In late September, the US-European Union (EU) Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group held a meeting in Washington, aimed at strengthening cooperative efforts to improve IPR protection worldwide and to assess the current situation on the topic.
The meeting was co-chaired by the US Trade Representative Office and the Department of Commerce on the US side and the European Commission’s Directorate General (DG) for Trade for the EU.
Both sides’ officials coincided on the need for global enforcement of IPR protection through multilateral capacity-building support for US and European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and joint Customs activities to address concerns related to the serious problem of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods. In this respect, they reaffirmed commitment to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations and vowed to guarantee fair representation of the interests of the various constituent groups following the negotiations and keep them informed on the talks’ progress.
Several ongoing multilateral discussions which are being held at different multilateral organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN) were reviewed.
US and EU customs officials have been working jointly to improve the legislation and protection of IPR and to this end have issued a brochure entitled “Protecting Intellectual Property at Our Borders,” which summarizes the security offered against counterfeiting and piracy in the European and American markets. Joint guidelines to assist in the development of an electronic IPR product identification toolkit were presented at the meeting and it was agreed to keep looking for new areas of cooperation to improve and expand the joint work.
The next IPR Working Group meeting is likely to be held in Europe during the first quarter of 2010.
The US-EU IPR Working Group was established in 2005 to identify the areas and modalities for joint action. The working group works in close consultation with industry and other interested parties. The IPR Working Group reports yearly to the Transatlantic Economic Council and to the EU-US Summit.
Source: European Commission