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The Universe of IP in Space

Intellectual Property   |   Technology   |   February 28, 2021
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Carlton Fields attorney Clark Lackert was featured in an Asia IP article, “The Universe of Space,” and accompanying video on the topic of intellectual property in outer space.

“The purpose of the ISS has been changing through the years. It started out as pure science,” said Lackert. “Now it’s interested in education and commercialization and other things that can be done in a space station.”

This increase in commerce comes with inquiries about how to handle corresponding intellectual property issues, including protecting products, curbing counterfeiting, enforcing licenses, etc. Treaties could certainly help, but many lawmakers and countries have been hesitant to start this lengthy process, so little progress has been made.

“I think there is concern in certain sectors that we don’t want to overregulate space. We are concerned that this type of IP protection may somehow stifle exploration because the treaties, especially the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, have said that outer space in general is for common humanity,” stated Lackert. “But that doesn’t mean we cannot have IP laws or any other kind of law to protect our development especially on the commercial side.”

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