Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The IP Challenges Facing Barack Obama

Joff Wild's excellent IAM Blog has neatly summarised the big decisions facing Barack Obama when it comes to IP and number of those decisions will have ramifications for the African continent...and that is not just because Barack has family here:

Quoting from the article:

"• Internationally, there is the issue of the USTR Special 301 and IP in bilateral trade negotiations to deal with. During the election campaign, Obama made great play of the importance of safeguarding American jobs and industries. Will this be translated into even more emphasis on the enforcement of US IP rights overseas? If so, how will such a policy fit with another one of Obama’s themes, which is about restoring what he sees as the US’s broken relationship with much of the rest of the world?

• Moving on from that, how will the US position itself at WIPO and at the WTO with regard to IP? What stance will the new administration take with regard to specific issues such as patents and access to medicine and green technology?

• And talking of healthcare, it is clear that Obama does not like the present US system. With Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate, he could well be in a position to do something about it. Will one of the things he will look at be the high price of medicines in the US and the role that patents play in ensuring that Americans pay more for their medicines than people in most other countries? If the answer to this question is yes, then the impact will be felt across the world.

• Finally, it will be interesting to see what kind of role the antitrust authorities, such as the Department of Justice, play in IP under an Obama presidency...."


goldenrail said...

There's some very good questions here, and definitely some things I've been wondering about. Obama's emphasis on protecting American jobs at home seems completely counter-intuitive to repairing the US's relationships with the rest of the world, at least when it comes to IP, and especially as it relates to the developing world.
We'll all just have to stay tuned...

Petro said...

I have to agree. Obama definitely have ALL eyes on him right now. Let's hope he does what those before him couldn't.