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WIPO In Good Health, IP Demand Rising, New Technologies …

The yearly World Intellectual Property Organization General Assemblies opened today. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry in his opening report to the member states underlined the rising demand for intellectual property protection, which continues to offer a healthy financial situation for the fee-financed organisation, but called on delegates to look into the future and start discussing questions linked to the use of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

The 58th WIPO General Assemblies are taking place from 24 September to 2 October.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry addresses General Assemblies today

Delegates taking the floor on the first morning reiterated positions on potential treaties on the harmonisation of design law applications, and the protection of broadcasting organisations, urging the Assembly to find solutions to entrenched divisions so that high-level negotiating meetings can be convened soon.

Some countries called for more geographical representation in WIPO high-level executive bodies: the Coordination Committee, and the Program and Budget Committee.

In his report [pdf] to the member states, Director General Gurry underlined the good financial health of the organisation as the demand for intellectual property protection, and WIPO services, continues to grow, he said. This increased demand is driven by “rapid, profound and pervasive technological change, which is shaping the future of the economy, and placing increasing value on knowledge,” he added.

IP applications are sharply rising, he said, citing 3.1 million patent applications, 7 million trademark applications, and 963,000 industrial design applications in 2016, the latest statistics.

He also reflected on the geopolitical change, with Asia now being the dominant source of all IP applications filed worldwide.

Gurry highlighted the performance of the 2013 Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, calling it the “fastest moving of the WIPO treaties, not only in the past year, but most probably in the history of the Organization.”

Accessions stand at 41 member states after five years, he said, adding that the European Union is expected to accede the treaty imminently, bringing the membership to almost 70. An EU delegate confirmed that information in his opening statement and said the treaty will be acceded by the EU during the WIPO General Assembly.

As more member states are preparing to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty, “we may now look with some confidence to a time when the treaty will be universal, which will be a great achievement for the organisation,” Gurry said.

The demand for capacity building is also growing, according to Gurry, and the WIPO Academy is “experiencing record levels of participation,” both online and in person.

He mentioned the importance of public-private partnerships, and cited WIPO Re:Search and the Accessible Books Consortium, both hosted by WIPO and characterised as active and successful by Gurry.

Later this week, he said, a new PPP will be announced. PAT-Informed is a partnership through which 20 large pharmaceutical companies will provide data linking patents and medicines around the world to facilitate procurement of medicines.

Artificial Intelligence for IP

Gurry presented two artificial intelligence applications developed by WIPO. The first is neural machine translation. Beyond its use within WIPO, in particular in global databases and in the translation work, it has been licensed, free of charge to 14 international organisations to help with their translation work.

The second one is a “world-first’ image search and recognition system to assist in the processing of trademark and design applications, he said in prepared remarks. Given the number of IP applications worldwide, “it is quite clear that human beings alone will be incapable of performing all the functions necessary for the administration of intellectual property in the future.”

“If you can imagine on 7 million trademark applications, many of them containing figurative or graphic elements, for a human being to search the similarities of this with everything that is preceding, is quite difficult,” he said.

Some are of the opinion that the current IP system might have some gaps when it comes to data and artificial intelligence, he said, calling for member states to start a conversation on the topic. “I am not suggesting that the world is in any way near formulating any new rules,” he explained, but about asking the right questions.

“We could all benefit from sharing knowledge, views and perspectives on these issues so as to advance our common understanding,” he said.

Gurry also announced the creation of a dedicated division within the WIPO Legal Counsel’s Office on the judicial administration of IP. A master class was subsequently organised in Beijing in cooperation with the Supreme People’s Court of China in August, he said.

In November, WIPO will hold the inaugural WIPO IP Judges Forum (7-9 November), he said.

Normative Function in Contrast

If all indicators are showing a healthy economic prospect for WIPO driven by a rising demand for IP, Gurry remarked on the lack of movement in the normative functions of the organisation. This absence of progress on norms is widespread in “all international organisations,” he said, but “comes at an inconvenient time because technological change is bringing about profound economic and social change.”

Following Gurry’s report, regional coordinators and individual countries were invited to give their opening statements, most of which contained remarks on WIPO’s normative agenda.

In particular, country delegates mentioned an administrative treaty on industrial designs, for which the convening of a high-level negotiating meeting has been on hold for five years due to disagreement on two issues: the inclusion of an article on technical assistance in the body of the treaty, and the possibility for countries to ask for disclosure of origin. Both requests are come from some developing countries.

