The Anti-Counterfeiting trade agreement: Less harmonization, further fragmentation
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AbstractThe field of international intellectual property (IP) law is one of if not the most fragmented areas of international economic law. Such fragmentation of IP occurs in trade law, investment law and in pure IP agreements. Thus, the fragmentation of international IP law occurs not only inter-disciplines, as is the case of say trade and investment or trade and human rights (or, of course, IP and trade and IP and investment), but also intra-discipline as between the multilateral (at both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)), bilateral/regional and stand-alone agreements. In trade, with the WTO’s Doha Round of trade negotiations in a moribund state, governments have increasingly turned to bilateral and regional agreements in an attempt to liberalize trade and spur economic growth. These agreements not only go beyond the standard set out in the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement) in both depth and scope, but also differ between and among the vast array of agreements. In so doing, IP law moves beyond the harmonized system of minimum standards set out in the TRIPS Agreement and does so in a fragmented, disorganized manner. In terms of investment agreements, without any multilateral architecture the treatment of IP in investment agreements is left solely to bilateral and regional agreements. While until recently IP has been underemphasized in the field of investment law and is treated fairly similarly in most international investment agreements, the regulation of IP as it relates to international investment law is now recognized to be fragmented and unsettled. Finally, and in response to the failure of the multilateral system to continue ‘legislating’, some countries have sought to fragment the system even further through a new stand-alone agreement focusing on enforcement where IP cannot be traded off for gains in other sectors. Designed to increase cooperation among countries and establish standards in the area of IP enforcement, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) adds an additional layer of complexity to an already fragmented system.
All Author(s) ListMercurio B.
All Editor(s) Listed. by CL Lim and Bryan Mercurio.
Detailed descriptioned. by CL Lim and Bryan Mercurio.
Pages406 - 426
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2021-14-10 at 23:37