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Thursday, 10 September 2009

IP Enforcement costs and SMEs: can you help?

SABIP (the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy) is an independent publicly-funded body which is tasked with the role of feeding strategic advice to the British government on all manner of IP issues. These include advice as to the effect of IP enforcement costs on SMEs.


Right: (i) If you don't have your own enforcers, legal relief can be a great expense, or (ii) If you give strategic advice to the UK government, you need a thick skin at the very least ...

In a project which SABIP has commissioned the Intellectual Property Institute (IPI ) to undertake on SABIP's behalf, the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association (IPLA) has invited its members to participate in a data-gathering exercise. The objectives of this exercise are
* to identify SMEs which have encountered IP enforcement issues (whether or not they have chosen to fight and regardless of whether they are right-owners or possible infringers), whom the researchers can then contact to see if they are prepared to participate by completing a questionnaire and/or doing a 30-60 minute interview.

* to put forward IP lawyers who regularly advise SMEs, to meet SABIP's commissioned researchers for a 30-60 minute interview.
All information received by the researchers (Robert Pitkethly and Jeremy Phillips) will be anonymised.

If you'd like more information concerning the IPLA and its activities, click here.
If you feel that you could be of assistance in this project, even if you're not a member of the IPLA, email Jeremy Phillips or Robert Pitkethly with the email subject line 'SMEs SABIP', no later than 25 September 2009.

Follow SABIP on Twitter here
Confused between the Intellectual Property Lawyers' Organisation and the Intellectual Property Lawyers' Organisation? Click here for details of the latter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a lawyer trying to help SME in the IPR-jungle, I agree with Lord Justice Jacob saying:
‘But when it comes to woolly lines things are different. Then the deep pocket (and available management and other resources) of the large company will favour it against the SME. In practice a large company will more readily risk moving into a woolly line of a SME´s IPR than the other way round. The large company can afford the litigation costs, management time and risk of losing so much more readily. The result is this: woolly lines in IPR are unfair: they favour large enterprises against smaller ones…Legislators and judges (for judges do make law, albeit as Justice Holmes famously said, “incrementally”) should strive to avoid the former [woolly lines] and achieve the latter [brightlines]
( See Patents and Technological Progress in a Global World, Liber Amicorum Josef Straus, Springer-Verlag. 2009.)

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