IPR Protection In Outer Space Activities
Space exploration began in October 1957 when Russia launched its unmanned satellite Sputnik-I into outer space. United States followed this space venture by unmanned satellite Explorer I in 1958. Later Russia sent first manned satellite Vostak I into earth’s orbit in April 1961, followed by United States with a manned satellite a month later.
Space law is a part of International Law which applies to the outer space region. Now the term “Outer space Region” means 100 kilometres upward beyond the surface of earth. Below this region, there is the area of air space. However, the boundary between air space and outer space has not been defined by any international agreement. By customary practice, we may say that below 100 kilometres from earth, the spacecraft do not descent and above this surface the aircraft do not fly. At the beginning of Space Age, space activities were mainly public activities or governmental activities but they were not commercial. However, in modern days, the exploration and use of the outer space is not limited to public and governmental activities but it somehow extends to private and commercial enterprises. The legal justification of this one may find in Article VI of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty which provides that States shall be responsible internationally for national activities in outer space carried out by Governmental agencies or by non-governmental agencies and that also state shall authorise the activities of non-governmental in outer space. These activities include remote sensing from space, direct broadcasting, and launch and space vehicle services, manufacturing in space and microgravity research, among others. But the question is whether sufficient protection exists for the private sector to undertake commercial space activities i.e whether companies believe they can obtain a sufficient return on their investment. In developing and commercializing any new technology on Earth or in space, protection of one's creativity is vital to success. Many times creativity results in intangible or intellectual property, which includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Although the national laws and international agreements providing for intellectual property protection on Earth are well-known, and unresolved areas fairly well defined but in space, intellectual property protection is subject to greater unknowns. The technology is often novel and the law at best developing. The international law of outer space is essentially based on the interpretation and implementation of the United Nations' space treaties. These treaties primarily address governmental activities in space but do not specifically address intellectual property protection, which is very important for private sector to get commercially involved in space activities. The recognition of the rights and responsibilities of non-governmental entities in space will evolve with increasing activity by such entities in the space environment.
SOVEREIGNTY IN OUTER SPACE
On 20 December 1961, the United Nation passed a resolution 1721 as follows; (a) International law, including the charter of the United Nations, applies to outer space and celestial bodies, (b) outer space and celestial bodies are free for exploration and use by all States in conformity with international law and are not subject to national appropriation. Article II of the Outer space Treaty states “outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means”. Thus there is no state sovereignty in outer space. It is regarded as a “Res Communis”. It is a public domain or public property. So, outer space is not owned or controlled by anyone and it is available for anyone to use for any purpose. This, however, does not mean that States, in exploring and using outer space, cannot exercise any degree of authority. According to Article VIII of the Outer space Treaty, 1967 the jurisdiction and control over a space object any personnel thereof shall remain in the state which registers such space object.
INTERNATIONAL REGIME OF SPACE LAW
At the beginning of space age there were various legal issues of space law. The major concern was about sovereignty of outer space. Jurisdiction over space object, liability and responsibility of states for damages were other major areas of concern. Some issues were raised that whether space to be developed like the Law of Sea or the Law of Air and also whether space should be free for exploration or not. To solve these problems and question, the United Nation made an ad-hoc committee for Peaceful uses of Outer space (COPUOS). Through the help of COPUOS, the UNs passed a resolution 1721 of 20 December 1961, which provides that International law, including the charter of the United Nations, applies to outer space and celestial bodies and outer space is free for exploration and use by all States in conformity with international law and are not subject to national appropriation. However, it is important to mention that there are a numbers of treaties and agreements vis-à-vis conventions on space law enacted till now and International Law of Outer Space is based on these treaties. These are Outer Space Treaty 1967, Rescue Agreement 1968, Liability Convention 1972, Registration Convention 1975 and Moon Agreement 1979. Among them the most important treaty is Outer Space Treaty. Like Chicago Convention of 1944 for civil aviation, the Space Treaty is a charter for space law. Being the first international document, covering space law, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty lays down the basis in which space law may be further developed. It establishes broad general principles for the use and exploration of outer space which are as follows:-
Right to Use an Outer Space but not to appropriate it
Article 1 and Article 2 of Outer Space Treaty 1967 deal with this principle. According to article 1, Outer Space is free for use and exploration by all states and Article 2 states that Outer Space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty or by means of use or occupation or by any other means. It means there is no state sovereignty in space.
