NEWS

International Anticounterfeiting Agreement Proposed

By Matthew Harwood

A new anticounterfeiting trade agreement has been proposed by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representation with the cooperation of key trading partners.

The agreement seeks to stop intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement most commonly associated with counterfeiting and piracy, which, according to the trade office, harms global economic development by depriving businesses and their workers of income, stopping innovation, threatening the health and safety of consumers, providing a source of income for organized crime, and depriving governments of tax revenue.

The agreement has the support of Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and other countries.

The trade office's anticounterfeiting trade agreement is divided into three provisions: international cooperation, enforcement practices, and a legal framework. It will provide a common international enforcement standard to fight IPR infringement.

A press release from the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition commended the U.S. government for its activism on the issue:

"The growing sophistication and global reach of trademark counterfeiters require heightened anti-counterfeiting efforts that do not stop at national borders," said Nils Montan, president of the IACC. "The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement promises to give countries committed to effective intellectual property enforcement a framework for taking greater action against trademark counterfeiting. It is our sincere hope that this Agreement will result in greater use of criminal proceedings by law enforcement, and improve cooperation and coordination among customs authorities, police and other government enforcement agencies."

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