There is no global patent that will secure protection for an invention globally, and as the title of the book Global Patents: Limits of Transnational Enforcement (Oxford University Press, 2012) suggests, holders of national patents have a limited ability to enforce their patents across national borders. While national patent systems have undergone significant internationalization in the past 140 years, and international treaties and agreements among national patent offices have been designed to simplify the process of obtaining multiple parallel national patents, patent holders still face significant limitations on where they can protect their inventions, particularly if some holders, such as individuals or small and medium enterprises, are constrained by significantly limited resources.
Because of the practical limitations on the territorial scope of patenting, patent holders seek ways to protect their inventions beyond the borders of the countries in which they have secured patents. The third chapter of the book Global Patents: Limits of Transnational Enforcement reviews the various possibilities for extraterritorial extensions of patent protection and their limitations; the chapter employs a comparative perspective of the problem and focuses on the laws of the United States and Germany.
The chapter begins with an historical look at the protection of inventions in the means of transportation that have crossed national borders and continues with a discussion of the protection of inventions that are in transit through a country, including the recent controversy concerning customs border measures in the European Union. The chapter explains the extraterritorial reach of provisions that protect the right to offer to sell a patented invention and provisions that aim at preventing the assembly of inventions abroad or preventing secondary infringements of patents through acts committed abroad. To complete the analysis of the extraterritorial reach of patent protection, the chapter reviews instances of territorially divided infringements that consist of acts committed in multiple countries.
Marketa Trimble, Global Patents: Limits of Transnational Enforcement – Preface and Chapter 3: Protecting an Invention Outside the Protecting Country, Available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2130268, (2012)
Trimble, Marketa, Global Patents: Limits of Transnational Enforcement – Preface and Chapter 3: Protecting an Invention Outside the Protecting Country (January 31, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2130268