Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Federico A. González (Paraguay) (24-25 October) and Mr. Martin Glass (Hong Kong, China) (17 November)
503. The representative of Australia said that Australia had signed ACTA in Tokyo on 1 October 2011, along with other ACTA negotiating parties. He associated his delegation with previous interventions, particularly the presentation by Japan as the ACTA depository. ACTA had been negotiated to ensure wide membership by including provisions that would allow any WTO Member to apply to join. The Agreement usefully complemented and built upon existing civil, criminal and border TRIPS enforcement standards and further reflected TRIPS-consistent measures that were already in place within WTO member countries. Although ACTA had been negotiated as a plurilateral agreement, his delegation looked forward to engaging other countries in the WTO and relevant multilateral fora in discussions on ACTA standards and the role they played in supporting innovation and world trade in innovative products. His delegation encouraged WTO Members that were not part of ACTA negotiations to look closely at the final agreement and to consider ratification or accession to further enhance global standards. 504. In that context, it was important to stress that ACTA built upon the existing flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement. He said that ACTA countries had been very careful to include language in ACTA that would ensure that the Agreement captured important elements of the balance struck in TRIPS between the use and protection of IP. Article 2 of ACTA stated that the objectives and principles in Part 1 of the TRIPS Agreement, in particular in Article 7 and 8, would apply as relevant to ACTA. Inclusion of that language reflected the balance that was required in WTO Member countries' laws. The preamble provided that the Agreement should operate in a manner that was mutually supportive of international enforcement work and cooperation that was conducted within relevant international organizations. ACTA was therefore an instrument which could complement the work on IP enforcement that was already being done in other multilateral organizations and was thus suitable for broad membership.