Also mentioned this morning was a potential treaty protecting broadcasting organisations from signal theft. Some countries are of the view that this treaty should not concern internet-based transmission, while some others argue that new technologies, including internet services, such as deferred transmission or catch-up programmes should be covered by the protection.

Coordination Committee Composition Challenged

Indonesia for the Asia and Pacific Group asked that the WIPO Coordination Committee be more balanced in its composition. The group submitted an updated proposal [pdf] for the five unfilled Coordination Committee seats. The five seats, the proposal says, should be allocated to better reflect the WIPO membership and the relative size of WIPO regional groups as well as the accessions to the Paris and Berne unions since 2011 from the respective WIPO regional groups. Every regional group should be represented in the Coordination Committee, the group says.

Indonesia, for the group, said the WIPO Program and Budget Committee should be open for participation by all WIPO member states. The PBC is currently composed of 83 members.


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Missing Paducah woman found in good health – WPSD

Clarissa Richard

UPDATE: Paducah police say Clarissa Richard has been found and is in good health. They want to thank everyone for their help.

PADUCAH, KY — Paducah police are looking for a woman who hasn’t been heard from for several months.

The family of 53-year-old Clarissa Richard says they haven’t heard from her since March. They also haven’t seen any activity on her Facebook page.

Clarissa was last known living on Caldwell Street in Paducah, but no longer lives there. She is also not working at her last known job.

Her family believes she may have early stages of Dementia.

Clarissa is five feet tall, 150 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Paducah Police Department at 270-444-8550

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Doctors: Ohio Governor Rivals DeWine, Cordray in Good Health

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Ramirez: Are Concerts Good for Your Health?


I recently received a text from my mom saying that she read an article on Facebook detailing a study that allegedly found a link between frequently attending concerts and longer life expectancy. Naturally, I took her newfound wisdom with a grain of salt—Facebook isn’t known for its authenticity, and my mother isn’t known for her internet sensibility.

After a brief Google search, however, I discovered this time she may have found a reliable source. Variety published the findings of a study commissioned by popular British music venue The O2 that does in fact find a link between live music and longevity—a music venue finding that going to more concerts increases life expectancy is completely unbiased and clearly ethically sound. Going to a concert every two weeks allegedly has the potential to add nine years to a person’s lifespan—at the rate I’ve been going lately, I’m going to live forever.

Considering the fact that I choose to spend countless unpaid hours writing about music for The Heights, Inc., I trust that experiencing live music frequently can increase a person’s happiness and overall emotional well-being. For the moment, we’ll ignore the fact that The O2 seems to have failed to control for the implication that people who can afford to attend concerts every two weeks probably have a higher disposable income and therefore more access to goods that have a direct impact on longevity (you know, like overpriced avocados from Whole Foods and leather interior Honda Civics—the height of luxury).

Assuming this study finds a real relationship between concert attendance and life-expectancy, my next question (other than have you ever breathed the sativa-saturated air of a The 1975 concert) is does the level of enjoyment at the concert have any bearing on the effect? And are concerts actually good for my health, or am I being duped by an evil corporate figurehead once again?

As the selfless investigative journalist that I am, I will attempt to extract an answer to these pressing questions by analyzing various concert experiences I’ve had recently. Seriously Kaylie, people are dying.

FIDLAR’s show at Paradise Rock Club last week was one of the better concerts I’ve been to in the past year, the perfect combination of musical seriousness and flippant indulgence. Watching frontman Zac Carper and his band of mischievous surf rockers flood the room with anthemic lyrics about drinking cheap beer and getting high was enough to inspire me to extend my night once returning back to the safe suburbs of Chestnut Hill. Seeking any way to ride the high, I found myself rushing to off-campus parties where I could partake in some of the many illicit activities the band sung about hours earlier—while my asthmatic lungs fought off a cold in a cloud of cigarette smoke I took at least two days off my life.

I waited at least five years to see Arctic Monkeys perform, missing my opportunity when they toured AM during the height of my unironic record collecting days (which are arguably not over). Somehow, I tricked a press person into thinking my opinion was important enough to warrant a press pass to their show at TD Garden this past summer. Finally getting to see Alex Turner and company perform “505” and “Knee Socks,” the soundtracks to my teenage years, was the basic equivalent to the catharsis that is turning in an assignment on Canvas five minutes before it is due: It was just in time and I felt as though I had repaid a debt to my earlier self. But in that same vein it felt like a lot of the Canvas assignments I turn in five minutes before they’re due: half-assed.

