Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Medicines Patent Pool Extend Licence for Atazanavir to 122 Developing Countries


The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has signed an extension of its licensing agreement with biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to further increase access to atazanavir (ATV), part of the World Health Organization-preferred second-line treatment for adults and children.

Announced during an MPP-jointly hosted satellite at the 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science in Paris this evening, the amendment adds 12 countries to the 110 included in the original 2013 agreement. Home to 1.4 million people living with HIV (PLHIV), the additional countries are: Algeria, Cook Islands, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Niue, the Philippines, Tunisia, Ukraine and Vietnam. The agreement now covers 89% of PLHIV in low- and middle-income countries.

"Our ATV licence has already demonstrated results for communities battling resistance to current regimens in low- and middle-income countries," said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the MPP. "We are pleased to work with long-term partner BMS to broaden access to an important second-line option for many more people living with HIV."

"Our work with the MPP is an important part of our commitment to access through multi-faceted approaches that help ensure innovative medicines such as atazanavir are available to patients all around the world," said Amadou Diarra, Head of Global Policy, Advocacy & Government Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "We are pleased by the continuing progress made to that end through our licensing agreements with the MPP."

Since the MPP and BMS signed the licensing agreement for ATV in December 2013, the MPP's six generic manufacturing partners have distributed 98 million doses[1] of the treatment, equivalent to a quarter of a million patient-years, to 63 countries.

"We are grateful for MPP efforts to ensure the availability and quality of guaranteed HIV treatment for Ukrainian patients and we hope to further expand access to innovative medicines for the treatment of HIV infections, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis." - Dr. Ulana Suprun, Minister of Health, Ukraine

"The All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) welcomes the Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Medicines Patent Pool agreement on the inclusion of Ukraine in the atazanavir licence. This is a very important development for Ukraine in terms of the HIV treatment optimisation efforts of the Ministry of Health, Ukraine and the Network, and the availability of generic atazanavir will improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for people living with HIV in Ukraine." - Sergey Dmitriev, Director of Policy and Advocacy of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWHA

"This is great news for Malaysia as it provides a very interesting option for affordable second-line treatment." - Edward Low, Director of the Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)

"The availability of generic atazanavir will bring more treatment options for PLHIV in Indonesia. Considering that atazanavir has lower pill counts and more favourable effects on lipid levels than existing protease inhibitors used in-country, its availability is beneficial." - Edo Agustian, National Coordinator, Indonesia Drug User Network

About the Medicines Patent Pool

The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, the MPP partners with industry, civil society, international organisations, patient groups and other stakeholders to prioritise, forecast and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with nine patent holders for twelve HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, a tuberculosis treatment and two hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals. The MPP is funded by Unitaid. - Medicines Patent Pool

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jimmy Choo bought by Michael Kors in £896m deal



Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo has been bought by Michael Kors Holdings in a deal which values the firm at £896m.

The British firm, which was put up for sale in April, had attracted attention from a number of suitors.

As well as shoes, Jimmy Choo produces a range of luxury goods.

Jimmy Choo shoes featured the 90s TV hit show, Sex and the City, and are still seen on the feet of the famous, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Beyonce and Kendal Jenner.

"Some other brands are very over exposed, like the red-soled Loubutin, but Jimmy Choo managed to get in the limelight, stay there but never become over saturated," said Lisa Armstrong, fashion director of the Daily Telegraph.

"It's still the shoe of choice for the Oscars," she said.

Malaysian-born Jimmy Choo trained at the renowned Cordwainers Technical College in London.

He founded the business in 1996 with former Vogue journalist Tamara Mellon.

In 2001 Ms Mellon and private equity investors bought out Mr Choo.

Ten years later, Ms Mellon left the business to launch her own clothing line.

In 2014, Jimmy Choo listed on the London Stock Exchange, by which time JAB, owned by the German billionaire Reimann family, was the main shareholder.

JAB Holdings is backing this deal.

The Telegraph's Lisa Armstrong says that Jimmy Choo feels this deal with fellow fashion house Michael Kors is better than being "passed around by more venture capitalists".

Michael Kors describes itself as a luxury brand, and, like Jimmy Choo, it is named after its founder and creative force.

Its handbags are priced at between $200-600 (£160-460).

Recent years have been a struggle for the company, its most recent same-store sales figures were down 14%.

Michael Kors said the acquisition was expected to deliver a number of benefits, including "the opportunity to grow Jimmy Choo sales to one billion dollars" and "a more balanced portfolio with greater product diversification".

It said Jimmy Choo would also have the opportunity to grow in the men's luxury footwear category, as well as greater exposure to global markets, "particularly the fast-growing market in Asia". -BBC

Friday, June 9, 2017

10 Most Valuable Global Brands

Brand Finance, a business valuation consultancy, have published their 2017 report on most valuable global brands. Here are the top 10 brands ranked:


1. Google US$109 bil


2. Apple $107 bil

3. Amazon $106 bil

4. AT&T $87 bil

5. Microsoft $76 bil

6. Samsung $66 bil

7. Verizon $66 bil

8. Walmart $62 bil

9. Facebook $62 bil

10. ICBC $48 bil

Google have overtaken Apple as the most valuable brand. Google remains unchallenged in advertising income.

