Among the various categories of intellectual property, the territoriality principle is applied most strictly to patent protection of inventions and copyright protection of works of authorship. The basic international standards for patent and copyright protections are set forth, respectively, in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. As of April 15, 2002, 163 States are members of the Paris Union and 149 States are members of the Berne Union. Japan acceded to the Paris and Berne Conventions in 1899. A patent granted in one country has no effect beyond the territorial boundary of that country and cannot be infringed upon in other countries. Almost all patent infringement actions filed with the Japanese courts involve Japanese patents and there is no need to discuss conflict of laws in these cases. This Essay will take up a handful of non-Japanese patent cases brought in the Japanese courts, discuss conflict of laws aspects in those cases, and clarify the applicability of the territoriality principle.
The Territoriality Principle of Patent Protection and Conflict of Laws: A Review of Japanese Court Decisions,
26 Fordham Int'l L.J. 377
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol26/iss2/7