Application of International Law
Article 3 of the same treaty provides that activities of all state parties in outer space must be carried out according to International Law including Charter of UN.
Obligation to use an outer Space for peaceful purposes
Article 4 incorporates this principle which states that state parties are under an obligation to use the outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes.
State responsibilities for private activities
According to Article 6, state is responsible for the activities in space of the Government or non-governmental agencies and that the state must authorise and supervise non-governmental activities in outer space.
Liability for damages
Both Article VII of the Outer Space Treaty and the Liability Convention provide State liability for damages to a third party. The `launching state' is absolutely liable for damage occurring to the surface of the Earth or aircraft in flight. In regards to other objects in an outer space, the launching state is liable when it is at fault. No description of `fault' is given by the Outer Space Treaty. A fault normally refers to negligence or a culpa. However, the degree of such negligence or culpa for the attachment of liability is unclear.The `launching state' is defined as the state that launches, procures a launch or from whose territory or facility the space object in question is launched.
Registration of Space Object
Both in Article 8 and Registration Convention 1975 one will find a state’s obligation to exercise jurisdiction and control over a space object in outer space if such space object is registered in that state’s register.
Besides these 5 kinds of major treaties there are also five resolutions adopted by UN General Assembly which are equally important relating to outer space. They are a) 1963 declaration of legal principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, b) 1982 principles governing direct broadcasting satellites (DBS), c) 1986 principles relating to remote sensing, d) 1992 principles on the use of nuclear power sources in outer space and e) 1996 declaration on international co-operation in outer space for the benefits of third world countries.
MAJOR MULTI-LATERAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TREATIES AND CONVENTIONS
According to Article 2(vii) of the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the Intellectual Property shall include-
a. Literary, artistic and scientific works,
b. Performances of performing artists, phonograms and broadcasts
c. Inventions in all fields of human endeavour
d. Scientific discoveries
e. Industrial designs
f. Trademarks, service marks and commercial names and designations
g. Protection against unfair competition and all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.
Intellectual properties are generally divided into two broad groups namely, “Industrial Property”, meant for functional commercial innovations and “Literary and Artistic Property”, meant for cultural creations. Beyond these, current technological developments necessitate the formation of certain SUI GENERIS systems also. While Patents, Industrial design, trademarks, Geographical indications and Trade Secrets fall in the Industrial Property category, on the other hand Copyright falls in the second category. Other IP protections like Plant Breeder’s Rights, Integrated Circuits Layout Design Protections etc. are grouped under Sui Generis systems. Intellectual property is recognized internationally through a system of treaties and international organizations. The most important organization is the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a special agency of the United Nations. Founded in 1967, the Geneva-based organization administers most of the current international treaties concerning intellectual property issues. There are 24 treaties, which are administered by WIPO including the WIPO convention. Some of the important treaties are briefly discussed below-
1. PARIS CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY, 1983
This convention applies to industrial property including patents, trademarks, industrial design, and geographical indication. This convention lays down two important rules-
a) National Treatment:- it states that each contracting states must grant same protection to the nationals of other contracting states as if it grants to its own nationals.
b) Right of Priority:-According to this principles if a person files an application for his invention in one of the contracting states, then he may also apply for the protection of the same invention in any other contracting states within a certain period of time and this later application will be regarded as if it had been filed on the same day as the first application.
2. BERNE CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTON OF LITERARY AND ARTISTIC WORK, 1986
This convention deals with the protection of copyrights. It also includes three basic principles. These are national treatment like Paris convention; the national treatment must not conditional i.e rule of automatic protection and lastly such protection is independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work. But once protection in the country of origin ceases, then protection may be denied by other contracting states.
