EU Trade Commissioner Malmström addressed a question from MEP Adam Gierek on TTIP effects on transatlantic patentability differences. The Commissioner did not actually answer the question of the Polish social democrat and responded with routine information: “Notwithstanding patent protection granted by US law to computer programs, our current international obligations ensure copyright protection in both parties.”
5 February 2015 P-001944-15 Question for written answer to the Commission Rule 130, Adam Gierek (S&D)
Intellectual property rights and the TTIP
The patent systems in the EU and the patent system which operates in the US differ significantly in terms of patentability practice: in the US, GMOs can be patented, as well as computer programs, whereas in the EU the latter come under the category of copyright. Will the TTIP agreement not automatically result in the adoption of the previously rejected ACTA? Will the lack of harmonisation of the contracting parties’ intellectual property rights not lead to the unauthorised use of business computer programs by one of the parties? http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=P-2015-001944&language=EN
24 March 2015 P-001944/2015 Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission
The conclusion of The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will not result in the automatic adoption of any other international agreements, including the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Furthermore, the Commission has no intention to propose or accept the inclusion of ACTA by reference in TTIP. Pursuant to Article 10(1) of the TRIPS Agreement and Article 4 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty, to which the EU and the US are parties, computer programs are protected in both jurisdictions as literary works within the meaning of Article 2 of the Berne Convention. Notwithstanding patent protection granted by US law to computer programs, our current international obligations ensure copyright protection in both parties. Therefore, unauthorised uses of such programmes will remain illegal and punishable pursuant to the respective enforcement rules of each Party.