Undetected Conflict-of-laws Problems in Cross-Border Online Copyright Infringement Cases

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Volume 18, Issue 1 (Oct 2016)

This article provides and analyzes data based on a study conducted by the author (the “Study”) on copyright infringement cases filed in U.S. federal district courts in 2013. It focuses on infringement cases involving activity on the Internet and discusses actual and potential conflict-of-laws issues that the cases raised or could have raised. The article complements the report entitled Private International Law Issues in Online Intellectual Property Infringement Disputes with Cross-Border Elements: An Analysis of National Approaches (the “Report”), which was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization in September 2015. In the Report, its author, Professor Andrew F. Christie, discusses his empirical findings about the intersection of intellectual property (“IP”) law and conflict of laws and concludes that training activities, further research, and development of soft law would be the optimal means to address conflict-of-laws issues associated with cross-border IP infringements. This article arrives at a different conclusion: while training activities, further research, and the development of soft law may raise awareness of the issues, they will not solve the core problems that IP rights holders face when they strive to protect their rights against infringements on the Internet. Development and coordination of conflict-of-laws rules, improvements in judicial cooperation, and streamlining of judicial proceedings in cross-border cases will be indispensable for addressing the issues effectively.

Marketa Trimble, Undetected Conflict-of-laws Problems in Cross-Border Online Copyright Infringement Cases, 18 N.C.J.L. & Tech. 119 (2016), available at http://ncjolt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Trimble_Final.pdf.

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