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ACTA critiqué par un groupe européen d’experts du Droit

January 21, 2011

Dans une déclaration commune (pdf en anglais), un groupe européen d’experts du Droit critiquent l’Accord commercial anti-contrefaçon (ACTA), comme l’avocat Thomas Stadler l’a relayé dans son blog hier. La déclaration est ouverte aux signatures jusqu’au  7 février avant d’être transmise au Parlement européen.

Les experts critiquent entre autres que certaines clauses ne sont pas compatibles avec le droit communautaire. En ce qui concerne les droits de propriété intellectuelle, la définition ambiguë des « mesures aux frontières » est critiquée :

ACTA’s provision on the scope of the border measures section contains an ambiguity giving rise to potential misuse. Whereas art. 2.1(a) Border Measures Regulation 1383/2003/EC (BMR) specifically narrows the scope of application of border measures to “counterfeit goods” only, art. 13 ACTA instead allows border measures in the case of “intellectual property rights” in general. IP rights are defined in art. 5 (h) ACTA as all categories of IP covered by TRIPS. This suggests an interpretation of art. 13 ACTA that includes not only cases of counterfeiting, but also all other forms of trademark infringements based on mere similarity of signs, risk of confusion and even the protection for well-known trademarks against dilution. This is not only a clear extension of the EU acquis, but presents a particular problem for international trade in generic medicines which could be seized based on allegations of ‘ordinary’ trademark infringements. For all these reasons, art. 13 ACTA requires rewording or, at least, a narrow interpretation and implementation. As art. 13 ACTA allows Contracting Parties to exclude certain forms of IP infringements as long as this does not amount to ‘unjustifiable discrimination’, public health grounds can justify the exclusion of ordinary trademark infringements from the scope of border measures. This would also ensure that ACTA parties live up to their general obligation in art. 6.1 ACTA not to create barriers to legitimate trade.

Concernant le chapitre numérique ils expliquent:

15. Technological measures: arts. 27.5-6 ACTA require stronger protection of technological measures than set under art. 11 WIPO Copyright Treaty and art. 18 WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (no similar provisions exist in TRIPS). In particular, ACTA provides a broad definition of technological measures (no definition under WIPO Treaties), it prohibits both acts of circumvention as well as preparatory acts, and covers technological measures having dual (both legal and illegal) functions. Although art. 27.8 ACTA allows preservation of exceptions and limitations, it does not provide any mechanisms to ensure their exercise and enforcement.

16. Disclosure of subscribers’ data: art. 27.4 ACTA regulates disclosure of subscriber´s data and is broader than the (non-mandatory) right of information under art. 47 TRIPS. Most importantly, whereas ACTA poses a duty to disclose subscribers’ data both on infringing and non-infringing intermediaries, art. 47 TRIPS refers only to an infringer. Also, ACTA mentions that fundamental principles “such as freedom of expression, fair process, and privacy” shall be preserved. However, it does not provide more specific provisions on how these rights should be effectively ensured (compare with detail provisions on privacy in EU Directives 95/46/EC, 2002/58/EC, and 2006/24/EC).

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