It is not an overstatement to say that essentially all business is global, and the protection of intellectual property is the lifeblood of all business. The scope and implementation of that protection, however, varies from country to country.
It would be ideal if there was one universal set of laws, rules and procedures. But, while the efforts of many dedicated individuals have accomplished much in harmonising intellectual property protection, we remain defined as much by our differences as by what we have in common. It is therefore incumbent on all of us, as advisers to our clients, to be conversant with the individual practices in each of the economically significant countries.
The goal of this review is to provide that guidance.
We have assembled a body of leading practitioners to explain the opportunities for intellectual property protection in their respective jurisdictions, together with the most significant recent developments and any aspects that are unique to their country. While we have striven to make the book both accurate and comprehensive, we must note that it is necessarily a summary and overview, and we strongly recommend that the reader seek the advice of experienced advisers for application of the principles contained in this review to any specific matter.
This review is a testament to the flux of intellectual property law worldwide. We first published this review in 2011, with chapters from 24 countries. This fifth edition now includes chapters from 30 countries, a clear indication of the truly global reach of intellectual property law and the need to remain current for our clients worldwide. Since the first edition, we have observed the dramatic overhaul of the patent system in the United States with the implementation of the American Invents Act. In Europe, we have seen the near completion of the Unified Patent Court. It is our hope that the reader will find this a useful compilation and often-consulted guide.