November 14, 2010

Emine Bozkurt (S&D, NL): ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)

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Question for written answer P-9459/2010 to the Commission
Rule 117 Emine Bozkurt (S&D)

Subject: ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)
The Commission submitted the final text on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) on 6 October. Regarding the text of the agreement and the finalising of the details, can the Commission answer the following questions:

1. The ACTA agreement proposes an annual meeting of signatories where amendments to the Treaty can be negotiated. If that happens, how will the Commission guarantee sufficient European Parliament oversight, scrutiny and participation?

The ACTA negotiations have so far been criticised for their lack of open debate, transparency and public participation. How does the Commission envisage the process of possible future amendments to the signed ACTA agreement?

Will the ACTA Committee operate in an ‘open, transparent and inclusive manner’? How can the Commission ensure that?

2. Generic competition is key for bringing down prices and ensuring access to affordable medicines around the world and disproportionate enforcement measures will inhibit generic competition, as seen in the Dutch, German and French medicines detention cases; taking into account also the fact that ACTA intends to set a global standard, has the Commission evaluated, through impact studies, whether or not the proposed provisions in ACTA regarding damages, injunctions and other remedies will hurt generic competition?

Can the Commission ensure, by conducting empirical studies, that ACTA’s IPR enforcement measures would not be a barrier against price-reducing generic competition and would not jeopardise the free flow of legitimate medicines across borders?

More specifically, with regard to damages, does the ‘suggested retail price’ imply the entire market valuation rule (EMVR) for patents? Would ‘damages’ of this kind not dissuade generic completion and innovation?

Is the Commission considering accepting Footnote 2 {‘US: For the purpose of this Agreement, Parties agree that patents do not fall within the scope of this Section.’}, which will remove patents from the civil enforcement section?

3. Regarding Article 2.18 – Enforcement in the Digital Environment – how can the provision whereby authorities can order ISPs to disclose the identity of a subscriber to a rights holder be interpreted? Will the safeguards in the article be sufficient? Does it mean that this can be done without a judicial order?