Turner paraded around the stage in such routine fashion that I felt like Arctic Monkeys had left all of their unruly charm back in 2013 with the last of their raw riffs. Leaving TD Garden slightly underwhelmed, I made the same decision I made in FIDLAR’s case: I immediately traversed to Foster, this time searching for an excitement I felt like I had missed out on. Maybe I just make bad decisions.

I nearly contracted pneumonia from the day three downpour during Boston Calling in May and somehow stayed sick all summer after a week in Tennessee for Bonnaroo the previous summer. These, of course, are external factors that have no relation to my productivity or resultant decision making, but are considerations nonetheless.

Are concerts actually good for my health? Based on my observations, probably not. Maybe I am an outlier, or maybe this study is totally bogus. As a measly junior business analytics co-concentrator, who am I to say? I might die young, but at least I will die having been blessed by Bob Dylan and sanctified by St. Vincent.

Featured Graphic by Anna Tierney / Heights Editor

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Captive kea Casper and Stumpy in good health before shock deaths

Captive kea Casper and Stumpy in good health before shock deaths

A Darfield family asked DOC not to take blood from their two 43-year-old kea, Casper and Stumpy. They did – and the birds were found dead less than 24 hours later.

Two kea that died a day after being examined by Department of Conservation (DOC) staff were in good health at the time, test results show.

Endangered alpine parrots Casper and Stumpy, who had been part of Ron Stewart’s family since 1977, were examined in August by a DOC ranger and a veterinarian.

DOC had since 2012 been unhappy with the size of the aviary they had been kept in for 41 years and was conducting a health assessment before transferring the birds to an aviary that did meet the minimum standards.

Ron Stewart and his daughter-in-law, Diana Stewart, in August with their two dead 43-year-old kea Casper and Stumpy.

Ron Stewart and his daughter-in-law, Diana Stewart, in August with their two dead 43-year-old kea Casper and Stumpy.

Stewart and his daugher-in-law, Diana Stewart, pleaded with DOC not to take blood samples from the birds, because they feared it would distress the birds. 

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Both Casper and Stumpy were “screaming in pain” during the prolonged blood testing, he said. Less than 24 hours later, both were found dead on the floor of their enclosure at Stewart’s property in rural Canterbury.

Casper and Stumpy were found dead in their aviary in August, less than 24 hours after DOC staff took blood and examined ...

Casper and Stumpy were found dead in their aviary in August, less than 24 hours after DOC staff took blood and examined the birds. Those test results showed they were healthy.

The health report from those tests, released to Stuff under the Official Information Act, said the birds appeared to be in good health. Stumpy’s beak was “considerably overgrown”.

What actually killed them will never be known because the Stewarts refused to let DOC take the birds for a post mortem. Diana Stewart said on Monday, they were worried they would not get the birds back from DOC.

The birds were given to Ron Stewart and his late wife, Dawn, an internationally renowned parrot breeder, by DOC’s predecessor, the Wildlife Service, in 1977.

Kea in full flight in the wild.

Kea in full flight in the wild.

Casper had a head injury and Stumpy’s leg had to be amputated. They were unlikely to survive in the wild.

The vet’s health assessment said Casper displayed an unusual repetitive foot movement before she entered the aviary, but she did not see him do it again upon entering. She did not observe any obvious evidence of neurological impairment.

“He flew well and his reflexes were normal.”

The report said Casper was in “excellent body condition” and his feathers were in good order with no external parasites. 

“After capture for testing and release he was eager to investigate and explore my veterinary took kit,” the report said.

Diana Stewart said Casper was agitated after his examination and was picking up things from the vet tool kit and throwing them around.

“They thought it was funny. They thought he was playing. He was agitated and distraught.”

Stumpy was quieter and less engaging, but flew well and was moving with ease on her one leg, the report said. 

The vet said she was not an expert in parrot/kea behaviour and could not comment on the ability of the birds to integrate into a new flock, but believed there could be some behavioural issues with introducing them to a new environment because they had been kept in isolation with no stimulation for so long. 

She recommended they be moved to an institution experienced in kea rehabilitation, so it could closely monitor the birds and intervene should concerns arise. 

