February 8, 2012

MEP Phil Prendergast has a few questions on ACTA

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Members of the European Parliament could submit as many written parliament questions to the Council and the Commission as they like and force these institutions to make official statements. If you have a technical question about specific ACTA provisions or procedural oddities feel free to suggest your Member of Parliament to table them. Most MEPs are not as industrious in tabling parliament questions as Phil Prendergast (S&D, Labour Party Ireland)  recently, and they limit their tabling to the “priority questions”/”oral questions”, where they have limitations but the institutions have to answer in a faster pace. In the past most of the numerous questions on ACTA were posed to the Commission, not the Council. However, only the Council is competent to answer the procedural specifics of the strange criminal sanctions parts.

Question for written answer E-001048/2012 to the Commission Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Relationship between the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

Article 1 of the Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement (ACTA) binds its parties to their obligations under existing agreements, including the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Could the Commission clarify whether this nullifies TRIPS Agreement safeguards when these apply to voluntary standards set therein, in those cases where a mandatory standard is set by ACTA?

How does the Commission view the relationship between Article 11 of ACTA and Article 47 of TRIPS as regards the mandatory nature of the former and the voluntary nature of the latter, as well as the lack of a proportionality test in the former? Does the Commission regard Article 11 as a TRIPS-plus provision?

Could the Commission further indicate which elements of the acquis communautaire implement Article 11 of ACTA?

Question for written answer E-001047/2012 to the Council Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Relationship between the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

Article 1 of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) binds its parties to their obligations under existing agreements, including the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Could the Council clarify whether this nullifies TRIPS Agreement safeguards when these apply to voluntary standards set therein, in those cases where a mandatory standard is set by ACTA?

How does the Council view the relationship between Article 11 of ACTA and Article 47 of TRIPS as regards the mandatory nature of the former and the voluntary nature of the latter, as well as the lack of a proportionality test in the former? Does the Council regard Article 11 as a TRIPS-plus provision?

Question for written answer E-001046/2012 to the Commission Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement implementation and dispute settlement

In the absence of any provisions in ACTA regarding dispute settlements or international arbitration, could the Commission clarify whether it is legally possible for the ACTA Committee to consensually decide on party compliance with ACTA and to deem implementing legislation necessary?

Question for written answer E-001045/2012 to the Council Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement implementation and dispute settlement

In the absence of any provisions in ACTA regarding dispute settlements or international arbitration, could the Council clarify whether it is legally possible for the ACTA Committee to consensually decide on party compliance with ACTA and to deem implementing legislation necessary?

Question for written answer E-001044/2012 to the Commission Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

As the Commission takes the view that no changes to the acquis communautaire are necessitated by ACTA, could it specify the non-legislative measures required for its implementation?

Question for written answer E-001043/2012 to the Council Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in the Member States

As the Council takes the view that no changes to the acquis communautaire are necessitated by ACTA, could it specify the legislative and non-legislative measures required for its implementation at Member State level?

Question for written answer E-001042/2012 to the Commission Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: US Congressional Research Service’s legal study of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Is the Commission aware of the reasons why the United States Congressional Research Service’s study of ACTA and its legality, which was shared with the US Trade Representative, was made confidential and disclosure further to a request under the Freedom of Information Act denied?

Question for written answer E-001041/2012 to the Council Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: US Congressional Research Service’s legal study of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Is the Council aware of the reasons why the United States Congressional Research Service’s study of ACTA and its legality, which was shared with the US Trade Representative, was made confidential and disclosure further to a request under the Freedom of Information Act denied?

Question for written answer E-001040/2012 to the Commission Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Protocol on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the acquis communautaire

Could a protocol stating that no changes whatsoever to the EU’s acquis communautaire are necessitated by the implementation of ACTA be negotiated with the other parties to the agreement?

Question for written answer E-001039/2012 to the Council Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Protocol on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the acquis communautaire

Could a protocol stating that no changes whatsoever to the EU’s acquis communautaire are necessitated by the implementation of ACTA be negotiated with the other parties to the agreement?

Question for written answer E-001038/2012 to the Commission Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, in-transit procedures and patents

Is the Commission in a position to guarantee that Member States’ border measures will not apply in-transit procedures to patents, thus circumscribing such procedures to counterfeit trademark goods as defined by ACTA Article 5(d)?

Question for written answer E-001037/2012 to the Council Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, in-transit procedures and patents

Is the Council in a position to guarantee that Member States’ border measures will not apply in-transit procedures to patents, thus circumscribing such procedures to counterfeit trademark goods as defined by ACTA Article 5(d)?

Question for written answer E-001033/2012 to the Commission Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Parties to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

– Is the Commission aware of the reasons why China, Brazil and India were not invited to participate in the negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)? Given that they are not parties to ACTA, how is the agreement expected to bring benefits to EU citizens, as these countries are considered to be the main sources of counterfeit products?

– Given the negative views expressed by the aforementioned countries at the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council proceedings, both on the process and substance of ACTA, does the Commission still hold ACTA as a model regime for third countries in the future, either within or outside the multilateral frameworks provided by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)?

– Does it agree that the ACTA provisions fall under Articles 3 and 4 of the TRIPS agreement? In this light, what kind of extended protection will EU citizens enjoy, beyond that afforded by the TRIPS agreement, seeing as the latter does not foresee a regional or Free Trade Agreement exception under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade regime?

Question for written answer E-001032/2012 to the Council Rule 117 Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Parties to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

– Is the Council aware of the reasons why China, Brazil and India were not invited to participate in the negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)? Given that they are not parties to ACTA, how is the agreement expected to bring benefits to EU citizens, as these countries are considered to be the main sources of counterfeit products?

– Given the negative views expressed by the aforementioned countries at the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council proceedings, both on the process and substance of ACTA, does the Council still hold ACTA as a model regime for third countries in the future, either within or outside the multilateral frameworks provided by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)?

– Does it agree that the ACTA provisions fall under Articles 3 and 4 of the TRIPS agreement? In this light, what kind of extended protection will EU citizens enjoy, beyond that afforded by the TRIPS agreement, seeing as the latter does not foresee a regional or Free Trade Agreement exception under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade regime?