The conclusion of the counterfeit negotiations should be concluded by the end of this year

The conclusion of the counterfeit negotiations should be concluded by the end of this year

Drinks manufacturers protecting high-value brands will be scouring a draft Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), released yesterday (21 April), after two years of secret negotiations between governments.

Framed mostly by developed countries including the US, the European Union (EU) and Japan, the deal is being struck because of the failure to agree a comprehensive global agreement, which included developing countries.

The draft would establish the right of companies to sue counterfeiters in signatory jurisdictions and receive significant damages. It would also allow firms to demand the seizure and destruction of counterfeit products in any signatory country.

The treaty would also insist that all supporting countries criminalise what the draft calls “commercial” counterfeiting, although this could also include the manufacturing of fake goods and selling them without charging. Signatory countries would have a duty to swap intelligence on counterfeiting.

European Union trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said ACTA “will provide our industry and creators with better protection in overseas markets which is essential for business to thrive”.

The agreement is now subject to further negotiations, which are expected to conclude later this year.

To read the draft agreement, click here.