May 3, 2011

Application of Strict Liability to Intellectual Property Infringement

IP Litigator, November/December 2009

The Doctrine of Strict Liability is the rule compelling a wrongdoer for legal responsibility for the damage incurred by an injured person without the need to prove the wrongdoer’s intention to cause, or negligence resulting in, the injury. The doctrine is commonly known to be applied in many countries to product liability, hazardous activities, and certain offenses including intellectual property infringement. In the United States, for instance, infringement of patent, trademark, and copyright is a strict liability tort by which the owner of the intellectual property is only required to establish (1) that the ownership of the intellectual property, such as copyright, is valid, and (2) that there was infringement of that copyright by the alleged infringer. It is not necessary for the proprietor to prove the intention or negligence of the infringer to conduct the infringement. This is also the case in the United Kingdom, where strict liability is applied to intellectual property infringement. Does this application of the Doctrine of Strict Liability to intellectual property infringement extend to Thailand? This paper explores the scope of strict liability and its applicability to intellectual property infringement in Thailand.