So I have been doing some research on ways on counterfeiting and the ways that companies protect themselves from it. And it is such a complex issue that it is making my head spin. You have laws and organizations regulating things in order to protect the public and companies from individuals or organizations trying to either use a name that they do not own for profit and/or just having a total disregard for the public health and safety. And then you have governmental bodies stepping in and supposedly protecting the publics interest. But then politics got entangled and it all turned to shit and well we have the current mess.
All my troubles of navigating through the sea of complementing trade agreements and laws it turns out that patents are very essential to international trade. And while the system might not be far from perfect you cannot remove patents because this essentially will destroy international trade. Currently the only way that a company can protect it’s profits and name from others infringing on it is by enacting it’s patent rights. Provided that we are talking about a country which does recognize WTO’s agreements it either goes to court or the contraband goods are destroyed leaving the market to the real owner of the brand name.
All that is great however, when you look at the list of the ACTA participants you quickly realize that none of the large counterfeit originators are there.
So how relevant is the ACTA even if it does cover over 80% of the world’s goods manufacturers? It looks more like an assembly of the manufacturers rather than the potential markets and I am afraid it is not really going to have the desired effect. But anyway I was surprised to what extent patents actually control international trade and how without patents one cannot even start thinking about protecting a company’s profits in international trade. This essentially means that a company trying to engage in international trade would have to be very weary and a lot of companies will probably choose not to engage in international trade until they are a lot bigger and their infrastructure can really cope with problems. Only that will likely increase the price of traded goods and in turn increase the demand for counterfeit. So in a way patents are very good for international business and for customers. … who would’ve thought …