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IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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    Push For EU-US FTA Could Restart Discussions About IPRs

    Published on 4 February 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    The high-level Munich Security Conference this weekend saw a considerable push for going forward with a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA). Both US Vice-President Joe Biden and German Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle said such an agreement is within reach. But according to experts, negotiations also could re-open discussions on intellectual property protection.

    Biden said the agreement “would be good for growth, job creation, and be good on both sides of the Atlantic.” Europe already is the largest economic partner with over $600 billion in annual trade and a five trillion dollars overall commercial relationship, “but the potential is so much greater.” Westerwelle said. “Time is ripe for an ambitious project, time is ripe for a common transatlantic market.”

    Marietje Schaake, member of the Liberal Party Group in the European Parliament, confirmed both sides are looking for a position and momentum to get the negotiations started. Contrary to earlier attempts to reach an agreement with an unresolved economic crisis in Europe and the US there is lot of interest in looking for growth without a need to invest.

    “For the economies broadly there is something to gain, mathematically. Purely economically, it benefits large parts of society,” she said. A working group in the Parliament had been talking with the EU Commission about a TAFTA for a year, without a formal process in place. Schaake saw this as a sign of a better involvement of the Parliament in trade up front.

    Schaake acknowledged that there will be “extremely painful moments and issues” once the negotiations are underway. “In negotiations you always win some and lose some,” she said, and singled out agriculture and intellectual property as controversial topics.

    It is not true, however, that the US and the EU are divided over IP, she said. Instead, the “division lines run right through both societies,” she said, and “everybody who is looking at IP protection today has to acknowledge that it needs to be reformed to be more relevant and legitimate.“

    Being part of a larger, comprehensive package, special provisions in the IP chapter might not be made a make-or-break issue for a TAFTA, unlike in the debates about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

    Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Eamon Gilmore, speaking for the Irish EU presidency today at a press conference alongside a Council meeting, confirmed that Biden’s Munich statement was seen a positive sign with regard to the prospect of taking the negotiations to the next level. EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht currently is on a mission in Canada and the US to talk about the FTA negotiations. Gilmore said the EU-US trade agreement is a priority of the Irish presidency.

    The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure warned that besides “dreams of a gold standard in areas such as IP protection” an EU – US trade agreement would also “give a boost to expropriation trolls, the more evil kid brothers of patent and copyright trolls. Expropriation trolls abuse arbitration tribunals to attack legislative reforms and demand high damages.”

    Monika Ermert may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. André says:

      Given that the US weight on the international level is currently in a process to fading significantly, it seems useful for European member states to progress slowly and delay the negotiations.

      We witnessed in the last 7 years that the Commission was trying to make any concessions to establish itself as a player for the Americans to talk to. But certainly you don’t need a Trade Commission which conspires against the vital interests member states to establish herself as the one-stop shop for third parties. So when they try that member states hit the brake. It all boild down to the fact that Kissingers Telephone number question was wrong. European member state have no genuine interest to be transparent and accessible for third nations.

    2. ACTA rises? | ACTA says:

      [...] Property Watch yesterday reported the possibility that an IPR chapter could be made optional: “Being part of a larger, comprehensive package, special provisions in the IP chapter might [...]


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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