A comprehensive text of a new international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been released, protecting clothing and textile manufacturers against illicit copies through tough criminal penalties for counterfeiters. It follows an agreement at ACTA talks in Tokyo this past weekend on all major outstanding issues.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk hailed the deal’s “tremendous progress in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy”.

It will bind signatories – initially developed economies – to “provide for criminal procedures and penalties…[for] willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale”.  This would be punished with fines and imprisonment “sufficiently high to provide a deterrent”.

The idea is that ACTA becomes a global standard, adopted by major emerging economies, such as China, who are the source of so many counterfeit goods.