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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

New Zealand along with a number of trading partners, including the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Switzerland, have been engaged in discussions over the development of a pluralateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ("ACTA"). The goal of ACTA is to set a new, higher benchmark for intellectual property rights enforcement that countries can join on a voluntary basis. The discussions represent a cooperative effort by the governments to respond to the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works. The discussions are not being conducted as part of any international organisation.

G8 Leaders' Communiqué on the World Economy Refers to ACTA

Paragraph 17 of the G8 Leaders' Communiqué on the World Economy published on 8 July 2008 stated that

"Effective promotion and protection of IPR are critical to the development of creative products, technologies and economies. We will advance existing anti-counterfeiting and piracy initiatives through, inter alia, promoting information exchange systems amongst our authorities, as well as developing non-binding Standards to be Employed by Customs for Uniform Rights Enforcement (SECURE) at the World Customs Organization. We encourage the acceleration of negotiations to establish a new international legal framework, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and seek to complete the negotiation by the end of this year. We will promote practical cooperation between our countries to develop tools to combat new techniques in counterfeiting and piracy and spread best practices. We reaffirm our commitment on government use of software in full compliance with the relevant international agreements and call on other countries to follow our commitment."

Read the full Communiqué [external link]

A Presentation on the development of ACTA [211 kB PPT]
A PowerPoint presentation about the development of ACTA given during an intellectual property rights enforcement workshop held on 12 November 2008.

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