Digital Rights + Internet Governance + Innovation Policy

Statements & Publications2021-07-11T17:22:22+00:00

IP Justice Publications

SHOP SAFE: Ill-Considered Counterfeiting Bill Misses Mark

Making Online Marketplaces Liable for Contributory Trademark Infringement Will Harm Consumers By Alyssa Aguilar In an attempt to protect consumers from defective and unsafe counterfeit products online, Senator Coons (D-DE) introduced SHOP SAFE (Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-commerce Act of 2021) in May 2021. Representative Nadler (D-NY) proposed an amendment on September 26, 2021 that has since been adopted. On January 25, 2022, the House of Representatives inserted this proposed legislation into the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength Act (COMPETES) Act of 2022, previously referred to as USICA (United States Innovation and Competition Act). Although many legislators were concerned about SHOP SAFE, no changes were made when it was inserted into COMPETES. COMPETES is a nearly 3,000 page trade bill that authorizes billions of dollars to boost domestic research and development to enhance the country’s global competitiveness, as well as for critical supply chains and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and training. It also seeks to provide support to early-career researchers, to diversify the research workforce, and increase reporting requirements for foreign gifts and contracts to institutions of higher education. This bill is being presented as a way to remain competitive with China in the semiconductor and other technology focused industries. COMPETES was passed by the [...]

February 23rd, 2022|

IP Justice Comment to 2022 USTR Special 301 Annual Review Process

IP Justice Urges USTR to Consider Broader Policy Goals in Annual “Special 301” Process On 31 January 2022 IP Justice submitted a comment to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) via its “Special 301” annual review process, which evaluates other countries’ laws and practices regarding intellectual property rights.  Each year, the USTR’s Special 301 process requests input from the public and then compiles lists of countries that the US government deems inadequate and potentially subject to trade sanctions and other penalties.  In the submission, IP Justice said that increasing rights for IP holders without balancing those increases with other important policy goals such as freedom of expression and other human rights can create harmful impacts for society at home and abroad.  IP Justice encouraged the USTR to recognize broader policy goals beyond blindly increasing intellectual property rights and noted certain countries on the USTR’s lists who have made considerable efforts to increase the rights of intellectual property holders.  IP Justice urged the USTR to consider broader social and policy goals such as promoting development, innovation, the free flow of information, taking into account the global public interest.  The civil liberties organization said that recognizing that different economies have different interests and that heightening intellectual property rights is not always in every country’s best interest could bring greater [...]

February 7th, 2022|

IP Justice Statement at WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property’s 27th Session

IP Justice Statement at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP)’s Twenty-Seventh Session (20-26 November 2021) IP Justice urges the WIPO to provide more easily understandable resources for identifying available inventions in the public domain.  For the public to have greater access to the public domain inventions, they have to know what innovations have been released into the public domain.  There is a profound digital divide and deep technology abyss between wealthy countries and developing countries.  Many developing countries lack the wifi or the digital devices to engage in education and lessons.  Many dominant countries have monopolization over key intellectual property.  Especially now, in a pandemic, reliance on the internet and technology to deliver daily activities makes this inequality even more acute.  Development policy, therefore, has to be integrated into intellectual property protection.  This year’s Committee focuses on Innovation in Green Technologies for Sustainable Development, Identifying and Using Inventions in Public Domain, etc. IP Justice would like to comment on the following topics: Green Energy Equity and opening up training data for supporting the use of AI in developing countries.  Currently, there is an entrenched imbalance of available technology for sustainability development in low-income and developing countries.  However, these countries are at the most vulnerable edge of climate change.  Many key renewable energy companies [...]

December 8th, 2021|

IP Justice Amicus Brief Asks 11th Circuit To Strike Down Florida’s Internet Censorship Law

22 November 2021 In a landmark lawsuit for online freedom of expression rights and technological innovation, IP Justice filed an Amicus Curiae legal brief with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on 15 November 2021 asking the court to uphold a lower court’s injunction against the enforcement of Florida’s regulations over the operation of online social media platforms.  The lawsuit is sure to set important legal precedent on the application of the First Amendment on the Internet and the ability of states to regulate social media platforms. The Florida state law at issue, SB 7072, was passed after the former US president was kicked-off from social media platforms including Twitter, FaceBook, and YouTube in January 2021 for violating their terms of service policies. Florida’s governor and state legislature responded to that deplatforming by passing a state law that made it illegal for social media platforms to ban politicians.  Among other onerous restrictions regarding deplatforming and the treatment of user speech, the Florida law also made it illegal for platforms to moderate speech posted by or about politicians and large media companies to social media sites. SB 7072 raised numerous concerns about its impact on online free speech and innovation; and as it was about to take effect, a lawsuit was filed against the state of Florida to challenge the new law and [...]

November 22nd, 2021|

IP Justice Joins Letter to USTR Supporting Developing Countries’ Request for Time to Transition to TRIPS

June 25, 2021 Ambassador Katherine Tai United States Trade Representative 600 17th Street NW Washington, DC 20508 Re: Supporting LDCs’ Request for Transition Period Dear Ambassador Tai: We urge the United States to support the request of Least Developed Countries (“LDCs”) to the TRIPS Council of the World Trade Organization (IP/C/W/668) for a transition period from implementing the TRIPS Agreement for as long as they remain LDCs. The current transition period is due to expire on July 1, 2021. The preamble of the TRIPS Agreement recognizes the “special needs” of LDCs and their need for “maximum flexibility in the domestic implementation of laws and regulations in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base.” Accordingly, Art. 66.1 grants LDCs an automatic right to transition period following a duly motivated request by LDCs. The LDCs’ request comes at a time of global unprecedented crisis, with the most vulnerable bearing the worst impact. LDCs represent the most vulnerable segment of the international community. Although LDCs only make up 14 percent of the global population, they account for 50 percent of the world’s extremely poor (i.e., those living on less than $1.90 a day). Their constraints include the very limited availability of skilled labor, productive capacities, access to secondary education, electricity, and internet access. Consequently, LDCs do not have [...]

June 25th, 2021|
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