Monday 13 October 2008

All change please?

Few readers will disagree that the economic crisis that has hit the world's major financial districts recently has made for riveting, if not concerning, viewing. My question to readers is what effect this will have on the world of IP?

Most pundits may predict a decrease in expenditure on IP filings and tighter budget control? Is it going to be time for outsourcing the IP management function as pressure mounts to reduce headcount in inhouse IP departments. Will law firms profit from that trend and, if so, which ones - will it by XYZ partners down the road or XYZ partners located in an IP management outsourcing destinations like India, New Zealand, the Philippines or South Africa? On the other hand we may see an increased focus on licensing and innovation to generate additional revenue streams with a possible increase IP filings....or is licensing and possible diversification going to be seen risky, with companies preferring to focus on core strengths and core markets? No doubt audit clauses in licence agreements will be invoked. Are we going to see an increase in litigation as companies try to extricate themselves from optimistic agreements agreed in the good times or because the competition to increase bottom line profits has just got tighter?

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