Volume 35

The Impact of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on the Knowledge Economy: The Accountability of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for the Creation of IP Enforcement Norms Through Executive Trade Agreements

Written by Eddan Katz & Gwen Hinze

U.S. trade policy on Intellectual Property (IP) enforcement is at a crossroads in the governance of the global knowledge economy. Calls for a war on counterfeiting and piracy have intensified, led by a coalition of multinational corporations in the entertainment, pharmaceutical, and luxury goods industries, that rely on expanding IP protection for their business models. This coalition has pursued the growth of IP rights in multilateral institutions over the past two decades to secure its incumbent position in the knowledge economy. These efforts now threaten to undermine the balance of IP at the foundation of sustainable innovation and creativity. IP enforcement isolated from innovation policy ignores the legal flexibility that enables information technology to emerge, obstructs access to knowledge, and threatens citizens’ civil liberties.


 

Practicing International Law in the Obama Administration

Written by Harold Hongju Koh & Aaron Zelinsky

Over the past half-century, the Office of the Legal Adviser in the U.S. Department of State has grown significantly in size and scope. During that time, a handful of articles have described the work of the Legal Adviser. This Essay builds upon those accounts by describing the role of the Legal Adviser in the still-young Obama Administration.


 

Combating Piracy in East Africa

Written by W. Michael Reisman & Bradley T. Tennis

The sharp spike in pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of East Africa over the last three years has renewed international interest in the suppression of maritime piracy.1 While international efforts to curb piracy in the region have met with some success, a permanent solution requires that local governments take primary responsibility for its suppression. Superficially, the situation in East Africa shares a number of characteristics with a spate of pirate attacks perpetrated roughly a decade ago on vessels traversing the Strait of Malacca. In each case, pirates and armed robbers took advantage of a narrow channel, heavily used in ocean-faring commerce. Although small-scale robberies remain a persistent problem in the South China Sea, attacks on ships traversing the Malacca Strait have diminished dramatically following the establishment of a coordination agreement between governments in the region. There are surely lessons to be learned from the largely successful attempts to control piracy in Southeast Asia, but the nature of the situation in East Africa cautions against simply duplicating the Southeast Asian approach. The scope of the problem in Somalia, combined with the relative weakness of regional governments, suggests that a successful regional cooperation agreement will require international legal and financial support.