JEAIL > Volume 13(1); 2020 > Article
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2020

Theoretical Territoriality Paradox for the Intellectual Property Protection in Outer Space and Its Regulatory Approach for Reconciliation

Zhijie Chen
Faculty of Law, University of Macau, E32, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau, China.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The sustainable development of outer space demands the protection of intellectual property in outer space. However, it worth noting that the intellectual property international treaties have not explicitly regulated in their provisions the issue of intellectual property protection in outer space, neither the provisions of the five outer space treaties explicitly address the legal issue. One suspicious rationale resulting in this legal status is the theoretical territoriality paradox between the legal regimes of outer space and intellectual property. This article aims to unveil the theoretical territoriality paradox by comparing the two legal regimes of outer space and intellectual property. It then moves to argue that the paradox is proved to be a theoretical problem since the legal value of Article VIII of the Outer Space Treaty elaborately reconcile the theoretical paradox and practically provides a self-contained mechanism that would permit guaranteed levels of intellectual property rights protection in outer space.

Keywords : Outer Space, Intellectual Property, Territoriality Paradox, OST

View the Full Text