The localization of IP infringements in the online environment: From Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 and the metaverse – New study for WIPO

· metaverse,Web 3,jurisdiction,localization,WIPO

Over time, technological advancements have resulted in novel ways both to exploit content and to infringe rights – including IPRs – vesting in them.

Legislative instruments have consistently clarified that pre-existing rights continue to apply to new media, i.e., means to disseminate intangible assets, including in digital and online contexts.

In terms of rights enforcement, however, the progressive dematerialization of content and dissemination modalities has given rise to challenges, including when it comes to determining where an alleged IPR infringement has been committed.

Why localization matters

The importance of localizing the alleged infringement cannot be overstated. It is inter alia key to determining:

  • Whether the right at issue (e.g., a registered IPR) is enforceable at the outset,
  • Which law applies to the dispute at hand, as well as, in accordance with certain jurisdictional criteria
  • Which courts are competent to adjudicate it.

For example, determining that the relevant infringement has been committed in country A serves in turn to determine: (i) if the right at issue is enforceable at all, given that IPRs are territorial in nature. So, if the IPR in question is a national trade mark, the infringement needs to be localized in the territory of the country where the right is registered; (ii) whether, e.g., country A’s law is applicable to the dispute at hand; and (iii) if, e.g., the courts in country A have jurisdiction to adjudicate the resulting dispute.

broken image