The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a draft multilateral agreement which aims to provide a high-level international framework that strengthens global enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs). To combat the counterfeiting and piracy that threatens IPR owners, lawful businesses and the development of the world economy, ACTA concentrates on three areas; (i) better co-ordinated international co-operation, (ii) establishing best practice in enforcement methods and (iii) providing a more coherent legal framework.
The UK's policy on the negotiation of ACTA is to create an international standard to fight the growing problem of large-scale counterfeiting and piracy more efficiently, without introducing new UK intellectual property legislation.
I have regularly met officials of the Intellectual Property Office to keep abreast of the progress of the ACTA negotiations and to ensure that the UK position remains within the scope of existing UK legislation. I have also instructed officials to press for greater transparency in the ACTA negotiations.