For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Monday, 30 July 2007

The Unpopular club: places where you hate to litigate

The IPKat's poll on the question "In which country would you least like to litigate your IP rights?" brought some remarkable results. There was some suspicion that China, long criticised for the opacity of its enforcement procedures, would have been the forum to avoid - but it was Russia that came out on top with 89 of the 281 votes cast. Equally surprising - and very hurtful to some readers who emailed the IPKat to complain - was the unpopularity of the United States, with 58 votes (21%). While the US is a very popular forum for US-based litigants, who know the system and often factor its vicissitudes into their business plans, it is far less popular with non-US defendants. This may be both because the damages awards often appear to be out of all proportion to any damage done through an infringement and because of perceptions of plaintiff-favouritism in East Texas.

A further surprise is the popularity of the previously much-disliked UK courts. Although they are often rightly criticised for their expense, the quality of the final decision is generally praised and it should be remembered that the vast majority of IP claims launched in the UK are efficiently settled long before trial. And we must not forget to congratulate Australia, for picking up only one unpopularity vote.

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