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  • An Overview and the Evolution of The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

    The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a plurilateral intellectual property agreement developed outside of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), represents an attempt to introduce maximalist intellectual property standards in the international sphere, outside of existing institutional checks and balances. ACTA is primarily a copyright treaty, masquerading as a treaty that addresses dangerous medicines and defective imports. The latest ACTA draft, which is the final text available to the public before the signed text is released, contains significant shifts away from earlier draft language towards more moderate language although it poses the same institutional problems and many of the same substantive problems as the agreement’s earlier incarnations. This paper compares the December 3, 2010 Text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to existing international intellectual property law and to a prior draft of ACTA. This paper (1) outlines the scope of ACTA as it is likely to be signed, and (2) preserves the evolution of ACTA’s language for predictive purposes, to better understand the probable parameters of future plurilateral agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the United States and other countries, including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Peru.