Mr Jose Manuel Barroso
President of the EU Commission
Karel De Gucht
EU Commissioner to External Trade

June 2010

Dear Sirs

Established in 1998, the Alliance Against IP Theft is a UK-based coalition of 20 associations and enforcement organisations with an interest in ensuring intellectual property rights receive the protection they need and deserve.  Our members include representatives of the audiovisual, music, video games and business software, and sports industries, branded manufactured goods, publishers, retailers and designers.

The Alliance is concerned with ensuring intellectual property rights are valued in the UK and that a robust, efficient legislative and regulatory regime exists, which enables these rights to be properly protected.   We are active members of the UK IP Crime Group and the EU Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy.

I am writing in support of recent correspondence you will have received from Dids Macdonald, Chief Executive of ACID (Anti-Copying in Design) and a member of the Alliance.

Like ACID, we are disappointed that the current draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) allows for a partial exclusion of industrial design rights.  Given that design can often not rely on other protected right such as trade marks or copyright, this exclusion weakens and undermines the role that industrial design rights play in today’s economy.   We are also concerned, given the importance of this document, at the impact it will have on the wider debate on the need for more effective enforcement of all intellectual property rights.

We urge the Commission, in its further negotiations on ACTA, to actively lobby for this exclusion to be removed and the same protection given to industrial design rights as afforded to trade marks and copyright.

Yours sincerely

Susie Winter
Director General

Cc: Dids Macdonald, CEO ACID
Nick Kounoupias, Chief Legal Counsel, ACID

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