International Institute of Space Law

Article

Intellectual Property Protection, a Financial Aspect of the ISS

Authors Gabriella Catalano Sgrosso
Author's information

Gabriella Catalano Sgrosso
University of Rome, Italy, sgrossogabriella@gmail.com.
  • Abstract

      This paper analyzes, on the one hand, the legitimate expectations and needs of the industries in terms of intellectual property protection for outer space research, as they need to be protected against violations and be free to grant exploitation licenses. On the other hand, it investigates if the use and exploitation of outer space and celestial bodies is carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries.
      The key issue of the protection of inventions in accordance with national and international regulations will also be addressed in the paper.
      The paper will start from a combined analysis of art. 5 of the IGA, establishing that each Partner shall retain jurisdiction and control over the elements it registers, and art. 21 of the IGA, which regulates intellectual property based on the quasi-territorial principle, and sets out that the regulations of the State in whose registered modules the invention occurs shall apply. The paper aims to examine national intellectual property protection regulations, highlighting possible conflicts of applicable national laws with respect to the place where the invention occurs and inventor nationality, but also regarding the recognition of the different patent systems adopted by ISS Partner States. European Partner States enjoy a privileged position, as set forth by paragraph 2 of art. 21 of the IGA.
      As the unique environment of the ISS calls for quick recognition of intellectual property licenses obtained in other Partner States, the paper will analyze the different Partners’ national legislation, existing International Conventions on the matter, such as the TRIPS Agreement, and European patent regulations, which streamline procedures and introduce stringent minimum protection standards in all the areas of intellectual property.

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