Apple was the most valuable brand for the past five years, according to the report. Apple's brand value have dropped due to unexciting new product launch such as Apple Watch. Apple and Samsung is also facing pressure from Chinese brands such as Huawei and Oneplus in the smartphone market.

Six out of the top ten brands are owned by technology companies: Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and Facebook. These companies rely on their intellectual property to generate income. They are actively involved in generating more research and intellectual property to remain competitive. It is also clear to these companies that intellectual property is more valuable than physical property.

AT&T and Verizon are telecommunication companies that leverage and use technology. Walmart is the worlds largest physical retail store. ICBC is the worlds largest bank.

In 2013, I participated in IP valuation training by World Trade Institute and MyIPO. I learnt how to calculate the value of a brand from its activity.

10 Most Valuable Oil and Gas Brands

Brand Finance, a business valuation consultancy, have published their 2017 report on most valuable oil and gas brands. Here are the top 10 brands ranked:



1. Shell US$37 bil

2. Sinopec $30 bil

3. PetroChina $29 bil

4. Chevron $22 bil

5. ExxonMobil $21 bil

6. BP $19 bil

7. Total $19 bil

8. ENI $11 bil


9. Petronas $ 11 bil

10. Pemex $8 bil

Shell is the worlds's most valuable oil and gas brand for many years. They have operation in a number of countries. According to Brand Finance, its association with Ferrari continues to deliver returns, with a price premium.

Sinopec, in 2nd place, is planning an IPO of its retail business. Along with PetroChina at 3rd, Chinese brands are on the race to take the number one spot. Brand Finance predicted that both brands could easily overtake Shell in 2018 with growth of 47% and 43% this year.

Petronas manage to increase brand value up to 6% from value of $10 bil in 2016. Petronas was ranked 8th in 2016 gave way to Eni which leap frog from 10th position in 2016 to 8th position in 2017.

In 2013, I participated in IP valuation training by World Trade Institute and MyIPO. I learnt how to calculate the value of a brand from its activity.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

10 Most Valuable Football Brands

Brand Finance, a business valuation consultancy, have published their 2017 report on most valuable football clubs. Here are the top 10 clubs ranked:


1. Manchester United US$1.7 bil

2. Real Madrid $1.4 bil

3. FC Barcelona $1.4 bil

4. Chelsea $1.2 bil

5. Bayern Munich $1.2 bil

6. Manchester City $1.0 bil

7. Paris Saint-German $1.0 bil

8. Arsenal $0.9 bil

9. Liverpool $0.9 bil

10. Totenham Hotspur $0.7 bil

Manchester United generated revenues of $765 million during the 2015-16 season. They posted operating income of $288 million, $107 million more than second placed Real Madrid. They currently have 26 global sponsors including Adidas, Chevrolet, 20th Century Fox and Uber. Manchester United also benefited from Premier League broadcast deal. The Premier League have a formula for sharing broadcast revenue. Other than Premier League, the club developed MUTV channel, which has launched in 160 countries, requiring fans to pay a monthly fee for access.

There is no debate that the most popular football club in Malaysia is Manchester United. Public Bank used to provide co-sponsored credit card. Now Maybank have filled the role and provide co-branded credit card in Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines. In 2016, Maybank was ranked third most valuable brand in Malaysia by Brand Finance, behind Petronas and Genting.



On 4 Sep 2013, I presented a paper on 'Sports and IP' at Sports Centre, Universiti Malaya. I shared that sports club own tremendous potential in IP. Popular sports are well supported in Malaysia. If a sports club is well managed, the IP can be a tool of unity to generate income for the club.

I hope that Malaysia football, badminton and basketball clubs can realize their IP potential.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Patents for Humanity: improving lives across the globe

By Edward Elliott*, Attorney Advisor, Patents for Humanity Program Manager, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), USA

*Authored by an employee of the United States Patent and Trademark Office; no copyright is claimed by the United States in this article or associated materials.

Patents for Humanity is a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awards program that recognizes innovators who overcome these challenges to bring life-changing technologies to those in need. Its purpose is twofold. First, it highlights success stories so that others can learn how to reach underserved communities. Second, by providing value to award winners, the program seeks to offset some of the diminished commercial incentives in these regions, thereby encouraging more innovation projects aimed at helping impoverished communities. This value includes public recognition of winners’ work and a voucher for accelerating certain matters before the USPTO.

Participants submit applications describing how they are using patented technology to benefit the less fortunate in five broad categories of humanitarian need: medicine, nutrition, sanitation, energy and living standards. Once the application period closes, we run a two-phase selection process with volunteer experts from outside the USPTO, including university faculty and technology transfer professionals, to review the entries according to program criteria. The review committee then sends a list of recommended award winners to the USPTO.

