SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Saturday joined a multilateral accord aimed at combating counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual properties, Seoul's trade ministry said.
A group of 11 parties have been in negotiations over the agreement, but eight countries, including Japan, the U.S., Singapore and New Zealand, signed the accord in Tokyo earlier in the day, it said.
The European Union (EU), Mexico and Switzerland are expected to join the agreement by May 1, 2013, according to officials at the ministry.
The anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) is aimed at reducing copyright and trademark theft and enhancing intellectual property rights.
The agreement will help strengthen criminal and civil suits against counterfeiting and piracy, the ministry said.