Washington/Brussels – 22nd August 2010 - The 10th round of negotiations on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was held in Washington, D.C. from 16 – 20 August 2010, and was hosted by the United States of America. United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro welcomed the delegations and thanked them for all of their work in the negotiations.
Participants in the negotiations included Australia, Canada, the European Union, represented by the European Commission, the EU Presidency (Belgium) and EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America.
Based on the progress made in the previous round, in Lucerne, Switzerland, participants advanced their discussions in all sections of the agreement, including the Preamble, Initial Provisions, General Obligations, Civil Enforcement, Border Measures, Criminal Enforcement, Enforcement Measures in the Digital Environment, International Cooperation, Enforcement Practices, Institutional Arrangements and Final Provisions.
During the week, the United States hosted informal meetings with stakeholders, representatives from non-governmental organization (NGOs), business leaders and the participants in the ACTA negotiating round. The United States offered these meetings to give interested parties and governmental officials the opportunity to interact and discuss the issues concerned with ACTA.
Participants stressed the importance of ACTA as an Agreement that will establish an international framework for their efforts to more effectively combat the proliferation of counterfeiting and piracy, which undermines legitimate trade and the sustainable development of the world economy.
While ACTA aims to establish effective enforcement standards for existing intellectual property rights, it is not intended to include new intellectual property rights or to enlarge or diminish existing intellectual property rights.
ACTA will not interfere with a signatory’s ability to respect fundamental rights and liberties. ACTA will be consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. The ACTA negotiators reiterated that ACTA will not hinder the cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines, and reaffirmed that patents will not be covered in the Section on Border Measures. ACTA will not oblige border authorities to search travelers’ baggage or their personal electronic devices for infringing materials.
Participants in the meeting agreed that Japan would host the next negotiating round in September 2010. Participants committed to resolving remaining substantive issues at that round, and agreed to publicly release the full text of the agreement before deciding to sign it.