The first Patents for Humanity competition launched in early 2012 as a pilot program. Since then, it has attracted support from the White House and members of the U.S. Congress as well as many companies, trade associations, public interest groups and universities. In 2014, the USPTO announced that Patents for Humanity would be an ongoing program. Subsequent rounds of Patents for Humanity awards were made in April 2015 and most recently November 2016.

To date, Patents for Humanity has given 21 awards to all types of entities, from large multinational corporations to small companies and startups as well as universities and non-profit organizations. These recipients show how even a small group of people with focus and commitment can impact lives around the globe. The program is open to all U.S. patent owners and licensees. Three awards have gone to organizations based in Europe.

Past award winners include patent owners using their portfolios to decrease the cost of HIV and malaria drugs, develop more nutritious food sources, bring solar energy to off-grid villages, combat unsafe counterfeit medicines and purify billions of liters of water using inexpensive packets. Award winners from the past two cycles include:

* Sanofi, for supplying large quantities of anti-malarial compounds on an at-cost basis for use in developing countries.
* Novartis, for identifying new drug compounds for potentially treating drug-resistant tuberculosis and donating them to the non-profit TB Alliance for further development.
* SunPower Corp, for delivering clean solar-powered lighting to replace kerosene in villages in the Philippines through converted shipping containers.
* American Standard Brands, for distributing 1.2 million “SaTo” safe toilet latrine pans to communities in Africa and Southeast Asia.
* GRIT (Global Research Innovation & Technology), for developing an all-terrain wheelchair using readily available bicycle parts for use in India, Guatemala, Haiti and other locations.
Golden Rice, for creating vitamin A-enriched strains of rice to prevent thousands of cases of blindness and death each day among people who subsist primarily on rice.
* Nutriset, for fighting childhood malnutrition by creating a worldwide network of partners to supply their PlumpyNut formula using local producers.
* GestVision, for developing a quick, simple diagnostic test for preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication, for use in developing regions.
* Case Western Reserve University, for creating a low-cost, accurate malaria detection device using magnets and lasers for quicker diagnosis and treatment.
* Global Good Fund, for creating a passive cooler that can keep vaccines cold for 30 days, and for donating dozens of units to the fight against Ebola and other relief efforts.
* U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for developing an improved meningitis vaccine production process that has been used to immunize 235 million people in high-risk African countries.


An estimated 65 million people in the developing world require wheelchairs. Conventional wheelchairs do not function well on the rough and uneven terrain commonly found in developing regions. GRIT was created by engineering graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to increase mobility for people with disabilities around the world. Their three-wheel Leveraged Freedom Chair uses a push-lever drivetrain to help people move over uneven terrain such as broken pavements, dirt roads, fields, hills, rocky terrain and more. It is built from standard bicycle parts to enable local repairs with available materials. After graduating, the MIT students founded GRIT to bring the product to market, and MIT assisted by transferring the patent rights to GRIT for further development.

The chair has been distributed in partnership with the World Bank, the Red Cross and others in Brazil, Easter Island (Chile), Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, India, Kenya, Nepal and the United Republic of Tanzania. A new version of the chair, known as the Freedom Chair, is now available in the United States for recreational use, helping Americans move beyond the pavement.

For more information on Patents for Humanity, including the latest announcements, visit www.uspto.gov/patentsforhumanity

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Trademark amendments: Protecting ‘sound, smell and colours'

The “sound, smell and colours” produced by Malaysian companies will be protected under amendments to the Trade Marks Act 1976.

The move, which is meant to upgrade related laws, would also address issues such as monetisation of intellectual property (IP) and infringement, said Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) intellectual property adviser Abdul Aziz Ismail.

Another provision that would be included is the procedure for single filing. This allows for a person to get protection from various member countries under the World Intellectual Property Orga­nisation (WIPO).

“It will be tabled in Parliament in March after we get the go ahead from the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” he said during a seminar by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) entitled “Are Intellectual Property Rights Under Siege in Malaysia?” yesterday.

“MyIPO proposed to revamp the Trade Marks Act as it was an old one that was based on Britain’s Trade Marks Act 1938.

“There are a lot of new provisions, especially on the NTM (new trade mark) issues such as sound, smell and colours, and the procedure for single filing to get protection from the various member countries under Wipo,” he said.

The timeline for the law to be in place would be before 2018 or the first quarter of 2018.

Abdul Aziz said changes to the law would still be carried out although US President-elect Donald Trump would likely withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

When asked whether the relevant laws would still be amended if the TPPA was cancelled, Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry principal assistant director Burhan Irwan Cheong said that the law reform would continue.

“But there may be internal review on some of the standards that we are going to introduce purely because of TPP obligations.

“That internal review has not been finalised. There will be a discussion with the lead ministry, Miti (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) this week.

-- The Star