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The IGA and ESA: Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in the Context of ISS Activities

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Chapter Summary

The development of the International Space Station (ISS), man's new satellite of the Earth, offers an example of unique international partnership between the five ISS Partners. Much has changed in the space industry since the completion of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). European Space Agency (ESA) has no legislative power, the decisions of its member states are taken by consensus and thus ESA is able to encourage and assist its member states to act in a certain direction. This chapter highlights the difference between the various intellectual property titles and discusses to what extent a regulatory change at European level is desirable with the onset of commercialisation. The ability to balance private and public interests successfully is vital for sustainable growth, and the feasibility of achieving this balance is explored in the chapter in order to assess whether commercial utilisation will require, and lead to, a new legal regime.

Keywords: commercialisation; European Space Agency (ESA); intellectual property; Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA); International Space Station (ISS); legal regime



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