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).
This report discusses commercial ties between the United States and the 27-member European Union. These ties are substantial, growing, and mutually beneficial, but differences in regulatory approaches limit an even more integrated marketplace from developing. This report is intended to serve as an introduction and primer on this complicated, broad, and often highly technical set of issues.
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