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Proposed Multilateral Agreement Moving Forward

Proposed Multilateral Agreement Moving Forward

Brussels, Belgium - April 15, 2008 - The International Trademark Association (INTA) and The International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) today welcomed news by the Council of Ministers of the mandate authorizing the European Commission to open negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) between the EU and key economic partners, including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and New Zealand.

In October 2007, the United States, European Union, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and New Zealand announced that they had reached a tentative agreement on a framework for a new multi-lateral agreement intended to establish a stronger set of common standards for intellectual property enforcement among their countries.

Following several months of internal discussions among European Union Member States, it was announced on April 14 that an agreement has finally been reached which will allow negotiations to start in earnest.

INTA and ICC's BASCAP had recently called for the negotiations on the new anti-counterfeiting agreement to begin as soon as possible and thus warmly welcome this announcement.

"We are very pleased to see the speed with which ACTA is moving forward and is being embraced by those seated at the European Union's negotiating table. The actions outlined in this agreement have the potential to significantly raise the profile and the protection of trademarks and we are optimistic to see it become a reality," said INTA Executive Director, Alan C. Drewsen.

ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban welcomed the progress announced by the negotiating parties but added some words of caution: "In order to be relevant, ACTA must deliver significant improvements over existing multilateral guidelines by establishing stronger international standards for government performance on intellectual property enforcement."

Once fully ratified, ACTA would provide for stronger international coordination, agreement on the best enforcement practices and alignment on provisions of legal frameworks to ensure that adequate criminal, civil and border protection measures are in place.

To learn more about the importance of trademarks, please visit http://www.inta.org/media/center

***

About INTA

The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a worldwide association of member companies and firms that support and advance trademarks and intellectual property as elements of fair and effective global commerce.

About ICC

Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) is an ICC initiative that unites the global business community across all product sectors to address issues associated with intellectual property theft and to petition for greater commitments by local, national and international officials in the enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights.
BASCAP's networking directory, searchable database of case studies and other resources are available at: www.iccwbo.org/bascap.

ENDS

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