“It was certainly clear to me that these birds need a more suitable home to see out their lives.”

Diana Stewart said if the keas were not happy they would have plucked their feathers and Stumpy’s long beak was a sign of old age, not neglect. 

The whole saga had been a tragedy and her father-in-law was still devastated by the deaths.

DOC eastern South Island operations director Andy Roberts said DOC had been working to improve the outcomes for captive kea since 2012. It had re-housed 15 birds from nine facilities since then and Casper and Stumpy were the last kea in facilities that did not meet minimum husbandry standards. 

It was unfortunate the Stewarts did not release the kea for an independent post mortem to determine the cause of death, he said.

 - Stuff

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UPDATE: Missing vulnerable woman found, back home in good …

KVOA, virtual channel 4, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Tucson, Arizona, United States. KVOA consistently delivers the stories that people care about, and a highlight of its top-rated newscasts is News 4 Tucson Investigators, the station’s award-winning investigative unit.

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Is the Samsung Galaxy Watch a good health tracker?

The flexibility to focus on specific parts of your health

Due in no small part to their enormous popularity, when most people think about fitness they think about a Fitbit or an Apple Watch. Fitbit is the original motivating fitness tracker, giving you goals to reach and making it easy to compete with friends. Apple took this concept and expanded upon it dramatically, giving its users multiple goals to reach every day even if those goals weren’t based in measurable health benefits. The entire fitness tracker industry followed suit, and for a while that included Samsung with its wearables.

If you want to control everything from your wrist, even tracking your meals, you can.

But the Galaxy Watch represents a shift in the way Samsung helps you track your health. The shift is toward flexibility, making it easy to define specific goals and control what the Watch is tracking for you. If you just want to measure how many calories (or kilojoules) you burn in a day, without counting things like steps taken or how long you were considered “active” by your heart rate, there’s a watch face for that. If you just want to count how many glasses of water you’re drinking, there’s a quick way to do that. If you want a full fitness dashboard on your wrist with every possible fitness metric there for you to see, there’s not only a watch face for that but an easy way to set your own goals.

Perhaps most importantly, if you don’t ever want your fitness tracker to tell you it’s been too long since you’ve been active, you can quickly turn that off. Galaxy Watch isn’t picky about how you adjust these settings, either. If you want to control everything from your wrist, even tracking your meals, you can. If you’d prefer to control everything from your phone, it’s just as easy.

All of this flexibility is cool, but there’s a downside. Super serious fitness buffs may notice there aren’t nearly as many popular fitness apps available on the Galaxy Watch. Samsung Health does a good job offering something for everything, but if you’re capturing a lot of specific data from an app you’re comfortable with, you may not find that app on the Watch. In some cases there are workarounds. For example, the popular cycling app Strava is not available on the Galaxy Watch but Samsung Health does a really good job sharing data to Strava after a ride. In that specific instance, the kind of information Strava gets is almost identical to the information the Apple Watch version of the app would capture in the same period. And because the Galaxy Watch has its own GPS radio, you can leave your phone at home and share that information later if you wanted.

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Need answers on progressive plans for health care? This lawmaker’s a good place to start.

WASHINGTON — Single-payer health care is hot right now among Democrats, but Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., got there early — first as an activist and then as a legislator.

She’s a co-chair of the Medicare For All Caucus, which has over 70 members. Now she’s trying to give single-payer backers more electoral clout by founding the Medicare For All PAC, an organization devoted to backing like-minded candidates.

The organization arrives at a critical time for single-payer advocates. While Medicare For All has made huge strides within the Democratic Party, there are internal debates about its viability and the issue is likely to play a big role in the 2020 presidential contest. Republicans are already attacking single-payer in midterm races around the country, providing an early test for supporters.

Jayapal spoke with NBC News’ Benjy Sarlin recently about her new PAC, the role she hopes to play in passing Medicare For All, and how she responds to its critics on the right. The conversation is below, edited for length and clarity.

NBC NEWS: What do you hope to achieve by starting a PAC focused on this specific issue?

JAYAPAL: Looking at the momentum around the country, we have this incredible opportunity where I think Medicare For All has become a mainstream idea, if you will.

The Affordable Care Act was a big part of getting there, of getting Americans to believe health care is a right, not a privilege, but there are still a lot of problems with the system we have. It’s my firm belief that until we have a system where the government funds health care for everyone and provides health care for everybody that we’re not going to have that kind of quality affordable health care.

