A new publication is available from Research and Markets Ltd. in Dublin:
The business landscape is littered with intellectual property landmines. Microsoft, Apple Computer, Sun Microsystems, Medtronic, Research in Motion and Nintendo are just a few of the companies that have settled patent infringement disputes for hundreds of millions of dollars. Toshiba paid a $425 million judgment to Lexar for violating trade secrets. Pfizer's patents for Viagra were ruled invalid in China and Microsoft faces similar concerns over its Office product in South Korea. In the battle of protecting intellectual property, the IP lawyer is on the front lines.
It is the IP lawyer who:
- Drafts the patent applications, knowing that the defensibility of the firm's intellectual capital hangs on each word that the IP lawyer crafts.
- Must have the prescience to secure valuable IP rights throughout the world in anticipation of his company later doing business in remote markets.
- Must defend his company against attacks by patent trolls.
- Must have the business savvy to transform fierce litigation into mutually beneficial licensing agreements.
- Must retain patent, trademark, and copyright exclusivity while avoiding anti-trust challenges.
This report includes interviews with many of the nation's foremost authorities on the intellectual property law. Intellectual Property Litigation is extremely expensive and becoming increasingly common. From 1984 to 1999, the mean loss absorbed by companies faced with IP litigation was $28.7 million in total losses. Microsoft, Apple Computer, Sun Microsystems, Medtronic, Research in Motion and Nintendo are just a few of the companies that have settled patent infringement disputes for hundreds of millions of dollars. Cisco Systems reports that it is named as a defendant in at least one IP lawsuit each week.
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