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Beyond the Text: The Significance of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement


  • Bryan Mercurio


The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) aims to combat the proliferation of counterfeit and pirated goods 'through enhanced international cooperation and more effective international enforcement'. Despite news reports and academic commentary to the contrary, the first part of this article demonstrates that the finalized version of the ACTA does not meaningfully enhance the international intellectual property (IP) law framework as it relates to international cooperation or international enforcement and therefore does not pose a substantial risk to the public or to domestic sovereignty. This is not to say that the ACTA does not have value; the second part of the article argues that the real significance of the ACTA lies not in its textual obligations but more in the effect it will potentially have as a starting point in multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations, as an alternative forum for IP rulemaking and on the 'governance' of international IP more generally. The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan Mercurio, 2012. "Beyond the Text: The Significance of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 361-390, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:15:y:2012:i:2:p:361-390

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    Cited by:

    1. Herweg, Sarah, 2013. "Politische Diskursnetzwerke und der Konflikt um das Anti-Piraterie-Abkommen ACTA," PIPE - Papers on International Political Economy 15/2013, Free University Berlin, Center for International Political Economy.

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