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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

G20 recommends World IP Court by 2012

While the problems facing the leaders of the world's major economies are enormous, it is notoriously difficult for them to identify solutions on which they share a common outlook. However, the IPKat learns from the authoritative Intellectual Property Watch weblog and news servive that a communiqué from the G20 Summit taking place this week in London announced late last night that consensus had been achieved in at least one small area of global significance, though one which is of serious concern to IP practitioners and their clients: an agreement has been struck in principle on the establishment of a World Intellectual Property Litigation Court by 2012. 


Right: the G20 countries have promised that the new court will have a futuristic appearance

The notion of a World Intellectual Property Litigation Court was first conceived by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which has more than a decade of experience in the provision of IP arbitration and mediation services regarding domain names as well as conventional forms of IP. WPO sees the proposed court as a convenient forum for dealing with issues arising from the planned global patent, trade mark and other registered rights systems that are seen as a natural extension of the present Patent Cooperation Treaty and Madrid and Hague systems for obtaining rights internationally. Indeed, construction has already commenced on several sites in Geneva in anticipation of the G20 decision, each of which would house not only the courts but also the host of translators which the new scheme is expected to attract. Said a spokesman for WIPO:
"The World Intellectual Property Organization welcomes this adoption of this proposal as a recognition of the need to balance the requirements of least developed litigation nations (the "LDL" group) with the fair treatment of intellectual property owners and creators, having regard to the organization's development programme and the need to preserve the organisation's prerogatives from unwarranted encroachments by the World Trade Organization".
This proposal, while warmly adopted in principle by the G20 heads, is fraught with problems. The Chinese have suggested that this Court be located in China, since that is where most infringing products are made. The French have indicated that a Chinese forum will only be acceptable if the language of the proceedings is French. The Germans are advocating the use of German judges for the sake of efficiency, while the United States is holding out for the rendition of defendants so that their liability can be established before they stand trial. The British say that, if the court is to be located outside the United Kingdom, it should at least have a British President (Lord Justice Jacob is strongly tipped).

G20 insiders have indicated that the proposed court is to be overseen by a panel of influential and internationally respected jurists in the field of intellectual property, of whom Senor Ignacio P. Gato has been touted as a possible candidate; other highly-tipped jurists are Prof. Dr. Dr. jur. Wilhelm Neu and the Vietnamese scholar Dhuun Kan Buc Nel.

The G20 nations are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus the European Union (represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank).

Says the IPKat, this proposal makes a welcome change from endless discussions about money, probably because the G20 nations have finally come to recognise the true monetary value of IP and the loss to their coffers through counterfeits and frauds.  Merpel says, a World IP Litigation Court by 2012? That'll be just in time to litigate the ambush marketing consequent on the London Olympics.

17 comments:

Chong-Yee Khoo said...

What a fine initiative from the bureaucrats in Geneva! This will hopefully bring to an end the litigation between the Italians and the Finns over the disastrous spaghetti harvest of some years ago. Let's just hope that WIPO won't use this as an excuse to raise its fees again, though.

Rebecca Giblin said...

Thanks for the smile Jeremy :)

Anonymous said...

let the best of IP brains, experienced people from all over the world hold the helm, may be there could be nominations from all over the world, followed by allocation and appointments, which could be for a limited or unlimited period of time depending upon the avaiability of the people and theor willingness to take up the hot seats

Jeremy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This proposal does nothing to help the developing countries that depend on ip infrignemnt for their living

Anonymous said...

The tenure of the judges should be for no less than 95 years. None of this 70 year compromise talk.

Anonymous said...

And the appointed day in 2012 will be, let me guess, April the First. Nice one Jeremy.

Anonymous said...

I'd just add a couple of floors to the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg rather than build afresh in Geneva. Advertise for a couple of IP judges going spare in various parts of the globe. Qualifications: well, you'll need to cut and paste and type the following words: "This is a matter of global assessment rather than abstract data or a priori rules. Next please"

Anonymous said...

Nice, took me a while to work out Ignacio P Gato!

Anonymous said...

Surely there is a crucial role somewhere in this future world for the EPO's Senõr Eos?

Dr. Kleiner-Aprilscherz said...

Wonderful proposal. Jeremy, you forgot to mention that Kamil Idris is now secretly tipped to head the court.

John H said...

I applaud this far-reaching and long-overdue proposal. The concerns of smaller, Global South nations could be alleviated if the court is actually located in a non-G20 nation.

My proposal would be the island republic of San Seriffe. San Seriffe's beautiful capital, Bodoni, would be an ideal location for the court. The only difficulty would come in cases involving rights in fonts, where all the Seriffean judges would have to recuse themselves.

I therefore suggest that the court spend 10 months of the year in San Seriffe, and for the remaining two months moves to Strasbourg, to hear any cases relating to fonts and other typographical issues.

Anonymous said...

And David Lammy is tipped to be Vice-President of the Court. Mr Lammy is rumoured to have enrolled for a crash course in Intellectual Property Law. Will his tutor perhaps be Professor Jeremy Phillips?

Anonymous said...

The comment of Italian moral rights specialist Innocentio Dieci about this IPKat scoop: "Troppo vero".

C.E. Petit said...

Beer-lovers and punters everywhere have already asked William Hill to start taking bets on the judge-spread of the first Budweiser ruling from the new Court, with side bets on how many jurisdictions will be excluded from the general judgment.

Oh, wait. That's almost a serious note.

Anonymous said...

I must be getting naive in my old age - I fell for it until I began reading the comments...

I take it the European Unified Patent Litigation System (as described seven posts down) is genuine?

My brain is clearly too fuzzy in the mornings to appreciate the difference between the two ideas...

MaxDrei said...

Well done Jeremy, not just for the idea but also for stimulating such an amusing thread of comments. I look forward to another April Fool next year; well before then, there will already be no shortage of new material to work with.

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