Thanks to the IPKat for an email tipping me off about a communiqué from the G20 Summit taking place this week in London which has tonight announced that consensus on the establishment of a World Intellectual Property Litigation Court by 2012. I understand that the communiqué was first picked up by the highly influential and ever-vigilant Intellectual Property Watch weblog and news service. It’s currently the middle of the night for IPWatch – so look out for the blog posts early in the morning.
The notion of a World Intellectual Property Litigation Court was first conceived by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which has more than a decade of experience in the provision of IP arbitration and mediation services regarding domain names as well as conventional forms of IP. WPO sees the proposed court as a convenient forum for dealing with issues arising from the planned global patent, trademark and other registered rights systems that are seen as a natural extension of the present Patent Cooperation Treaty and Madrid and Hague systems for obtaining rights internationally. Indeed, construction has already commenced on several sites in Geneva in anticipation of the G20 decision, each of which would house not only the courts but also the host of translators which the new scheme is expected to attract.
There’s still a lot of detail to be sorted through before the Court commences in 2012. The Chinese have suggested that this Court be located in China, since that is where everyone says most infringing products are made. The French have indicated that a Chinese forum will only be acceptable if the language of the proceedings is French. The Germans are advocating the use of German judges for the sake of efficiency, while the United States is holding out for the rendition of defendants so that their liability can be established before they stand trial. The British say that, if the court is to be located outside the United Kingdom, it should at least have a British President (Lord Justice Jacob is strongly tipped).
G20 insiders have indicated that the proposed court is to be overseen by a panel of influential and internationally respected jurists in the field of intellectual property, of whom Senor Ignacio P. Gato has been touted as a possible candidate. Prof. Dr. Dr. jur. Wilhelm Neu is also among the contenders, as the is Vietnamese jurist Dun Kan Buc Nel.
[Note – this was an April Fool’s Day joke. I’ve come back and put this note in on 3 April because apparently the news was quite believable. Each of the three participants (Jeremy Phillips, William New and I) have received a lot of email and comments about it. Most people enjoyed the joke and added their own spin, some were outraged while others perplexed. I wanted to make sure that readers in the future aren’t too alarmed by it all.]