Edited by Paul Torremans
Chapter 10: Recognition and enforcement of judgments: Recent developments
Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are of great importance for an effective protection of intellectual property rights in the international sphere. Due to the separation of national judicial systems, the effects of a judgment are in principle limited to the territory of the country whose court rendered it. Therefore, a foreign judgment must be recognized or declared enforceable in the local forum in order to produce its typical effects as a judgment, such as res judicata, beyond the country where it was rendered. The trend to restrict the scope of exclusive jurisdiction in intellectual property matters favours the cross-border adjudication of disputes in this area, and strengthens the practical significance of recognition and enforcement of judgments. Enforcement abroad may be decisive to ensure the authority of an injunction ordering a party to desist from an infringement in the territory of several countries since injunctions are typically to be enforced in the country of protection of an intellectual property right. Money judgments against defendants without sufficient assets in the forum State also raise special needs. It becomes necessary to pursue additional litigation in a country where the defendant has assets unless the original judgment can be enforced in such country. In addition, recognition of a foreign judgment is needed to prevent subsequent litigation in a different forum.
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