by locating their business in another country".This Kat has a funny feeling that a good deal of ingenuity will be expended in trying to get round this -- not because there are vast sums to be saved by not paying the levy but because, the moment you tell many people they can't do something, they feel duty-bound to prove you wrong and he's almost willing to bet that some interesting business schemes for avoiding the levy will end up being litigated over the next few years.
Finally, the IPKat has been receiving a blow-by-blow account of the fate of the controversial "safe harbour" for genetic tests which have been raising eyebrows and tempers in the US, where the dust refuses to settle on the current round of patent law proposals. According to GenomeWeb, here:
" ... A measure in the House of Representatives that would create a safe harbor from patent infringement for some genetic tests used to confirm an initial diagnosis, but not provided by the patent holder, may soon be scrapped in favor of a study of the issue by the US Patent and Trademark Office [this looks like the US equivalent of setting up a Committee to review things, an approach which is much loved in the UK]. The safe harbor amendment ... would have enabled patients to receive diagnostic genetic tests as second opinions from alternate providers by protecting those offering the tests from standard infringement suits ....
... Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D – Fla.) offered an amendment to the amendment, attached to the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249) in the House Judiciary Committee, to replace the safe harbor proposal with a plan for a study of the best ways to provide second opinion genetic diagnostic tests in the current patent landscape. The safe harbor plan, which was originally proposed by Wasserman-Schultz and was later adopted into the Judiciary Committee's manager's amendment draft of the bill by Rep. Lamar Smith (R – Tex.), quickly drew sharp criticism from a wide range of advocacy groups.
"The amendment in question would not only fail to resolve second opinion testing issues, but it would not address the many problems with gene patents, including the inhibitions on research, treatment, and scientific progress ," the American Civil Liberties Union said in a letter to House leaders yesterday. "A real solution would not only allow for second opinion testing, but allow hospitals and laboratories to develop and offer testing in the first instance."
A coalition of groups that gathered with ACLU against the amendment includes Breast Cancer Action, Friends of the Earth, the International Center for Technology Assessment, National Women's Health Network, and religious groups. That coalition said the amendment would allow gene patent holders to continue to challenge second-opinion testing, ignore "the many harms that result from gene patents," such as restrictions on genetics research, and would "allow gene patent holders to argue that Congress has implicitly endorsed the validity of gene patents."
The new amendment ... would direct the USPTO to conduct a study of the best ways to provide independent, confirming diagnostic tests in the current environment, which includes gene patents and exclusive licensing for genetic diagnostic tests. This study would look into the effects that the current lack of independent second-opinion testing has on medical care and on innovation for testing and diagnoses practices. Under the proposal, the USPTO would examine the impact that current exclusive licensing and patents for genetic tests have on medicine, and it would study the role that cost and insurance coverage have on the provision of genetic diagnostic tests. The report generated by these studies would be presented to judiciary committees in both the Senate and House".This Kat feels strongly that the issues here, which include the intersection of incentives to invent, the provision of healthcare, morality and the operation of the patent system itself, are (i) so important that a solution to this issue should be identified and pursued on a global basis rather than country-by-country and (ii) so sensitive that any outcome is unlikely to be based on general consensus. He hopes therefore that any study by the USPTO will welcome input which runs wider than the US's borders and that any recommendations are seen as a way of kick-starting wider debate rather than preempting it.
Thank you again, Chris Torrero, for keeping this Kat informed.