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Trade shows (also referred to as trade fairs or exhibitions) are venues for the exchange of information about the newest intellectual property ("IP") and can also be venues where disputes over IP rights arise or escalate. When trade shows become arenas for such disputes, IP right owners seek means to stop infringements of their IP rights on site-at the trade show and with immediate effect. This article reviews from a comparative perspective the options that IP right owners have for immediate relief at trade shows. After considering the limitations that current law imposes on temporary restraining orders in the United States, the article explores alternative dispute resolution ("ADR") mechanisms that some trade show organizers around the world have created to deal with IP rights disputes. The article assesses ADR mechanisms not as alternatives to, but as complements to, court proceedings and points out the positive and negative aspects of ADR mechanisms when the mechanisms are used to address IP rights disputes at trade shows. Drawing on the experiences from other countries, the article recommends that courts support IP rights enforcement at trade shows through the adoption of certain accommodation practices, which can complement ADR mechanisms.


A companion article includes an analysis of the current law on TROs and an empirical study of the TRO practice at the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. See Marketa Trimble, Temporary Restraining Orders to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights at Trade Shows: An Empirical Study, 83 BROOK. L. REV. 1345 (2018)

Publication Citation

34 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 277 (2019).