[Ip-health] Notes on ACTA and Public Health

Ante ante at ffii.org
Sun Aug 14 09:49:53 PDT 2011

I updated FFII's Notes on ACTA and Public Health. It now includes a reaction 
on the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) 
commissioned study on ACTA. 


Below the introduction and an overview.

vriendelijke groet,



The European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) commissioned a 
study on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). The INTA study highlights 
problematic aspects of ACTA and makes recommendations. According to the study, 
"unconditional consent would be an inappropriate response", and "There does 
not therefore appear to be any immediate benefit from ACTA for EU citizens". 
The study confirms ACTA goes beyond current EU legislation.

With regards to access to medicines, the INTA study concludes that adding some 
annotations will solve the problems. There is a huge gap between the paper 
reality of the INTA study and the reality in the streets: people are dying 
because they do not have access to medicines. The INTA study aims too low, 
just meeting our international obligations on public health is by far not 
enough. We leave in place, and reinforce with ACTA, low-volume high-profit 
strategies. We also note some other health issues (development and 
availability of medical and diagnostic methods and instruments).

The world faces a major challenge: climate change. In a worst case scenario, 
climate change may cause serious public health issues. The INTA study does not 
assess the effects ACTA may have on green innovation and diffusion of green 
technology, needed to fight climate change. Our analysis shows ACTA hampers 
both green innovation and diffusion of green technology. Green innovation will 
inherit the problems in the software field. Not protected by the Doha 
Declaration, diffusion of green technology may face worse problems than access 
to medicines. Green technology for the happy few will not solve the problem.

The European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food 
Safety should commission a study on the effects ACTA may have on public health, 
the environment and diffusion of food technology.


1. The basic problem: low-volume high-profit strategies
2. The need for impact assessments
3. The European Parliament INTA study
4. The INTA request to the European Parliament Legal Service 
5. Strengthened enforcement measures reinforce low-volume high-profit 
6. ACTA goes beyond current EU legislation
7. Excessive damages
8. Injunctions
9. Provisional measures lower burden of proof 
10. Other civil measures
11. Parallel importation
12. Border measures
13. ACTA and Public Health
  13.a. Hazardous medicaments
  13.b. Problems shared with ICT
  13.c. Public health surveillance and crisis management
  13.d. Green innovation and diffusion of green technology
  13.e. Food
14. ACTA Committee
15. A huge EU deficit
16. ACTA's binding nature: soft law for the US, hard law for the EU and others
17. The need for transparency 
18. European Court of Justice


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