Achievements and New Perspectives
European Intellectual Property Institutes Network series
Edited by Christophe Geiger
Chapter 19: The impact of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on the legal framework for IP enforcement in the European Union
In October 2007, the US, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland and the EU announced their intention to negotiate a new Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The expressed idea is to ‘establish new international norms, helping to create a new global gold standard on IPR enforcement’. ACTA has caused controversy not only because the treaty obligations it creates seem to go significantly beyond the existing international standards in TRIPS, but also due to the almost complete absence of transparency in access to any draft negotiating texts. After years of secrecy and forced by various leaks,# the ACTA negotiating parties – the EU, the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Morocco, Mexico and Switzerland – finally released an ‘official’ draft text in April 2010.# After its release, subsequent rounds of negotiations produced revised ACTA drafts which again leaked to the public. On 2 October 2010 finally, the negotiating parties released a new consolidated text reflecting the ‘outcome of the 11th and final round of negotiations’. This October text is almost identical to the final ACTA version which the negotiating parties made available in early December 2010. The final text allows insights into the ‘new gold standards’ the negotiating parties aim at.
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