Home > Uncategorized > The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Part I

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Part I

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (known as “ACTA”) is a proposed multinational treaty which seeks to add more teeth to the protection for IP against counterfeiting and piracy over and above the enforcement provisions required by the Agreement on  Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the “TRIPS Agreement” or just “TRIPS”).  For years, IP owners have complained that TRIPS, which only sought to make sure certain minimal standards of protection for IP, was simply to weak to force countries like China to change their national systems to meaningfully protect trademark and copyright owners from counterfeiting and piracy.

The US government listened, and under the auspices of the United States Trade Representative’s Office (the “USTR”), ACTA was born.  In October of 2007, the existence of ACTA was announced by the governments of the United States, the EU, Switzerland and Japan.  So far there have been five rounds of negotiations, which have included participation from Australis, The Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the UAE,  Canada and Germany.  The next round of negotiations, the sixth, is scheduled to take place in South Korea in November of 2009.

The ACTA negotiations are conducted in secret, and therein, in part, lies the rub.

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