Counterfeiting is an international criminal practice; fake products exceed the physical boundaries between countries and have become an industry in which organized crime is involved. Counterfeiting threatens the security and economy of the countries and world trade; threatens health, physical integrity and lives of people worldwide. Hence the States, international organizations (such as WIPO, WTO and WCO), INTERPOL and rights holders and consumers’ associations, have to unite work and resources to combat it. Many efforts at bilateral, regional or multinational level result in agreements to be incorporated and implemented by the countries participating in them; these agreements also influence other aspects of bilateral, regional and multilateral relations. It is important, therefore, for an intellectual property attorney, to know these instruments and initiatives and understand how they apply or will apply in their jurisdiction for the benefit of its clients and the society. Programs like “IMPACT” (International Special Group against Counterfeiting of Medical Products), agreements such as ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are examples of different ways to address the problem of counterfeiting.
This presentation will focus on the agreements related to the fight against counterfeiting; the trends in the instruments, programs and initiatives that are being discussed.