3. WIPO COPYRIGHT TREATY (WCT) 1996
This treaty is a special agreement under the Berne Convention. This treaty mentions two subject matters to be protected by copyright-one is computer programmes and other is compilations of data or other material databases in any form which constitute intellectual creations.
IMPORTANCE OF IPR IN SPACE REGIME
Despite the fact that space technology is always one of the most advanced technical area, and outer space activities are, in fact, the fruit of intellectual creations, it is only in recent years that intellectual property protection in connection with outer space activities has raised wider attention. The most important reason is that the space activities are increasingly now shifting from state owned activities to private and commercial activities. These activities include remote sensing from space, direct broadcasting and research and manufacturing in micro-gravity environments. Thus not only commercialization is increasing but also privatization of agencies is equally increasing and these non-governmental entities are more conscious of their property which is both in tangible and intangible forms. Further, today Government agencies are collaborating with the private enterprises for space activities due to financial and technical resources. More licensing contracts are concluded between governmental space agencies and private companies. Such private financing has to be motivated by the expectation that the R&D investment could be recovered in the future. Thus, the intellectual property rights protection in outer space activities definitely bears a positive effect on the participation of the private sector in the development of outer space activities.
Secondly, Globalization of space activities is another reason for growing importance of intellectual property rights protection in space. In case of International Space Station (ISS), more and more space activities are operated under international cooperation schemes. Consequently, there is a need for a simple, uniform and reliable international legal framework. Although national intellectual property laws are well harmonized but different national laws still apply different principles. Therefore, there is a huge need for a uniform legal regime which deals with protection of intellectual property rights in space activities.
Thirdly, due to the advancement of space technology, new business possibilities are emerging. For example, although it is still a dream for the general public, the development of space transportation technology has been clearing the way to space tourism. Up to now, when discussing intellectual property rights protection for space activities, the primary concerns are related to patent protection of inventions created or used in outer space, or copyright protection of databases using data acquired through space activities. If the space tourism becomes reality, the protection of trademarks and industrial design in outer space may also become an important issue.
Therefore, the importance of having a legal regime that protects IPR in space activities cannot be overemphasized. The absence of such regime decreases the efficient international cooperation among states and other entities engaged in space research. IPR protection intends to stimulate the creativity of the human mind for the benefit of the public in such a way that the creator and the investor will be encouraged to be more active in space research and exploration.
APPLICATION OF NATIONAL/REGIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW IN OUTER SPACE
National and regional laws on the protection of intellectual property generally apply only to the territory of the relevant country. Thus, the enforcement of intellectual property in a particular country is governed by the applicable national intellectual property law. Though WIPO treaties and Trade related aspect of intellectual property rights have achieved certain level of harmonisation among various national intellectual property laws but still considerable differences among national/regional intellectual property laws remain which lead to a different level of intellectual property protection in the territory of each country.
On the other hand, one of the most important principles under international space law is the non-appropriation of outer space by any country (Article II of the Outer Space Treaty). The Outer Space Treaty, however, makes a distinction between “outer space as such” and “an object launched into outer space”. As far as an object launched into outer space is concerned, in accordance with Article VIII of the Outer Space Treaty, the State on whose registry such an object is carried shall retain jurisdiction and control over that object, and over any personnel thereof. Further, the Registration Convention introduces a rule regarding who should register a space object. According to that Convention, a “launching State”, which is a State that launches or procures the launching of a space object or a State from whose territory or facility a space object is launched, should register the space object with an appropriate registry. Where there are two or more launching States, they should determine among themselves which one of them should register the object, without prejudice to appropriate agreements concluded among the launching States on jurisdiction and control over the space object and over any personnel thereof. Therefore, according to international space law, the country of registry retains jurisdiction and control over the space object and over any personnel thereof unless otherwise agreed among the launching States. In other words, jurisdiction and control over the space object and its personnel is determined by the nationality (registering State) of the space object.
