International Trademark Association (INTA) Releases "IP in Space" White Paper

On 10 May 2022, the International Trademark Association (INTA) published a landmark white paper titled "IP in Space". With economic activity in outer space expected to soar in the coming years, this white paper underscores the urgent need to foster and protect intellectual property (IP) in this new frontier.


The white paper indicates that while commercial plans have been regularly announced for new initiatives in space in the last few years, among them the private sector's launch of rockets, satellites, and even tourist services to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), space remains largely a legal vacuum, particularly so in the area of IP.


In the white paper, INTA's IP in Space project team, by reviewing current outer space treaties, national laws that relate to outer space, arbitration systems, white papers from the United Nations and the World Intellectual Property Organization, law professor and aerospace executive interviews, and other resources, proposes ten major approaches for further consideration to create a legal infrastructure for IP in space.


Of the ten approaches, seven are for the creation of rights and three for the enforcement of these rights. Short term (up to 2030) proposals address the expansion of the scope of the Madrid System for the international registration of trademarks to include a new jurisdiction called "Outer Space". Natural laws, contracts, database creation, court establishment, and arbitration are also addressed. In the medium term (through 2040), space treaties and a new arbitration tribunal are suggested, and for the long term (through 2050), expansion of the previously proposed treaty, as well as IP registries and enforcement are proposed.


Date:2023-05-23Return to List
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