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U.S.-EU Intellectual Property Rights Working Group

June 07, 2010

On June 7, 2010, a session of the U.S-EU Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group was held in Brussels. The meeting was co-chaired by the European Commission’s Directorate General (DG) for External Trade for the European Union and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and the U.S. Department of Commerce for the United States. The session commenced in the morning with a briefing for transatlantic stakeholders hosted at the offices of DG Trade. At the briefing, officials from both sides of the Atlantic reported on ongoing cooperative efforts to strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) protection globally and more specifically in Brazil, China, India, and Russia. Officials reviewed the current status of a number of multilateral discussions currently underway within the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations (UN). The parties also briefly discussed the current state of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations. 

Representatives of DG Enterprise and Industry and the Department of Commerce spoke on support for SMEs, particularly the web-based IPR resources that both have developed and agreed to continue to cooperate in the development of resources that will benefit SMEs . U.S. and EU Customs officials noted the success of past joint operations and information exchanges and indicated that discussions are on-going for future joint operations. In the afternoon, discussions continued when U.S. and EU officials met to discuss their respective bilateral efforts to strengthen IPR protection and capacity building efforts. Both parties agreed to continue to coordinate their efforts where appropriate. 

The next meeting of the IPR Working Group is tentatively scheduled to take place in Washington in Fall 2010 . The Working Group will report on its activities to the Transatlantic Economic Council and the U.S.-EU Summit. 

The United States and the European Union established the IPR Working Group in 2005. The Working Group is composed of officials representing lead agencies and services from both the United States and Europe. It was constituted to identify the areas and modalities for joint action. The Working Group works in close consultation with industry and other interested parties.