Monday, April 16, 2012

Professor Marketa Trimble Publishes on Cross-Border Legal Problems Affecting Intellectual Property Rights

UNLV Boyd School of Law Professor Marketa Trimble is publishing two major works in the first half of 2012 (one published, one forthcoming) that have arisen out of her research on transnational litigation and the functioning of national laws on the Internet.

The debate on a major reform of U.S. patent law, which resulted in the adoption of the America Invents Act in 2011, evidenced the desire for greater compatibility of the U.S. patent system with other national patent systems to facilitate access to patenting in multiple countries.

“Inventors are disappointed to learn that there is no global patent available to protect their inventions worldwide,” Trimble said. “Notwithstanding the globalized economy and the territorially unlimited business aspirations of inventors and businesses, patents are still granted country by country, making global protection for an invention very difficult and impossible for small businesses.”

In her book, “Global Patents: Limits of Transnational Enforcement,” published by Oxford University Press in January 2012, Trimble discusses the limitations of protecting inventions globally and explores the possibilities for extending the protection of a single country patent beyond the territory of the country in which the patent is granted. In addition to reviewing international patent law, Trimble discusses and analyzes patent laws in the U.S and Germany—countries among those with the highest volume of patent litigation in the world.

In her second work, to be published later in the first half of 2012, Trimble contributes to the debate about the enforcement of national laws on the Internet.

Discussions about recent legislative proposals on the enforcement of U.S. copyright law on the Internet, such as the proposal for the Stop Online Piracy Act (“SOPA”) and similar initiatives in European countries, have shown that the topic is highly controversial.

Trimble understands the importance of a free media, having grown up during the Soviet era in Central Europe.

“Having grown up behind the Iron Curtain, I am very sensitive to the need for access to uncensored information,” Trimble said. “Listening to foreign radio stations was my family’s everyday routine in Czechoslovakia before 1989 because foreign stations offered the only easily accessible alternative to the local government-censored news. When the government began to interfere with foreign broadcasts in the Czech language, we would tune to the same broadcasts for Poland. I learned quite a bit of Polish that way.”

Trimble’s background and interests in the legal issues of the Internet led her to write about Internet geolocation tools, which are used to limit access to content on the Internet from certain jurisdictions, and explore the legality of the evasion of these tools. Her article, “The Future of Cybertravel: Legal Implications of the Evasion of Geolocation,” will be published by the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal and looks not only at the current status of tools for the evasion of geolocation, but also suggests how the law may treat these tools in the future.

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