Six Secret (and Now Open) Fears of ACTA

121 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2010 Last revised: 5 Apr 2012

See all articles by Peter K. Yu

Peter K. Yu

Texas A&M University School of Law

Date Written: June 14, 2010


In April 2009, Japan, the United States, the European Community, and other negotiating parties of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement released a joint consolidated draft of the once-secret agreement. Although the release of this document has alleviated some of the concerns about the lack of transparency and public participation, there remain many unanswered questions.

Written for a symposium on intellectual property law, this article argues that ACTA remains highly problematic and dangerous. It identifies six different fears of the Agreement: (1) concerns over the procedural defects of the ACTA negotiation process; (2) the potential for ACTA to ratchet up the already very high existing intellectual property standards within the United States; (3) ACTA would undoubtedly lead to greater protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights abroad, especially in developing countries; (4) ACTA could backfire on U.S. consumers and businesses, even if no legislative changes are indeed required to meet the new treaty obligations; (5) ACTA would result in the development of a new, freestanding, and self-reinforcing infrastructure for facilitating future efforts to ratchet up international intellectual property standards; (6) ACTA is unlikely to be as effective as rights holders and policymakers in the negotiating parties have anticipated.

Suggested Citation

Yu, Peter K., Six Secret (and Now Open) Fears of ACTA (June 14, 2010). SMU Law Review, Vol. 64, pp. 975-1094, 2011, Drake University Law School Research Paper No. 11–12, Available at SSRN:

Peter K. Yu (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX Tarrant County 76102
United States


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