Joint answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission Written questions : P-006906/12 , E-006990/12
1. As with all of the EU's bilateral trade agreements, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) will contain a chapter on intellectual property (IPR). This is important because the EU and Canada are knowledge-based economies requiring an effective regime to protect their intellectual assets. For this reason, the EU is proposing rules to address several important issues that have been identified in Canada's IPR regime, namely in the area of copyright, patents, geographical indications and enforcement. However, the IPR chapter of CETA will not require the EU to modify its existing legislation, and great care is being taken to ensure that it is compatible with the EU acquis.
2. The CETA negotiations have not been concluded. Recent media reports relied upon a version of the negotiating text which is 6 months old to claim that the Commission is introducing ACTA through the back-door. That text stems from a time when ACTA had just been signed by the EU and 22 Member States and before the European Parliament denied its consent. As both the EU and Canada were in the process of ratifying ACTA at that time, it is not surprising that some provisions of that version used formulations also found in ACTA. Negotiations have now moved on and the February text no longer accurately represents the state of play.
The Commission fully respects the vote of the European Parliament. It develops its negotiating positions to ensure that they are coherent with EU policy. The IPR chapter of CETA is currently being reviewed in light of the position expressed by the European Parliament on ACTA and the Commission will continue to fully and rapidly inform the EP's INTA committee about progress in the negotiations.