Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution at Trade Shows

FOI Jean Sternlight (UNLV) brings us this conference opportunity from the city that may lay claim to the home of the most trade shows.

Have you ever thought about the exciting disputes that can arise at trade shows?  In Las Vegas, we have, as our city hosts many trade shows.  If you want to get a sense, check out this entertaining 2016 Bloomberg video showing U.S. federal marshals enforcing a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) issued against a Chinese exhibitor at the famed Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas.  IP rights owners such as the California startup in the report often request trade show TROs to prevent large international infringements that could snowball way beyond the trade show itself.

But TROs are not necessarily an ideal means of resolving these kinds of disputes.  They can be costly, inefficient, unfair, and difficult to enforce.  They can lead to lots of stress for all concerned.  UNLV IP expert Professor Marketa Trimble has written two articles relating to this topic. Her Brooklyn Law Review article examines the use of TROs for this purpose, drawing on an empirical study of filings in Las Vegas.  Marketa’s second article , forthcoming in the Ohio State JDR, looks at existing and potential uses of arbitration and mediation to resolve these disputes.  It turns out that U.S. trade show operators may be able to learn from the ADR mechanisms being used elsewhere.  The Swiss Baselworld trade show ADR mechanism is legendary; Baselworld’s specialized Panel has handled IP rights disputes since 1985.  Another Swiss trade show operator,  Palexpo Trade Fairs SA, has partnered with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center and launched the WIPO Fast-Track Procedure for IP rights disputes; the Procedure has been available at Palexpo’s International Motor Show in Geneva each year since 2015.

You can come learn more at a forthcoming conference “Intellectual Property Rights at Trade Shows: International Perspectives and Best Practices”.  This conference will be held on October 4, 2018, at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is co-sponsored by the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution.  Conference panelists will include judges, attorneys, professors and lawyers for trade show operators from the United States and other countries.  But, before you book your tickets, please note that this date is (most unfortunately) in conflict with the upcoming ADR Section Works in Progress workshop that will be sponsored by the University of Maryland.  Conflict is inevitable, as we all know.  But conflict is also opportunity: two great options.


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