Update on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

June 5, 2011
Update on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Since 2007, and as mentioned in the January 2010 edition of this publication, Mexico has been an active participant,along with Canada, the United States of America, Japan, the European Union, Switzerland and New Zealand, amongothers, in drafting and ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Mexico’s reasoning is grounded inthe statement that "the illicit trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has negative effects on the national economy bydecreasing incentives that foster creativity and innovation and by threatening legitimate businesses”. Similarly,Mexico states that “such activities may also affect the health and safety of Mexican consumers and have been linked toorganized crime." It is well known that the problem of piracy and counterfeiting has grown to global proportions andrequires international solutions, which is why the involvement of many countries and governments from around theworld in entering trade agreements to help each other is of utmost importance. ACTA aims to set new standards for theenforcement of intellectual property rights to efficiently combat the prolific growth of trade in counterfeit and piratedgoods, particularly through the exchange of information between enforcement authorities, including customs and otheragencies of the different member countries. After many rounds of negotiations, in April 2010 the eighth round tookplace in Wellington, New Zealand. In this round, the treaty parties, which included Australia, Canada, the EuropeanUnion and its member states, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the UnitedStates, agreed that it was time to make a consolidated text available, as a result of these negotiation rounds. Thus, thereis now a final draft of the text ready for approval, which could possibly be signed by each party involved in thenegotiations by the end of the year. The treaty is expected to be extremely useful in combating piracy andcounterfeiting of goods on an international level.

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