On June 28, 2021, Professor Toshiyuki Kono, professor at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, gave a 90-minute lecture on the topic of conflict of laws issues in copyright law as part of Professor Dr. Thomas Hoeren’s copyright lecture.
In his lecture, Professor Kono addressed the justiciability of foreign copyright claims and jurisdictional issues. Using the case of Lucasfilm v. Ainsworth (UKSC 39), he outlined the extensive erosion of the previously applicable Mocambique rule, which denied jurisdiction over proceedings for infringement of rights in foreign land on issues of title or right to possession of the land. The background was that the country in which the property is located should have jurisdiction
In the case explained, however, this rule was largely rejected and the jurisdiction of the English court was affirmed because there was a basis for justiciability in the person of the defendant under the general rules of jurisdiction. In the context of the example explained, Professor Kono emphasized that there is still a need for regulation in this area. In this regard, he referred to the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, signed and approved in 2005, which allows parties to establish the exclusive jurisdiction of a particular court without, however, depriving the author or performer of the protection to which he or she is entitled. Judgments in civil or commercial matters will then be more easily recognized and enforced under the 2019 Hague Convention, which has not yet entered into force. However, intellectual property is excluded from its scope.
In conclusion, Mr. Toshiyuki Kono gave a few examples of applicable law under the general rules, in contractual agreements, and in ubiquitous infringements.
We thank Professor Kono for the fascinating lecture.