In the wake of the EU Parliament’s vote against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the International Trademark Association and the International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy urge the countries that have negotiated and signed ACTA to continue their efforts to ratify the trade agreement. Trading partners Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States have all signed the agreement.
Today, the European Parliament voted to reject ACTA, a decision that was heavily influenced by misinformation and rumors, ultimately leaving EU businesses and citizens with one less weapon to fight against the growing problems of trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.
Other signatories must remain focused on the important issues that ACTA addresses and not allow similar, misleading reports to distract them from the efforts to protect innovators, creators, manufacturers and consumers from counterfeiting and piracy. “The international community has the opportunity to support an important treaty that improves intellectual property standards across multiple borders,” said Alan C. Drewsen, Executive Director of INTA. “Ratifying ACTA will send a strong signal to counterfeiters and pirates that their actions-which steal from legitimate businesses, destroy millions of jobs worldwide and deprive governments of tax revenue -will not be tolerated.”
“We believe three crucial steps need to be taken at this point,” said Jeffrey P. Hardy, Director of ICC-BASCAP. “First, the EU must iron out the handful of concerns that prevent the world’s largest exporter from participating in the most significant anti-counterfeiting treaty. Second, the signatories need to ratify ACTA. Third, the negotiating parties need to begin the process of expanding ACTA through cooperative meetings with other countries, particularly those with less stringent intellectual property enforcement.”
Recent studies suggest that more than two million legitimate jobs are destroyed by counterfeiting and piracy each year across the globe. It is estimated that the value of counterfeit and pirated goods could grow to $1.77 trillion by 2015. INTA and ICC-BASCAP believes that ACTA will help reverse this trend and will be an effective tool in protecting brand owners, creators, innovators and consumers from the harms of counterfeiting and piracy.