WIPO and the ACTA Threat

Sara Bannerman

    Research output: Working paper


    The new Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been seen as a potentially existential threat to the existing World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)—as a new plurilateral instituti on that could replace the older multilateral organization. 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. In this paper I review past instances where WIPO has been challenged by an outside norm-setting institution a nd the responses taken to those challenges. Second, I outline the main proposals for an ACTA institution. Third, drawing on the past instances, I outline 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, I outline a number of public policy concerns that the institutional proposals for ACTA pose
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationUnited States
    PublisherAmerican University Washington College of Law
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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