Pramila Jayapal represents Washington's 7th Congressional District, located in Seattle. She is the first Indian-American woman elected to the House of Representatives.
Pramila Jayapal represents Washington’s 7th Congressional District, located in Seattle. She is the first Indian-American woman elected to the House of Representatives.Courtesy of the Office of Pramila Jayapal.

I formed the PAC to really help candidates that are on board with this idea, that want some more education, want some more support, and are ready to go out and talk about it in a real way with their constituents.

NBC News: We’re in a period where there’s a debate over what Medicare For All means. Some people interpret it as single-payer health care, others talk about plans where everyone has an option to buy into a Medicare-like plan. How does your PAC define it and why is this distinction important?

JAYAPAL: I think the closest bill we have, and I think we’re still looking at it to see what changes we might want to make, is the Senate version of the Medicare For All bill, Bernie Sanders’ bill.

For me, it’s not enough to just have a Medicare buy-in, I really think we need a transformation of the system so that we can take out a lot of the costs that are coming through both in the administration of our current health care system, but also in terms of things like pharmaceutical drug prices.

We want to endorse people who are wholeheartedly in for a full transformation. I think people who say ‘Medicare For All,’ but in the next sentence say ‘and we have to take 20 steps to get there,’ that’s not likely to be where we’re going to put our money. This is a crisis and people are dying, and I don’t think we have the time to just add a portion of the American public every year.

NBC News: Could the PAC play a role in determining which presidential candidates are taking this issue seriously?

JAYAPAL: It’s absolutely our intention to be relevant in the 2020 presidential election. I believe that we’re going to have a lot of support and that will give us some money that we can use to help those candidates that are running for president that are ready to embrace bold change and not incremental change.

NBC News: This has mostly been a debate between Democrats until recently. But there’s a new explosion of ads by Republicans attacking Medicare For All. Are you concerned about a conservative backlash?

JAYAPAL: I honestly think Republicans are wrong about this. All the polling shows that this is an issue that does really well, not just in Democratic districts, but in Republican districts as well. When you look at Red to Blue candidates — we’re talking about Democratic candidates in swing districts — 20 percent are endorsing Medicare For All. I think there’s a real opportunity here and I think that anybody who is trying to run on a platform that is opposing a Medicare For All plan is actually going to be in trouble.

NBC News: Most of the attacks are similar in substance. They say it will cost $32 trillion, that it will require new taxes, that if you like your employer plan, you’ll lose it. Do you get questions from your constituents about these issues? How do you respond?

JAYAPAL: My constituents recognize and people across the country recognize that these are just fear-mongering tactics, that they’re not real.

The reality is that people are struggling under the burden of health costs now. They know the system doesn’t work. They know they have pre-existing conditions covered through the Affordable Care Act that now Republicans are trying to strip away.

Image: Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2017″ on Capitol Hill on September 13, 2017 in Washington.Yuri Gripas / Reuters

But I do think there’s more work we have to do both within our own party and with the public in general to say okay, what does this really look like and how do we address some of the real concerns out there and how do we make sure we’re talking about them in ways that help people to start to feel even more comfortable with it. Intuitively, I think the American people know this is the right thing to do, but they do want a little bit more of a road map to how we get there.

NBC News: Some new Republican ads raise the issue of undocumented immigrants, saying they could be covered under a single-payer plan. The single-payer bills in the House and Senate leave this ambiguous. How do you think Democrats should manage the issue?

JAYAPAL: I think we have to be clear in standing up for immigrants and fighting on behalf of immigrants across this country who are making the economy work, but we also can’t be distracted.

If they want to turn every issue into an issue about immigration, I think we have to point out that they’re the ones stripping health care away from Americans in every single district across the country. They are the ones trying to make it impossible for people with pre-existing conditions to get their health care, they’re trying to make it impossible for seniors to get their Medicaid paid for.

NBC News: Do you think that a health care plan should cover undocumented immigrants?

JAYAPAL: I think the health care plan should cover as many people as possible, every single American. When we were pushing for the Affordable Care Act, the idea that people who live in this country and who do work should be able to access health care I think was very important.

What I would do is pass comprehensive immigration reform. Why do we have 11 million undocumented immigrants? The only reason is so that they can be scapegoats.

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Editorial: Pull up a chair, good health is everyone’s business – Quad

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