intellectual property

Australia Finds out "Free" Trade Ain't So Free After All

By way of Public Citizen, there is a new 400 page report on Australia's six NAFTA style trade agreements that concludes they ain't doin' much for their economy, Bloody onkus mate.

The Productivity Commission has told the government there is little evidence to suggest Australia's six free-trade agreements have produced substantial commercial benefits

Millions of dollars of taxpayer funds has been paid out to multinational corporations due to corporate lawsuits filed under NAFTA's investor-state dispute settlement provisions.

The Age reports Australia is losing millions to free trade agreements, over copyrights of all things.

Copyright provisions inserted in the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement could eventually cost Australia as much as $88 million per year as the nation pays an extra 25 per cent each year in net royalty payments, ''not just to US copyright holders, but to all copyright holders''.

The copyright provisions extend payments from 50 years after an author's death to 70 years and enshrine in Australian law ''rules that would otherwise be anti-competitive such as permitting the use of region codes on DVD players''.

The provisions have saddled Australia with copyright obligations ''even higher than in the US … because we matched their higher level of copyright protection but have maintained our lower level of copyright users' rights'', the report says.

China's "Indigenous" Intellectual Property Government Procurement Policy

This is yet another amazing example of Chinese protectionism, or way beyond protectionism, gosh darn brazen unfair trade practices.

The Hill is reporting Tech groups are trying to get something done on China requiring patents be developed and registered locally for all government purchases. This isn't the product, this is the advanced R&D behind the product!

Wondering now why so much U.S. advanced R&D has moved to China?

China has imposed new procurement rules there require government agencies to purchase equipment only from businesses that develop and register their intellectual property patents locally.

Now this is thinking outside of the box - online auction for patents

Now this is thinking outside the box. An online auction for patents.

The world can be a rough place for independent inventors. They can often find themselves in court, battling big corporations, spending piles of money on lawyers and leaving it up to judges and juries to determine the value of their hard-won patents.

That could be changing. Wrangling over patents is beginning to move out of the courtroom and into the marketplace. A flurry of new companies and investment groups has sprung up to buy, sell, broker, license and auction patents. And venture capital and private equity is starting to pour into the field.

The arrival of these new business-minded players, according to patent experts and economists, could lead to a robust marketplace for patents, where value is determined not so much by court judgments but by buyers and sellers, perhaps, someday, like eBay.