Anything seismic this year -- or next? A Kat opines

In the absence of any better way of assessing the significance of the past year and gauging the promise of the year ahead, the IPKat's friends at Patexia contacted a small selection of bloggers and asked them for a brief, succinct summary of what they thought were the truly important IP bits of 2012 -- and what would similarly be the biggest thing in 2013. The result is Patexia's 2012 in IP, which you can read in full here.

For the record, this Kat's personal view reads like this:
Waking up with intent to blog,
Miffy wonders who stole
her keyboard ...
"The average Kat spends between 18 and 20 hours of each day asleep and only generally wakes up to eat, wash or produce the next round of kittens. One might therefore assume that the biggest development of 2012 is the one that makes the most noise and therefore stands the best chance of waking the slumbering beast. Rumpuses over Google books and AdWords, Apple iPads and smartphones, European patents and Chinese fakes might fit this bill -- but none of these is of fundamental importance. The biggest development in IP in the past year is a psychological one, a shift in perspective and understanding that transcends all IP rights and all geographical regions: it is the increasing realisation on the part of IP owners that they cannot rely on legislators to come to their rescue, however bad their plight might be -- the realisation that they are on their own, that IP protection really and truly doesn't pull in the votes in democracies or impress the hardened hearts of dictatorships, and that in international bodies such as WIPO there are too many opposing forces and conflicting interests at work to enable a "quick fix" to be found.

IP enforcement: a job
for the Purr-minator?
So what will be the biggest thing in 2013? Again, it won't be a single law, a single dispute or a single event. It will be a general sharpening of the degree of sophistication with which IP owners will approach infringement litigation in order to maximise its effectiveness and minimise its cost per infringing item or event. Expect to see more class actions, more use of pre-emptive orders, more engagement with customs and tax authorities, more use of criminal proceedings at national level and more information-sharing between IP-owning organisations and between their individual members. Add to this the cohesive effect of the US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and the encouraging support from the sidelines offered by the European Union's Intellectual Property Observatory and what will the result be? A general feeling that, even if the battle against fakes, counterfeiters and traditional competitive infringers can't be won, at least it's worth committing resources and energy in fighting it".
Very nice, says Merpel, but what do readers think?
Anything seismic this year -- or next? A Kat opines Anything seismic this year -- or next? A Kat opines Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, December 31, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. There seemed to be more and more views expressed that the system isn't working any more. In a world of increasing globalisation and collaboration, with much higher expectations of information being available and accessible (due to the internet) and increased appreciation of the value of open innovation, I suspect 2013 will be the start of fundamental questions being asked about the nature of monopolies that we give for IP rights. As austerity really begins to bite, I think there will be more appetite to rethink the balance between holders of IP rights and the impact on the economy as a whole.

  2. Forbes also ran a piece about likely IP events in 2013. See . I commented that the U.S. Congress may change transfer pricing law which, if done, could dramatically alter the ins and outs of Big Company IP ownership. A short article about the committee hearing is here [ ] and the entire hearing can be viewed here [ ]. The witnesses from Hewlett Packard and Microsoft were quite forthcoming with information about their practices.


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