Feeds

European Commission asks for new IP protection layer

WIPO 'not flexible enough'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The European Commission wants to create a new layer of intellectual property protections because it says existing structures such as WIPO are not flexible enough.

The commission is seeking EU member states' permission to negotiate new trade agreements with a list of specific countries, including the US, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and New Zealand. The aim of the agreements will be the enforcement of intellectual property rights and combating piracy.

The commission wants to create the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which will create "high-level international framework that strengthens the global enforcement of intellectual property rights and helps in the fight to protect consumers from the health and safety risks associated with many counterfeit products".

The permission of the EU member states is needed before such agreements can be negotiated, and the commission is now formally seeking that permission.

The activity envisaged by the plan is more usually undertaken by trade bodies such as the World Trade Organisation, the G8 group of industrialised nations, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). A commission statement, though, said that it felt it needed more room to manoeuvre than those bodies provided.

"We feel that the approach of a free-standing agreement gives us the most flexibility to pursue this project among interested countries," said a statement. "We fully support the important work of the G8, WTO, and WIPO, all of which touch on intellectual property rights enforcement. The membership and priorities of those organisations simply are not the most conducive to this kind of path breaking project."

The proposal of the new body highlights the worries of some economies about the piracy threat posed by countries without similar traditions of intellectual property rights enforcement.

"The EU is consistently pushing countries like China to enforce anti-counterfeiting legislation and to toughen the legal penalties for intellectual property theft," said the commission statement. "Closer coordination on international benchmarks can reinforce this pressure."

ACTA is designed to create a common approach between member nations in relation to the punishment of counterfeiting and piracy. It may also plan to change the law in some member countries. One of its aims is listed as "creating a strong modern legal framework which reflects the changing nature of intellectual property theft in the global economy".

The commission said the creation of the new body was necessary to deal with new threats. It said 130 million fake products were seized at EU borders, an increase of 40 per cent on the previous year. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said trade in fake goods represented two per cent of world trade. It said physical trade in counterfeit goods was worth $200bn a year.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?