[Ip-health] Françoise Castex Priority Written Question on ACTA

James Love james.love at keionline.org
Mon Oct 25 11:58:10 PDT 2010

(David Hammerstein of TACD has blogged about this at

Françoise Castex, a French Socialist MEP, has submitted this[1] priority
question about ACTA to the European Commission, asking the Commission to
respond to the assertions by the USTR that ACTA would not require
changes in U.S. patent laws. Other members of the Parliament are
expected to raise similar questions tomorrow.


Article 1.2 in the proposed ACTA agreement states:

“Each Party shall be free to determine the appropriate method of
implementing the provisions of this Agreement within its own legal
system and practice."

At recent meetings in Washington the US Trade representative has told
other US agencies, NGOs and US legislators that ACTA is not binding and
that its Article 1. 2 allows for a general flexibility for any element
that might contradict ACTA in US law.

Indeed, Articles of ACTA 2.2 and 2.2 referring to damages and
injunctions respectively contradicts the "US Affordable Care Act" that
places clear limits on remedies for infringements of patents on
medicines. Nevertheless, US authorities deny that ACTA implies a change
of legislation.

Could the Commission clarify to what degree ACTA is a binding or
voluntary agreement, considering that the US apparently does not believe
its laws must be compliant with ACTA? Can this be interpreted as
allowing EU Member States as well not to change any of their legislation
which does not comply with ACTA?

If this is the case and ACTA is not legally binding for the EU and the
US, is it then only meant to be used as a "reference" for third-parties
countries who negotiate EU free trade agreements?


James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org | http://www.twitter.com/jamie_love
Wk: +1.202.332.2670 | US Mobile +1.202.361.3040 | Geneva Mobile +41.76.413.6584

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