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US, European Commission announce multinational IP protection initiative

[JURIST] The United States and the European Commission (EC) Tuesday announced [US Trade Representative press release; EC press release] plans for multinational negotiation of an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to promote international enforcement of copyright law [JURIST news archive]. Talks have begun between the US, the European Union nations, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand on the agreement, which will increase scrutiny and enforcement against piracy and counterfeiting. The proposed agreement will focus on bolstering international cooperation, imagining better ways to fight copyright violators, and building a legal framework for intellectual property rights enforcement.

US and EC representatives said that ACTA will be drafted to complement existing World Trade Organization intellectual property laws [TRIPS backgrounder; TRIPS text]. A 2007 study [OECD report, PDF] estimated that $200 billion of counterfeit and pirated goods were traded internationally in 2005. AP has more.

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