Those involved in the fashion and retail industries are well aware of the challenges associated with combating the global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy. With legal rights and remedies often varying on a country-by-country basis, enforcement of intellectual property rights on an international scale can often be fraught with unexpected hurdles and inconsistent outcomes. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”) aims to change that.
On October 1, 2011, eight countries signed ACTA, namely Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the U.S. A signing ceremony was held in Tokyo by the Government of Japan. Representatives of the E.U., Mexico, and Switzerland attended the ceremony and confirmed their continuing support for ACTA. Those three sovereignties are in the process of finalizing domestic procedures in preparation to sign, and their signatures are expected by May 1, 2013. Collectively, these eleven countries represent more than half of the world’s trade.