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The Fourth Global Congress on Intellectual Property and Public Interest Gets Support from IDRC

The grant will support travel to New Delhi, India for an estimated 45 participants, mostly from developing countries. IDRC will be among a host of financial contributors that will include Google, Open Society Foundations, and Deutsche Gesellschaft fu¿r Internationale Zusammenarbeit…http://www.idrc.ca/EN/Misc/Pages/ProjectDetails.aspx?ProjectNumber=108075

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AS Patent Expires, Farmers Plant Generic GMOs

This is one of the recent and most important developments in 20th century in agricultural biotechnology. But would farmers prefer to keep using the first generation of soybeans in its generic form? This is still not clear in biotechnology industry because of other forms of legal protections on seeds such as plant variety protection (PVP) Act and regulatory requirements for genetically modified crops…http://www.technologyreview.com/news/539746/as-patents-expire-farmers-plant-generic-gmos/

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OpenCon 2015 Applications are Open!

Applications to attend OpenCon 2015 on November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium are now open! The application is available on the OpenCon website at opencon2015.org/attend and includes the opportunity to apply for a travel scholarship to cover the cost of travel and accommodations. Applications will close on June 22nd at 11:59pm PDT.

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Bill C-18 Agricultural Growth Act

Bill C-18 or the Agricultural Growth Act has received royal assent and is now law. One of the main changes is amendment of Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBRs) Act to bring Canada under the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991). This is a significant change in the Plant Breeders’ Rights in Canada that attempts to strengthen management of intellectual property rights for plant breeding and encourages research and development in agri-food innovation. Many agricultural associations are supporting the amendment such as the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Under the UPOV 1991, the term of PBRs will be extended to 20 years, farmers are not allowed to save or exchange seeds of protected varieties for future crops, and plant breeders are not allowed for free access to a protected variety to use for breeding other distinct varieties. However, breeders will be allowed to collect royalties on the entire crop and the seed. The amendment will take effect immediately and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will be accepting applications and granting rights under the UPOV 1991 https://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-18/?page=2

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Extension of copyright for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years

The Canadian government proposed to amend the Copyright Act in its Economic Action Plan 2015. This amendment will extend the copyright term of performance and sound recordings from 50 years to 70 years. Ottawa law professor Michael Geist criticised the copyright term extension and why this extension could cost consumers millions http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2015/04/the-great-canadian-copyright-giveaway-why-copyright-term-extension-for-sound-recordings-could-cost-consumers-millions/

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