At the same time a question arises whether the territorial jurisdiction under intellectual property law permits the extension of each national law to the objects which the respective country has registered and launched into outer space. In this respect, two situations arises-
First, which law should apply if the activities are carried out in outer place, regardless of the place where the invention was made? Second, which law should apply if activities are made in outer space but are carried out in or used in one or more countries? In case of second situation National Intellectual property law of the concerned country or countries will apply but in case of first situation till now there is no law. Therefore, a separate consideration as to the applicability of general intellectual property rules may be needed only in so far as activities are carried out in outer space, regardless of the place where the invention was made.
The United States of America is the only country that has enacted an explicit provision establishing a link between the three key elements: inventions, jurisdiction and territory. Section 105 of 35 U.S.C. (Inventions in outer space) reads as follows:
(a) “Any invention made, used, or sold in outer space on a space object or component thereof under the jurisdiction or control of the United States shall be considered to be made, used or sold within the United States for the purposes of this title, except with respect to any space object or component thereof that is specifically identified and otherwise provided for by an international agreement to which the United States is a party, or with respect to any space object or component thereof that is carried on the registry of a foreign state in accordance with the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.”
(b) “Any invention made, used or sold in outer space on a space object or component thereof that is carried out on the registry of a foreign state in accordance with the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, shall be considered to be made, used or sold within the United States for the purposes of this title if specifically so agreed in an international agreement between the United States and the state of registry.”
Therefore, the patent law of the United States of America provides quasi-territorial effect on a space object that is carried on the registry of the United States of America, unless otherwise agreed by an international agreement.
In other countries, there is no explicit statutory provision of this kind, except that, by virtue of the ratification of the 1988 Intergovernmental Agreement, German intellectual property law is applicable to the ESA-registered elements. Some argue that, in the absence of an explicit legal provision, the applicability of national intellectual property law on space objects registered by that State is doubtful. Some others are of the opinion that in consideration of the broad concept of territoriality according to which national patent law may be applicable on ships which fly that State’s flag on the high seas and on aircrafts which are registered by that State, the national patent law might be applicable by way of analogy to space objects registered in that State, even if the national patent law does not expressly provide such applicability to space objects. It should be noted that, in order to clarify this uncertainty in Europe, the Proposal for the Council Regulation on the Community Patent, issued by the European Commission, provides that the Regulation should apply to inventions created in outer space, which are under the jurisdiction and control of one or more member States in accordance with international law.
A similar kind of legal uncertainty also exists in the field of trademarks and industrial designs.
As regards copyright protection, the determination of jurisdiction of a spacecraft is less important, because it is the author’s nationality which, in the first place, determines the status of the work as regards its protection. According to Article 3(1)(a) and (2) of the Berne Convention, the Convention applies to authors who are nationals of one of the countries of the Berne Union or who have habitual residence in one of those countries. Only in the case of non-protected authors, the place of the first publication is of importance (Article 3(1)(b) of the Berne Convention). However, since publication normally involves a significant number of copies, it is not likely to occur in outer space, at least in a near future. This would mean, for example, that if a database is created on a spacecraft, its status as regards protection under the Berne Convention will depend on the nationality of its creator.
NEED FOR HARMONISATION BETWEEN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS AND SPACE LAW
It is known that the regime of intellectual property is governed by the territorial or national laws of respective countries and certain level of harmonisation among these national laws are achieved under the auspices of WIPO and WTO/TRIPS regimes. Under these circumstances, extension of these laws to space, a province of all mankind and having potential for abundant opportunities, deserve a re-examination in view of its ability to undermine global space efforts. Thus now it is very much necessary to establish and develop a unitary/uniform and harmonised IP protection regime for space for the interest of the developing countries. Outer space adds many new legal dimensions to the IP rights such as application of terrestrial based national laws in outer space for acquisition and enforcement of rights, ownership of rights and entitlements for use in joint activities, settlement of disputes and compliance to international obligations.
Some developments are taking place at national, regional and multinational levels, to extend the applicability of terrestrial based IP laws in the outer space. Only USA amended its patent laws extending its territorial jurisdiction to space. Relevant provisions for the applicability of domestic IPR law to Space Activities exist only in US law today, found within the US Space Bill and the NASA act. The US Space Bill extends the applicability of US patent law into Outer Space. The NASA act includes a provision to consider a “space object” as a vehicle.
