Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Nicholas Tsagourias and Russell Buchan
Chapter 4: Cyberspace and intellectual property rights
The cyberspace cannot be conceived as being fragmented into national jurisdictions, because the cyberspace necessarily operates worldwide. In contrast, intellectual property rights are still territorial in nature: they can be studied in relation to copyright protection in general and of computer software in particular, in relation to patent protection of computer-implemented inventions, and, to a lesser extent, with regard to trade mark/domain name protection. However, intellectual property protection has been standardised by international conventions, especially the TRIPS Agreement. This standardisation has also loosened the territoriality principle that governs intellectual property rights. An international convention for the regulation of the cyberspace would have to address the problem of territoriality of intellectual property rights and perhaps consider the establishment of an international organisation for the monitoring and policing of such a convention.
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