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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Recognizing the need to enhance cooperation on intellectual property (IP) enforcement and to combat the burgeoning business of counterfeiting and piracy on a global scale, nearly 40 countries entered into formal negotiations for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in mid-2008. After three years and nine negotiating rounds, the text was finalized in November 2010. Eight countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States) formally signed ACTA in October 2011. In January 2012, the European Union and a significant number of its member countries followed suit.
As highlighted in a joint statement at the October 2011 signing, the primary goals of ACTA are to (1) enhance international cooperation, (2) promote sound enforcement practices, and (3) establish a legal infrastructure for IP rights enforcement.
The agreement builds on the minimum standards put forth in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), representing a significant step forward in promoting global cooperation in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.
The GIPC commends the conclusion of ACTA as a vehicle for enhancing international cooperation on IP enforcement. The text of ACTA recognizes the flexibility needed for implementation in many differing legal and political environments. GIPC recognizes the need for such flexibility but urges signatories to adhere to the highest standards outlined in the agreement in order to advance significantly global efforts to fight counterfeiting and piracy.