EXCERPT FROM THE US SPACE BILL
" Any invention made, used or sold in outer space on a space object or component thereof under the jurisdiction or control of the United States shall be considered to be made, used or sold within the United States for the purposes of this title , except with respect to any space object or component thereof that is specifically identified and otherwise provided for by an international agreement to which the United States is a party, or ... carried on the registry of a foreign state in accordance with the Convention of Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space."
Likewise, the Commission of the European Communities includes a proviso in their Community Patent system, which is as follows:
“Article 3.2: This regulation shall apply to inventions created or used in outer space, including on celestial bodies or on spacecraft, which are under the jurisdiction and control of one or more Member states in accordance with international law”
Some revisions in the French Patent Law are also contemplated to accommodate the outer space inventions. Lack of harmony in these recent developments might hurt cooperative space efforts. Therefore, the need for a harmonized IP regime for space activities cannot be over emphasized.
However some international steps had been taken up in this direction. In 1997 WIPO conducted a study which concluded that there was no immediate need for any special international legislation to protect the inventions created or used in outer space. But it was desired that the International Bureau of WIPO could give information on the existing protection of such inventions to interested States and organisations.
Later in July 1999, in conjunction with the Third United Nations Conference on Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III), a Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights in Space was held which gave some specific recommendations. The recommendations made by the Workshop were amended and adopted by the plenary of the Conference, and included in the Report of the Conference as follows:
a) More attention should be paid to the protection of intellectual property rights, in view of the growth in the commercialization and privatization of space-related activities. However, the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should be considered together with the international legal principles developed by the United Nations in the form of treaties and declarations, such as those relating to the principle of non-appropriation of outer space, as well as other relevant international conventions.
b) The feasibility of harmonizing international intellectual property standards and legislation relating to intellectual property rights in outer space should be further explored with a view to enhancing international coordination and cooperation at the level of both the State and the private sector. In particular, the possible need for rules or principles covering issues such as the following could be examined and clarified: applicability of national legislation in outer space; ownership and use of intellectual property rights developed in space activities; and contract and licensing rules
c) All States should provide appropriate protection of intellectual property rights involving space-related technology, while encouraging and facilitating the free flow of basic science information
d) Educational activities concerning intellectual property rights in relation to outer space activities should be encouraged.
It came up during the deliberations that further progress in this regard would be pursued through the Legal sub-committee of the UN-Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).
While advocating for a harmonised legal regime, one should give due respects to international obligations. Full compliance with the founding principles of the space law that are embodied in various treaties and principles would be inevitable. In this context, the recommendations of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), an advisory body of UNESCO, that looked into the issues relating to the ethical dimensions of outer space activities, were adopted at its second session held from December 17 to 19, 2001. It argued that every space policy must be based on the concept of mutual and reciprocal benefits while safeguarding fair competition and the principle of return on investment. It recognises that the importance of ethics in the choice of a specific project and its long term assessment from the viewpoint of human security and economic criteria.
Two very interesting concepts namely, Harmonisation of legislations internationally and Globalisation of jurisdiction in outer space activities are advocated by Bradford Lee Smith. The proposition under Globalisation for single worldwide legislation for space activities in the form of a treaty under the auspices of UNCOPUOS deserves consideration. In this proposal, the total system of patent administration could be managed under the auspices of WIPO through its Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) with a new country code as “Space Patent”. It is further articulated that a dispute settlement mechanism also could be set up under WIPO, in the form of a board that is empowered to arbitrate on patent related disputes in the area of space.
WIPO suggests a broad debate on the long term prospects of space activities, so as to avoid any legal complexities and to strengthen the co-operative space efforts. It asserts that this effort would result in progressive development of a less ambiguous and better co-ordinated international intellectual property framework, which would further promote collective utilization of public and private resources in the area of space technology for the benefit of all nations.
