ACTA progress announced with plans to release final draft in September

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a Statement on the recent ACTA negotiations.The Statement followed the conclusion of the 10th round of negotiations on the ACTA held in Washington, D.C. from 16 – 20 August 2010.

The Statement reported on the progress of the talks which are slated to conclude following meetings in Japan this September. It also served to allay fears about the proposed contents of the treaty by again re-affirming what the treaty will not extend to.

The Statement said the following in this regard:

While ACTA aims to establish effective enforcement standards for existing intellectual property rights, it is not intended to include new intellectual property rights or to enlarge or diminish existing intellectual property rights.

ACTA will not interfere with a signatory’s ability to respect fundamental rights and liberties. ACTA will be consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. The ACTA negotiators reiterated that ACTA will not hinder the cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines, and reaffirmed that patents will not be covered in the Section on Border Measures. ACTA will not oblige border authorities to search travelers’ baggage or their personal electronic devices for infringing materials.

Participants in the meeting agreed that Japan would host the next negotiating round in September 2010. Participants committed to resolving remaining substantive issues at that round, and agreed to publicly release the full text of the agreement before deciding to sign it.

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