Over the past several decades, there has been a major push to provide uniform and harmonised intellectual property coverage worldwide. To date, however, there remain significant differences and gaps in intellectual property coverage globally. As commerce increasingly becomes focused on international trade rather than individual countries, companies and clients must respond by thinking globally while also understanding the differences that remain between jurisdictions.
While jurisdictional differences can be anticipated and addressed, these differences are further magnified by the geopolitical turmoil that persists worldwide. A prime example is United Kingdom’s Brexit vote, which leaves Europe’s quest for a unified patent system in doubt. Another example is the election of President Donald Trump in the United States. As of the writing of this preface, President Trump has not announced his specific views on intellectual property in the United States. However, President Trump has already changed global intellectual property with his withdrawal of support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While this partnership would have strengthened intellectual property rights with many of the United States’ trading partners in the Pacific Rim, those partners for now maintain the prior inconsistent rights with the United States and are free to forge agreements without the United States, including negotiating new relationships with China, a country that continues to strengthen and improve its intellectual property system.
To aid practitioners who are navigating this ever-changing landscape of global intellectial property, we now present the sixth edition of The Intellectual Property Review. In this sixth edition, we present 31 chapters that provide an overview of forms of the intellectual property coverage available in each particular jurisdiction along with an update of its most recent developments. Each chapter is written and assembled by leading practitioners in that jurisdiction. While all involved have striven to make this review 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 any specific intellectual property matter. Contact information for each chapter’s authors is provided at the end of this review.