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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

ACTA Signing Participants in Tokyo, Japan on October 1, 2011
ACTA Signing Participants in Tokyo, Japan on October 1, 2011

On October 1, 2011, eight ACTA negotiating partners signed what will become the highest-standard plurilateral agreement ever achieved concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Ambassador Sapiro Signs the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Tokyo, Japan on October 1, 2011
Ambassador Sapiro Signs the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Tokyo, Japan on October 1, 2011 as Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast look on.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a groundbreaking initiative by key trading partners to strengthen the international legal framework for effectively combating global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy. In addition to calling for strong legal frameworks, the agreement also includes innovative provisions to deepen international cooperation and to promote strong intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement practices. Together, these provisions will help to support American jobs in innovative and creative industries against intellectual property theft.

Process

The United States, Australia, Canada, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Morocco, and Singapore signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at a ceremony on October 1, 2011, in Tokyo, marking an important step forward in the international fight against trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy. Representatives of the remaining ACTA negotiating parties, the European Union, Mexico, and Switzerland, attended the ceremony and confirmed their continuing strong support for and preparations to sign the Agreement as soon as practicable. The next step in bringing the ACTA into force is the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval from each of the signatories. The agreement will enter into force following the deposit of the sixth such instrument.

Participants

Participants in the negotiations included: Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU), represented by the European Commission and the EU Presidency and the EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America.

The Government of Japan issued a joint press release in connection with the October 2011 ACTA signing ceremony, which may be found here.

Final Text and Public Comments

The Final Text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (May 2011) may be found here.

Public comments concerning the final text may be found at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2010-0014.

Public comments received in connection with USTR’s 2008 Federal Register Notice and public meeting may be found at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2008-0030.


USTR responded to an inquiry from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) requesting information about the ACTA negotiations on March 2, 2010. Read USTR's letter answering Senator Ron Wyden's questions here. Read Senator Wyden's original letter here.