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European Union: Court Bans Patents When Human Embryos Destroyed

(Nov. 7, 2011) On October 18, 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) adopted a landmark decision in the case of Oliver Brüstle v. Greenpeace e.V. and held that a process that involves the removal of a stem cell from a human embryo, resulting in the destruction of the embryo, cannot be patented. The ECJ […]

New Zealand: Law Targeting Illegal Online File-Sharing Passed

(Apr. 18, 2011) On April 14, 2011, the New Zealand parliament passed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill. (Press Release, Hon. Simon Power, New Regime for Section 92a Copyright Infringements (Apr. 14, 2011) [Press Release 1]; see also Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, New Zealand Legislation website (last visited Apr. 14, 2011).) The […]

United States: USTR Issues “Notorious Markets” List

(Mar. 3, 2011) On February 28, 2011, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a list of over 30 “notorious” Internet and physical sites that violate intellectual property rights. The “Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets” list was formerly part of the USTR's annual “Special 301 Report” (due at the end of April), […]

China: Law on Intangible Cultural Heritage Adopted

(Mar. 2, 2011) On February 25, 2011, China's National People's Congress Standing Committee adopted a law on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) designed to preserve traditions considered to have historic, literary, artistic, or scientific value, including those traditions of the various minority ethnic groups in the country. It also extends protection to material objects and physical […]

Japan: Streaming and Transfer of Recorded TV Programs Services Abroad Found Illegal

(Feb. 9, 2011) The Supreme Court of Japan decided in two recent cases that two kinds of services that enabled overseas Japanese to watch TV programs broadcast in Japan were illegal, because they infringed on the copyright of broadcasters and TV program producers. The lower court, the Intellectual Property High Court, had taken the side […]

Israel: Replacement of Paper Publication of Patent Announcements with Online Publication

(Jan. 19, 2011) On January 3, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed an amendment to the Patent Law 5727-1967. Prior to its amendment, the Law required the publication of various announcements, including patent registration requests and approvals, in the official publication YOMAN HAPATENTIM (Patent Registry, Part “Rashumot,” OFFICIAL GAZETTE). The replacement of the paper publication […]

World: Draft Counterfeiting Pact in Final Stages of Completion

(Nov. 18, 2010) On October 6, 2010, a draft text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was made public, after three years and 11 rounds of negotiations. The current negotiating parties are Australia, Canada, the European Union (including all its Member States), Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States. The […]

China: State Council Orders Government Organs to Use Genuine Software

(Nov. 5, 2010) On October 18, 2010, the General Office of China's State Council issued a notice requiring central government ministries and commissions and local governments to use genuine and authorized computer software. (Guo Ban Fa [2010] No. 47 [in Chinese], Central People's Government website, According to the notice, the central government has been […]

France: New Administrative Authority in Charge of Fighting Internet Piracy Begins Operations

(Nov. 4, 2010) France's newly independent administrative authority, the High Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet (Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des oeuvres et la protection des droits sur internet, HADOPI), whose mission is to fight Internet piracy, recently sent to Internet access providers its first requests […]