Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Background and Key Issues [July 19, 2012]   [open pdf - 363KB]

"The proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a new agreement for combating intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement. The ACTA negotiation concluded in October 2010, nearly three years after it began, and negotiating parties released a final text of the agreement in May 2011. Negotiated by the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and its 27 member states, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland, the ACTA is intended to build on the IPR protection and enforcement obligations set forth in the 1995 World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). It also is intended to address emerging IPR issues believed to be not addressed adequately in the TRIPS Agreement, such as IPR infringement in the digital environment. The ACTA, which was negotiated outside of the WTO, focuses primarily on trademark and copyright enforcement. It establishes a legal framework for IPR enforcement, which contains provisions on civil enforcement, border measures, criminal enforcement in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale, and enforcement in the digital environment for infringement of copyrights or related rights. It also provides for enhanced enforcement best practices and increased international cooperation."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41107
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