Title: WIPO and the ACTA threat

Authors: Sara Bannerman

Addresses: Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia, McMaster University, Togo Salmon Hall, Room 302, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L8, Canada

Abstract: The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been seen as a potentially existential threat to the existing World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The ACTA threat to WIPO has a number of predecessors. WIPO's centrality to international intellectual property norm-setting encountered its first major challenge in 1952 when the Universal Copyright Convention was established under UNESCO. It encountered a second major challenge with the establishment of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (the TRIPs Agreement). The ACTA challenge thus potentially represents a third instance where a major competing norm-setting institution has challenged WIPO. This paper outlines the main proposals for an ACTA institution, the various possible forms that an ACTA-WIPO relationship could take, and various strategies that WIPO could use to maintain its role in the international intellectual property system. Finally, it reviews a number of public policy concerns that the institutional proposals for ACTA pose.

Keywords: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement; ACTA; World Intellectual Property Organization; WIPO; intellectual property history; Universal Copyright Convention; UCC; Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property; TRIPs; international institutions; public policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPL.2012.045942

International Journal of Technology Policy and Law, 2012 Vol.1 No.1, pp.3 - 14

Published online: 20 Sep 2014 *

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