I have developed a technology that will keeps fruits in storage and transport from spoiling prematurely. The problem is global in nature which means that I have to be mindful of where my markets are and protect my IP accordingly.
One of the sectors giving me problems from an IP perspective is trans-ocean shipping because the goods (and my technology) moves from one port to another. I am interested in how jurisdiction is determined and how/where I am exposed if I do not protect adequately. I cannot sensibly patent every nation in the world and I am trying to be strategic about which nations I enter into at national phase.
A potential scenario is this: a shipping container full of bananas is loaded in one nation, bound for another. My inventive device is onboard the shipping container and is owned by the ocean transport company. The invention operates the entire time the bananas are in the shipping container which includes it being loaded onto a ship at Nation A, traversing international waters, and then being off-loaded at Nation B and delivered to a distributor somewhere in Nation B. It is even possible that the container is transshipped from Nation B to Nation C.
Lets say the bananas were loaded in Ecuador and bound for Belgium and the ocean transport company is multinational and has offices on every continent. Should I just protect Belgium because the goods will be landed there or do I need to protect both Ecuador and Belgium? Does the boundary into international waters act like a reset button on jurisdiction or anything like that? Does the multinational reach of the ocean transport company factor into consideration? Should I have broad coverage through the EU to project against transshipments to surrounding nations?
I know just enough about IP to get myself in trouble but nowhere near enough to get myself out of it. I'm really hoping that you might help me understand this type of situation better so that I can plan accordingly.