SPACE LEGISLATION IN INDIA
India, like many others countries, has not enacted any space legislation. Therefore, the absence of domestic space legislation as a major lacuna in the Indian Legal System when compared to other developed and developing countries and suggest the drafting of a comprehensive and futuristic domestic enactment on outer space activities.
India is a party to all international space treaties, which form the main body of international space law. India has also played a significant role to adopt 5 sets of legal principles by the U.N General Assembly Resolutions, which provide for the application of international law and promotion of international cooperation and understanding in space activities. It is also under an obligation to give effects to the various rules contained in these norms through the medium of appropriate legislation in the domestic field. All the areas which directly or indirectly related with space activities under the Indian Constitution fall within the domain of the Union by virtue of a series of entries in List I of the seventh schedule to the Constitution of India. Thus it is for the Parliament of India to take the starting step in the direction of enacting a law for India for the purpose of the effective regulation of various aspects of India’s space policy. Because of recent national and global developments, active involvement of the private sector and commercialisation of space activities and the agreements made nationally and globally with various agencies, governments, international and intergovernmental organisations, there is a huge need of space law in India.
The second most important reason for a space law in India is that now the Indian space activities have become vastly diversified and have come to stay, having successfully demonstrated their implicational capabilities, there is a need to redefine and formalize the existing set up of institutional mechanism, and to facilitate inter-departmental coordination, making it a legal norm.
Thirdly, there is a need to clarify applicable legal norms and rules relating to both public laws and private law aspects of space activities, as demonstrated by the experience of developed countries like USA. The public laws deals with competence of authorities in the space field, legal status of space objects, control of space activities, control over space industries, dispute settlement and jurisdiction of courts and security aspects of space activities and installation. On the other hand, Private Laws include fair trade practices, company law, insurance and indemnity, securities, contracts and specific performances, torts, personal property, patents, copyrights and other intellectual property rights etc.
Fourthly commercialisation of the space activities is in the process of establishing a vast space activities and vast space market where India plans to and has already begun to sell, its space products. Thus the question of Antrix corporation-industry relationships, private participation in space activities both in India and in international ventures, transfer of technology and products marketing may need to clarify. So, it is the need of the hour that India should enact domestic space legislation keeping in view of the dramatic changes that are taking place in the domestic as well as international spheres.
Therefore, there is need for India to enact a National Space Legislation as soon as possible. India needs to critically and objectively address all legal and commercial issues related to domestic and international space activities before enactment of space laws. The associated regulatory risks in grant of authorizations, licenses, permits and approvals for communication satellite operations are required to be minimized by properly defining the guidelines and procedures. A well-defined space law shall enable better capitalization and optimization of existing infrastructure and resources by:
(i) Promoting orderly and organized growth of space business by providing recognition and legitimacy to on-going space programs;
(ii) Providing opportunity to potential space operators, domestic and international;
(iii) Promoting development of indigenous technology matching international standards;
(iv) Providing mechanism for enforcement and prevention of misuse of space activities; and
(v) Providing stringent punishment for violators of space law.
India needs to critically and objectively study the provisions contained in the space laws of other countries and also US Space Laws, Commercial Space Act, 1998; Land Remote Sensing Policy Act, of 1992, Inventions in outer space etc. to frame and adopt its own space laws. The Indian domestic space law must include following provisions for peaceful use of outer space for the benefit of all mankind worldwide and aimed at welfare and security of India and also
(i) Provide for aeronautical and space activities to be controlled by a civilian agency except those associated for development of weapons systems, military operations, or the defence of India
(ii) Promote commercial use of space
(iii) Promote development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies, and living organisms through space;
(iv) Provide for licensing norms for space entrepreneurs associated with various commercial activities and applications;
(v) Protect property rights in inventions and stipulate provisions on environment safety;
(vi) Provide for promotion and management of autonomous educational institutions of international standards for nurturing space professionals; (vii) Provide for liability provisions and include insurance and indemnification matters;
(vii) Provide for international co-operation in promoting public safety and space business; and
(viii) Provide for co-operation with defence machinery.
