Geoblocking and 'Legitimate Trade'
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND OBSTACLES TO LEGITIMATE TRADE (Christopher Heath, Anselm Kamperman Sanders & Anke Moerland eds., Wolters Kluwer, 2018 Forthcoming)
26 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 5, 2018
This chapter discusses the use of tools that facilitate the linking of the internet to physical geography and the obstacles that the use poses for free trade. Using examples of digital goods and services (“content”) protected by intellectual property (“IP”) rights, the chapter reviews whether and how trade law rules, including the concept of “legitimate trade,” and the rules of competition law apply to the use of the tools.
The chapter begins by introducing the current trend of linking the internet to physical geography (the “territorialization” trend), and the geolocation and geoblocking tools that make territorialization possible. The chapter then evaluates from the trade law and competition law perspectives the legality of using geoblocking to partition markets, and it presents recent developments in the European Union that concern the legality of geoblocking. The chapter contemplates the characteristics of geoblocking that might justify treating geoblocking differently from other methods of market partitioning.
The chapter discusses i.a. the new EU Anti-Geoblocking Regulation and the proposed SatCab Regulation.
Keywords: geolocation, geoblocking, internet, copyright, trade, competition, antitrust, European Union, Regulation, market partitioning, territoriality, geography, WTO, TRIPS, legitimate trade, intellectual property, copyright, international, cross-border, transnational, infringement, SatCab, Services
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