European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade to Host ACTA Stakeholders' Meeting in Brussels in March

European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade to Host ACTA Stakeholders’ Meeting in Brussels in March

Zinnia Faruque
March 15, 2010

International stakeholders will gather in Brussels on Mar. 22nd to debate whether the European Union should ratchet up its enforcement of intellectual property rights, during a meeting hosted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade. The meeting aims to inform and consult interested parties about the negotiations surrounding the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an international treaty still in its draft stages that could impose more stringent IP enforcement on countries across the globe.  If you are interested in attending the meeting, or submitting a comment, please scroll below for details and deadlines.

Proponents of ACTA assert that more stringent IP enforcement is necessary to combat trade in pirated and counterfeited goods.  Critics of ACTA, including many public interest groups, lament what they view as a lack of transparency during closed-door negotiations heavily influenced by only one side of the debate.  While rights holders, such as the pharmaceutical and motion picture industries, argue that their intellectual property rights are being increasingly infringed, critics of ACTA worry that increased enforcement may prevent, for example, developing countries from receiving access to much-needed, generic pharmaceutical goods, such as AIDS medication.

Thus, the Directorate-General for Trade has publicized that the purposes of the Brussels meeting is two-fold:  One, to inform stakeholders about the ACTA goals and the negotiation process so far.  Two, to receive comments from stakeholders about their views (expectations or concerns) regarding ACTA.

The Directorate-General for Trade is a senior official who conducts the European Union’s common trade policy.  The European Union consists of 27 member states (ranging from Austria to the United Kingdom).

Relevant information about the ongoing negotiations, including a report on the current state of play can be found on the European Commission’s Web site at: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/trade-topics/intellectual-property/anti-counterfeiting/

The European Commission’s general trade policy on intellectual property can also be found on their Web site at: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/trade-topics/intellectual-property/

MEETING DETAILS AND DEADLINES:

Date/Time:  Monday, Mar. 22, 2010, 10:00 - 12:30
Location: Charlemagne Building, Room Alcide de Gaspieri, Rue de la Loi 170, B-1049 Brussels

REGISTRATION:

Pre-registration is required for security reasons. Please send an email including your name and the name of the represented organization to TRADE-ACTA-MEETING@ec.europa.eu. Closing date for registration: Mar. 15, 2010

Due to the limited seating capacity (approx. 350), places will be allocated on a first-come, first serve basis. Presence of more than one person per participating organization will also be conditioned to the total number of participants.  Admission is free.  Please note that the European Commission is not able to cover travel or subsistence expenses for attendance at this meeting.

Those unable to participate in the meeting and/or wishing to present their positions, may do so in writing and send their comments to: TRADE-ACTA-MEETING@ec.europa.eu no later than Mar. 22, 2010.

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