Therefore the proposed legislation should provide for Creation of National Space Agency, Licensing and Certification of space activities, Economic conditions of space activities, a provision on space infrastructure, space safety and space liability, space insurance, international cooperation and protection of intellectual property rights in outer space. This draft should be a convergence of divergent regulations in order to bring a comprehensive and harmonious space legislation that would be beneficial for our Nation.
Space, the “common Heritage of Mankind”, promises ample opportunities for many joint venture programmes involving multi state partners and private entrepreneurs for various innovative applications towards the cause of humankind.
The IP rights acquires certain special dimensions in the outer space particularly inventions made therein. The conflicts between Intellectual Property Laws and Space Law regime could be resolved through a harmonized system which could be developed by the international IPR and Space Law community under the auspices of UN Bodies like UN COPUOS and WIPO. Such a harmonised system of IPR regime for the outer space should fully comply with the basic principles of international space law and such other international obligations. Further it is strongly recommended that the harmonized system takes into account the interests of developing countries as well and promotes moral and ethical usage of the Outer Space for the benefit of the entire humanity.
# Dr.V.Balakista Reddy, ed, Emerging Trends in Air and Space Law, 311( Uppal Publishing House, New Delhi, 2007)
# Leo B. Malagar, Marlo Apalisok Magdoza-Malagar, INTERNATIONAL LAW OF OUTER SPACE AND THE PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, 17 Boston University International law Journal, 311, 1999
Space Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and use of Outer Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, commonly referred to as the Outer Space Treaty, (opened for signature Jan. 27, 1967; entered into force Oct. 10, 1967)
# Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space (opened for signature April 22, 1968; entered into force Dec. 3, 1968).
# Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (opened for signature March 29, 1972; entered into force Oct. 9, 1973).
# Convention on the Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (opened for signature Jan. 14, 1975; entered into force Sept. 15, 1976).
# Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, commonly referred to as the Moon Treaty (opened for signature Dec. 5, 1979; entered into force July 11, 1984). The United States is not a signatory to this treaty; five ratifications: Chile, Philippines, Austria, Netherlands, and Uruguay.
#  Barbara Luxenbery, Protecting intellectual property in space, online available at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/spacelawdocs/6 (visited August 28, 2010)
# Dr.V.Balakista Reddy, ed, Emerging Trends in Air and Space Law, 313 ( Uppal Publishing House, New Delhi, 2007)
# Treaty on principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, (January 27, 1967)
# Chukeat Noichim, The protection of Intellectual property rights in Outer Space of the EU and Thailand available at http://asialaw.tripod.com/articles/ipspacenoichim.html (visited on August 28, 2010)
# Convention establishing the world intellectual property organization, signed at Stockholm on July 14, 1967 and as amended on September 28, 1979, available at fr.expo2010.cn/download/zhishichanquan.pdf (visited on August 12, 2011)
# The commission on intellectual property rights (CIPR), Report: Integrating IPR and development Policy, (London, September 2002)
# Dr.V.Balakista Reddy, ed, Emerging Trends in Air and Space Law, 416 ( Uppal Publishing House, New Delhi, 2007)
# IP and space activities, issue paper prepared by International Bureau of WIPO (April, 2004) available at www.wipo.int/patent-law/en/developments/pdf/ip_space.pdf (visited on September 2, 2010)
# Tomoko Miyamoto, Space related aspects of intellectual property: WIPO’s Role and activity, available at http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=1999ESASP (visited on August 5, 2011)
# Future of air and space law in India by Geetika Gupta and Shubham Srvastava, (IPR issues in space activities- a comparative study of India, USA and CANADA
# Dr.V.Balakista Reddy, ed, Emerging Trends in Air and Space Law, 436 ( Uppal Publishing House, New Delhi, 2007)
# Dr.V.Balakista Reddy, ed, Emerging Trends in Air and Space Law, 416 ( Uppal Publishing House, New Delhi, 2007)
# Space Programme and Business in India-Legal Perspectives by Shashi Sharma, American University, Washington College of Law
# Intellectual property rights and space activities- Emerging issues- V. Gopalakrishnan
The author can be reached at: email@example.com