Public Policy

  • January 29, 2007

    Amid Uproar, Novartis Files Gleevec Appeal

    Spurring widespread protests, Novartis AG on Monday filed an appeal in its ongoing battle to patent its cancer treatment Gleevec in India, asking the Madras High Court to clarify a key section of the country’s patent laws governing whether companies can protect new versions of drugs whose patents have expired.

  • January 29, 2007

    Thailand Breaks Patents For Plavix, HIV/AIDS Drug

    The Thai government said Monday that is has approved the compulsory licensing of two drugs, one for treating heart disease and one for HIV/AIDS, paving the way for the sale of generic versions of the drugs in that country and effectively breaking their patents.

  • January 29, 2007

    E.C. Will Not Scrap Interchange Fees: Report

    Inside sources are predicting that the European Commission will refrain from recommending a sweeping overhaul of credit card interchange fees, and will instead push for a more studied approach to reform, according to a published report.

  • January 26, 2007

    SEC Launches Formal Probe Of Home Builder

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a formal investigation into KB Home’s stock option practices, the company revealed in a financial filing Friday.

  • January 26, 2007

    SEC Toughens Stance On PIPEs deals

    Concern over private investment in public equity (PIPEs) transactions has led the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission to take a new approach to monitoring and regulating the deals, according to a senior SEC staffer.

  • January 26, 2007

    Senators Urge Heightened Scrutiny Of Airline Mergers

    On the heels of a Senate hearing to examine how airline mergers are likely to affect consumers, two U.S. senators are urging Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to make sure any potential consolidations in the industry are “carefully and thoroughly” examined before being given the green light.

  • January 26, 2007

    Italy Passes Sweeping Liberalization Laws

    In a move that will loosen regulations on insurers, hairdressers, airlines, petrol pumps and many other types of businesses, the Italian government has passed a big package of measures to liberalize the market and heighten business competition across the country.

  • January 26, 2007

    Senate To Hear Testimony On Fuel Economy

    A Senate committee is set to hear testimony on Tuesday on transportation sector fuel economy, including challenges to and incentives for increased oil savings, one week after President George W. Bush unveiled a plan to slash the nation’s gasoline consumption by 20% by 2017.

  • January 25, 2007

    SEC Mulls Easing Burden For Smaller Companies

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has promised to weigh in on a proposal intended to ease the burden of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on smaller public companies, agency officials said this week.

  • January 25, 2007

    Thailand Mulls Breaking Patents On Two Drugs

    The Thai government is reportedly set to unveil plans to issue compulsory licensing for two high-cost drugs amid widespread criticism from multinational drug companies.

  • January 25, 2007

    Norway: Apple iTunes DRM Out Of Tune With Law

    Norway ruled on Thursday that Apple’s FairPlay music system for its iPods was nowhere near fair and ordered the company to open access to its music downloads by Oct. 1, putting even more pressure on Apple’s position in the European market.

  • January 25, 2007

    U.S., European Regulators To Step Up Cooperation

    In light of the pending union between exchanges Euronext N.V. and NYSE Group Inc., the Securities and Exchange Commission and a group of European regulators on Thursday signed an agreement aimed at ensuring oversight, investor protection and market stability and integrity.

  • January 25, 2007

    Japan Eyes Shared Patent Process

    The Japanese government has proposed a far-reaching plan for standardizing patent application procedures so they can be used by every country in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • January 25, 2007

    AFL-CIO Boosts Efforts To Pass Union Law

    The AFL-CIO is increasing its efforts to drum up support for the union-friendly Employee Free Choice Act, a key piece of bipartisan legislation pending in Congress that the labor federation vows would significantly improve the lives of workers nationwide.

  • January 24, 2007

    Doctors, L.A. County Resolve Benefits Dispute

    Bringing a six-year legal dispute to an end for hundreds of doctors employed by the county of Los Angeles, the county board of supervisors has agreed to pay $10.1 million to the doctors after the board denied them benefits for joining a union.

  • January 24, 2007

    U.S. Senate Kills Minimum Wage Bill

    One of the newly liberal House of Representatives’ first initiatives, a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage with no tax cuts, was defeated Wednesday in the Senate.

  • January 24, 2007

    US Airways, Delta Heads Testify At Senate Hearing

    The chairman of US Airways Group Inc. on Wednesday told lawmakers that the carrier’s $10.2 billion hostile bid for bankrupt Delta Air Lines Inc. would benefit consumers and create one of the most financially stable airlines in the industry, even as Delta’s chief executive testified that his company wants to exit bankruptcy as a stand-alone carrier.

  • January 24, 2007

    SEC OK's Updates To NASD Arbitration Code

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved several changes to the National Association of Securities Dealers’ arbitration code, which had been proposed by the self-regulatory association in an effort to make arbitration and mediation more transparent.

  • January 24, 2007

    Italy's Bank Scandal Drops Off E.C.'s Radar

    The European Commission’s internal markets regulator on Wednesday closed the infringement action it launched against Italy over how the nation handled two attempted takeovers of domestic lenders by non-Italian banks.

  • January 24, 2007

    Utilities Commission Faces “Hot Gas” Suits

    An air quality control agency has sued the California Public Utilities Commission, claiming it set new natural gas standards that would increase air pollution in the state.