Rebecca Tushnet’s side comments are fun:
Google’s space is not a very Washingtonian office. It was the hanging paper lanterns that really pushed it over, if you ask me. And their background music is not quite to my taste.
Counterfeiting without infringement
For me it is an enjoyment to see the openness and professionality of the discussions:
Jonathan Band:…More tools for prosecutors to go after counterfeiting/cooperation among countries for that: great. But the agreement under consideration goes way beyond that, and beyond enforcement into issues like grey market goods, which are not counterfeit and not even infringing but may move across borders. These are controversial and complex issues.
The secrecy blame game
Metalitz raises the global excuse argument which seems to apply to all the nations involved:
Metalitz: I’m not negotiating this agreement. Our government—Obama and Bush administrations both—negotiates with other governments, and so all the countries have to agree on the level of transparency. This agreement is more transparent than other trade negotiations have been. More information has been made public over ACTA than in recent FTAs.
You could frame that as a global trade administration conspiracy. The smartest answer comes from James Love:
It’s often true that negotiators say “this won’t change anything,” and yet for some reason they spend a lot of political capital/effort on international conventions. It would definitely change norms in the US, which is why the US is keeping it secret. Canadian government is keeping it secret because it means big changes for them.
Geographical indications vs. free trade and European preferences
Band expresses some insightful views on GI:
Band: Question about [geographical indications] GIs circles back to “be careful what you wish for.” The Bush administration folks who started this were thinking of exporting US law abroad, but the EU has its own view, and if we raise the bar in one way they will want to raise it in another, and GIs are a perfect example: very important to the EU and we typically resist it. EU wants criminal provisions for patent infringement, etc. Once you start down this road, it is a global community and the EU has very definite views that often differ from those of the US.
Which raises an important question on the EU side. Why does DG Trade want criminal sanctions from third nations when these instruments are not adopted in the ‘acquis communautaire’ yet? Unfortunately we cannot find out in their negotiation mandate from the Council because it is not disclosed.