Indian Official: ACTA Out Of Sync With TRIPS and Public HealthPublished on 5 May 2010 @ 12:12 am
Intellectual Property Watch
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch
All the “noble announcements” made by EU and US officials about respect for the Doha Declaration on intellectual property trade and public health when negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) does not match the ACTA text, warned Ashutosh Jindal, adviser at the Embassy of India to the EU at a hearing organised by the Green Party Group in Brussels yesterday. The much-debated agreement that has only recently been made public would be very hard on countries like India that are trying to balance competing public policy issues, IPR protection and public health. Jindal pointed to provisions like ex-officio actions by border personnel on all types of IP rights infringements, including not only trademark infringement. The bar for searches and seizures is proposed to be lowered to a mere suspect of counterfeiting. ACTA seems to be an attempt to force developing countries to much harsher IPR protection measures, he said.
While he did not know what India would formally do with regard to ACTA, he was afraid that the agreement is bypassing the plurilateral agenda. Asked by one of the event organisers, Green MEP Carl Schlyter, if India had consciously decided not to take part in the ACTA negotiations or if it did not receive an invitation, Jindal said that according to his information India had not been asked to join. Meanwhile, James Love of Knowledge Ecology International pointed to changes ACTA could bring to US law, and European Digital Rights’ Joe McNamee pointed to the collision of ACTA with EU existing common and fundamental law.