Corporate representatives, Trade Officials meet in New York to discuss ACTA
March 11, 2008
A March 4 article from the online magazine, Managing Intellectual Property identifies the primary constituency pushing for the ACTA proposal:
“Representatives from the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative gathered with government officials in New York yesterday to discuss strategies for ending the international trade in fake goods.
The meeting was attended by CEO’s of companies such as Microsoft, General Electric and Pfizer, as well as the executive director of INTA, Alan Drewsen, the deputy secretary-general of WIPO, Michael Keplinger, and the secretary-general of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Michael Danet. US Trade Representative Susan Schwab also took part”
Nothing very surprising here, but I see two points worth noting. First, the roster of BASCAP’s Global Leadership Group includes a number other heavy hitters that have traditionally supported rigid IP regulations such as Sony and EMI. Second, I wonder what the presence of WIPO deputy secretary-general Keplinger at this meeting means?
One thing is for sure, Keplinger’s participation in the ACTA meeting should not be construed to imply a broader mandate from WIPO or its membership. Back in April, 2006, IP Watch reported that Keplinger’s nomination for his current position came from the US Commerce Department. The story details that Keplinger had previously worked in the office of foreign relations at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO is one of the most active proponents of patent harmonization in the world. Is Keplinger just continuing his old line of work? According to this blog post by Jamie Love, Keplinger sounds like a holdout from the days when the US and corporate lobbyists dictated the terms of trade policy to the world. Those days are over.