It’s been long enough since I last blogged, so I have uploaded WordPress to my site and am going to give it another go. And there’s plenty to write about, especially in New York, from the ambitious Authors Guild vs. Google Book Settlement hearing taking place on 7 October to the recent Appeal in the Tiffany vs. eBay. Elsewhere, Skype has filed suit against eBay, Advocate-General Poiares Maduro has opined that Google’s unilateral offering and sale of trademarks (in this instance of LVMH (Louis Vuitton)) for commercial use in its AdWords program is not always going to infringe the third party trademarks, and questions on LinkedIn concerning ISP and blogger liability abound. Clearly this is an exciting time to have anything to do with IP law.
Where do I fit into all this? I am an IP / IT litigator, and know that what is said in these cases will have enormous impact on the way business is done in the future. The value of IP to businesses cannot be underestimated and, when we are all seeking new ways to deliver value while remaining profitable, serious long- and short-term questions about brand protection will be creating not just headaches, but also the possibility of renewed and closer relationships for many lawyers and their clients. Rather than seeing the economic downturn as hindering legal services, it is an opportunity for lawyers to demonstrate their understanding of their clients’ businesses and commercial objectives, and to come up with creative ways of achieving those objectives far more economically than their competitors. Lawyers able to do that will reap the rewards in the medium- and long-term: those who cannot will be priced out of the market, with probably few tears being shed.