The official signing ceremony will be held in Tokyp, Japan, on Saturday, October 1, 2011.
ACTA would establish a new international legal framework that countries can join on a voluntary basis and would create its own governing body outside existing international institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the United Nations. The scope of ACTA includes counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet.
The idea to create a plurilateral agreement on counterfeiting was developed by Japan and the United States in 2006. Canada, the European Union and Switzerland joined the preliminary talks throughout 2006 and 2007. Official negotiations began in June 2008, with Australia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Singapore joining the talks.
According to reports, negotiations reached "agreement in principle" in early October 2010, with only a small number of issues outstanding.
After a series of draft text leaks in 2008, 2009 and 2010, the negotiating parties published an official version of the then current draft on 20 April 2010. A new consolidated draft text, reflecting the outcome of the final (Tokyo) round of negotiations, was released on 6 October 2010. The final text was released on 15 November 2010.
Below is a comment from Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President, International, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on the signing:
"We salute the various ACTA negotiators for having the will and vision to come to an agreement on a set of enforcement principles which underscore the importance of enhancing the fight against piracy and counterfeiting globally. Policymakers around the globe have increasingly come to recognize the damaging impact of piracy on cultural and economic development, and ACTA represents a step in the evolution towards a global response to the problem. Fueling creativity through the establishment of an environment that allows creators to earn a living through their craft must be a global priority?and one that joins rather than divides societies. We are witnessing a sea-change in the level of understanding of the importance of these issues, and we thank USTR and the other ACTA negotiators for helping to advance this important cause."