IP enforcement

Harnessing Public Research for Innovation in the 21st Century

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), together with Cambridge University press, has published a book to propose a framework to evaluate knowledge transfer practices, improve knowledge transfer metrics and evaluation frameworks, generate findings on what does and does not work regarding knowledge transfer, and offer relevant policy lessons. It does so based on studies and insights from three developed and three emerging economies: the United Kingdom, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, China, and South Africa.  The book reflects WIPO’s larger program of support for universities and research institutions in the use of IP for advancing knowledge transfer to support economic growth and sustainable futures.

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The rise and fall of the first American patent thicket: The sewing machine war of the 1850s

The patent war of the 1850s may have been a long time ago, but it is still relevant. Adam Mossoff shows how the invention and incredible commercial success of the sewing machine is a powerful display of early American technological, commercial and legal ingenuity that heralds important empirical lessons for understanding and applying patent thievery theory today.

The Sewing Machine War demonstrated all these phenomena, including the effects of patent trolls, and proves that this is an age-old problem in patent law. The untangling of this patent thicket in the sewing machine combination of 1856, led to the first privately established patent pool. This also challenges the conventional wisdom that patent thickets are best resolved by public law rules limiting ownership of patents.

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Recent Trends in the WHO’s Essential Medicines List

While the number of patented medicines on the EML has increased in recent editions, the portion of the list currently under patent remains a small portion of all drugs on the EML, currently about 10%. A deeper dive into the data shows that many drugs are only patented in a fraction of lower income countries. Thus, 80% of lower income countries have 50 or fewer active patent filings on that ten percent. Moreover, many of these patented drugs are subject to institutionalized programs to provide access at lower cost. This paper provides an update to previous efforts to understand the nature of the EML, while expanding previous information thanks in part to the existence of new freely accessible online databases showing patent status and participation in programs to provide access.

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Analysis of patent “evergreening”

In this article, Professor Erika Leitzen argues that critics of so-called “evergreening” of healthcare patents have an ulterior motive: to deny drug innovators the right to enjoy the exclusivity, and the resulting pricing advantages, their patents afford them. She says understanding this requires unpacking the regulatory landscape and market more carefully, and paying closer attention to word choice.

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LeadershIP Seminar on IP and Wireless Technology

This September 2020 LeadershIP webinar features senior officials from the United States DOJ, PTO, and NIST discussing intellectual property protection and enforcement, and the relevance of competition rules to IP licensing, in the wireless technology sector.  Among other topics, the speakers discuss the challenge of patent hold-out, whereby standard essential patent (SEP) owners face unwilling licensees engaged in ongoing infringement of their IPRs, and confirm their shared view that injunctive relief should be available without restrictions for SEPs.

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Identifying IP Challenges Globally

The EU and United States publish reports about IP protection and enforcement challenges faced by their innovators in different markets. These reports are considered by some to be controversial, for the types of IP issues they raise and for giving rise to some political discomfort.  The reports play a key role in signalling challenges that IP owners – whether trademark, copyright, patent, or trade secrets owners – report around the world, so they can be evaluated and addressed in policy discussions and negotiations.

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