21st Century Challenges in Intellectual Property and Knowledge Governance
Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series
Edited by Dana Beldiman
Chapter 11: Rethinking the enforcement of intellectual property rights at international level
Providing effective and appropriate means for the enforcement of intellectual property rights has always been an important issue, since the attractiveness of intellectual property rights risks being seriously undermined if they cannot be enforced in an appropriate manner. For this reason, the creation of an effective system to secure a proper enforcement of intellectual property rights and to combat counterfeiting has been a constant preoccupation of policy makers over the last few years. Serious efforts have therefore been made and numerous initiatives undertaken at international and European level to improve the legal framework in this regard. One of these attempts to strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights at global level is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). This plurilateral Agreement, negotiated over a period of three years outside all multilateral bodies by the European Commission (for the European Union and its Member States) and 10 other countries, has led to and is continuing to lead to the spilling of much ink, especially in the European Union. The secrecy of the negotiation process has contributed considerably to the development of mistrust among the general public and has given rise to widespread speculation on the content and the objectives of the Agreement. Many concerns have for example been expressed regarding an excessive tightening of penalties in the field of intellectual property, specifically in the context of the use of works on the internet by means of peer-to-peer networks, or regarding excessive restrictions of certain fundamental rights.
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