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102 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc'y 39 (2021-2022)
The Limited Extraterrestrial Reach of U.S. Patent Law

handle is hein.journals/jpatos102 and id is 45 raw text is: 39

The Limited Extraterrestrial Reach of
U.S. Patent Law
Thomas E. Loop*
The increasing and customary patenting of space-based inventions by
various space-faring nations is reviewed and discussed, including a
showcasing of several exemplary space-based patents from the United
States, Chinese, and Russian patent offices. In view of this growth in
the patenting of space-based technologies (primarily by State actors
from the United States, China and Russia) and noting a perceived
uncertainty regarding the scope of extraterrestrial jurisdiction under
U.S. patent law, the concepts and contours of State sovereignty and
jurisdiction under American and international law are explored and
contrasted. In addition, the present territorial limits and jurisdictional
reach of U.S. patent law on Earth and in outer space are explored with
reference to relevant code, legislative history and case law. Similarly, the
various international agreements (treaties) concerning the patenting of
inventions by States and their actors are likewise reviewed. For purposes
of comparison with space-based inventions, the customary patenting of
inventions concerning activities and resources on Earth within areas of
the global commons - namely, the global commons of (1) Antarctica,
and (2) the deep seabed, by various States and their actors are reviewed
and discussed. For further comparative purposes, the emergence and
principles of international space law, various national space laws, and,
in particular, U.S. space law (and policy) are reviewed and discussed.
Based on the foregoing discussion and analysis, the unresolved tension
between U.S. patent law and international space law is examined and
explained. Finally, and to better encourage the exploration, discovery,
and innovation in outer space and on celestial bodies by American
Loop Intellectual Property Law
website: www.seattlepatentlaw.com
email: thomas@seattlepatentlaw.com

102 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc'y 39 (2021)

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