Enforcement of Intellectual Property
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), under negotiation by the US, EU, Japan, and a handful of other developed countries, would establish an international norm of TRIPS-Plus intellectual property enforcement. Negotiations have been highly secretive, though in April 2009 the negotiating text circulated by the US and Japan was leaked to the public.
PIJIP is creating a new project to analyze US bilateral trade pressures against countries perceived to have inadequate intellectual property protection. The US Trade Representative annually outlines its grievances against other countries in the Special 301 Report, which is highly influenced by industries seeking higher levels of copyright, patent, trademark, and other IP protection.
The TPP is a plurilateral free trade agreement currently under negotiation by the United States, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam. It will be the first trade agreement negotiated by the Obama Administration. American negotiators hope to have text prepared in time for the next round of talks in Brunei in October 2010.
Many overlapping efforts to strengthen the enforcement of IP have sprung up in recent years. These include ACTA, as well as initiatives within the World Health Organization, the World Customs Organization, APEC, the G8 and the Global Congress Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy. Domestic legislation has been introduced in nations as varied as the US and Kenya, and industry initiatives that compliment these broader efforts.
Bills in the 110th Congress to strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property included S. 3325, the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act. This legislation would authorize the US AG to enforce civil copyright laws; strengthen penalties against noncommercial copiers; and coordinate federal efforts against counterfeiting and piracy through the creation of an "IP Czar."
There is a growing body of literature on the industry-driven agenda to strengthen intellectual property enforcement. This page begins to survey this literature.
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