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Barriers to the Cross-Border Flow of Intellectual Assets: the Case of Trade Secrets and Music Print
Brown Bag/GIAN-SNIS Seminar, Speakers: Professor Jacques de Werra, University of Geneva and Mr. Takeshi Hishinuma, Institute of Intellectual Property (IIP) of Japan, foreword by Prof. Dr. Cyrill P. Rigamonti, University of Bern
29 April 2009, 12.15 - 13.45 Auditorium Anna Nussbaum, WTI, Berne, Switzerland

This seminar aims at reporting research outcomes of an academic project sponsored by the Swiss foundation of GIAN/SNIS and then exchanging viewpoints with experts of international trade. Participation and discussion are highly encouraged during the Seminar. Barriers to cross-border intellectual assets rooted from various causes. Our project focused mainly on legal backgrounds, integrating business practices and development viewpoints.

Trade secrets and music copyright are two subject matters. First, the transfer of patented technology alone, without the transfer of related trade secrets, does not constitute an effective transfer of knowledge. Pressure of the “TRIPS flexibilities” cannot enable or obligate the transfer of non-disclosed information, since they are not visible externally unlike patent. Invited speakers analyze and present theoretical framework in a few countries such as China and India as well as developed countries. Then, issues relating to copyright, such as rights management, private international law issues, and cultural aspects that may affect the cross-border flow of such assets, will be discussed.


12:15 Prof. Dr. Cyrill P. Rigamonti: Foreword

12:25 Takeshi Hishinuma: Brief overview of the GIAN project, and issues relating to cross-border transfer of trade secrets and copyright from East Asian perspectives

12:45 Professor Jacques de Werra: Cross-border transfer of trade secrets and copyright : a view from Switzerland towards Asia

13:05 Discussion

Biographies of the Speakers

Professor Jacques de Werra teaches intellectual property law and contract law at the law school of the University of Geneva. He authored a doctoral thesis on the topic of the right of integrity under Swiss and comparative copyright laws which he finished as a visiting scholar at the Max-Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law in Munich (in 1996). He subsequently practiced law in Switzerland, before going to the US where he obtained an LL.M. degree at Columbia Law School (2001) and was admitted to the New York bar (2002). He joined the Law School of the University of Geneva as a full time faculty in 2006 after having practiced intellectual property law and business law in Switzerland and in New York. He is a co-director of the Geneva Art-Law Center ( and also a WIPO panelist for domain name disputes. He has participated in the GIAN project as a principal member.

Takeshi Hishinuma is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Intellectual Property (IIP) of Japan, working on cross-border protection and management of IP. He was a coordinator of a GIAN project on the promotion of cross-border flow of IP. He has worked on IP issues at UN organizations since 2002. His current participation is academic. He obtained Certificat en relations internationales from Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales (HEI) of Geneva, Masters’ degrees (LL.M) from Harvard and New York Universities, and a law degree from the University of Tokyo.

Professor Dr. Cyrill Rigamonti teaches international intellectual property law at the University of Bern. His work has been published in the Harvard International Law Journal and the American Journal of Comparative Law, as well as in leading European IP journals, and he was the first legal scholar to be awarded the Prix Jubilé from the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences. His writing has also earned him the Mancini and Addison Brown prizes from Harvard Law School. In 2007, he was awarded a substantial multi-year grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation to fund his current comparative project on third party liability in intellectual property law. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School (S.J.D), Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M.), and the University of Zurich (J.D./Ph.D.). He is admitted to practice in New York and Zurich.

The event is sponsored by GIAN/SNIS, the Swiss Network for International Studies.

For more information on the project 'The Promotion of Cross-border Exchange of Intellectual Assets between China, Japan and Switzerland - The Case of Music and Trade Secrets', please visit:

Réseau universitaire international de Genève, Geneva International Research Network

SNF - Swiss National Science Foundation The National Centres of Competence in Research are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation