Friday, February 19, 2010

What is the ACTA?

Introduced in 2006, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) seeks to provide international enforcement of intellectual property rights through cooperation and coordination among international governmental agencies. Protection of intellectual property encourages creativity that is essential to continued growth and success of the economy. Without protection, companies and individuals may not be as willing to invest the time and money necessary to develop innovative new products that enhance, and in many cases, save our lives. Unfortunately, unethical criminal behaviors have created an increase in counterfeit and pirated goods that inhibit creativity and threaten profitability of legitimate creators. Trade in counterfeit goods such as CDs, clothing and drugs cost the true owners around the world billions of dollars annually. In some cases, counterfeit medical, automotive and electrical goods may create safety hazards.

Today's technological advancements and the ability of foreign manufacturers to produce lower cost goods present almost limitless opportunities for distribution of goods that are authorized by the IPR owner. However, this same technology and low cost production provide the same opportunities for proliferation of products that infringe on intellectual property rights. For example, anyone with a computer equipped with a CD and/or DVD burner and a stack of discs can illegally copy and distribute protected works. The lack of protection and enforcement has led to widespread unauthorized copying and use of unlicensed marks to flood the market with goods that violate intellectual property rights.

Parties involved in negotiations include the US, the EU, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Morocco, Singapore, Switzerland and New Zealand. The group will meet again in April with the goal of completing the agreement by the end of 2010. Click
HERE for more information about the ACTA.

No comments: