Friction & 'Warfighting'
‘Warfighting’ the US Marines book of strategy, defines ‘Friction’ as – “the force that resists all action. It makes the simple difficult and the difficult seemingly impossible.”
The very essence of war (and IP Litigation) is a clash between opposed wills and it creates Friction to a great degree.
Those regularly involved in IP litigation will know what I mean – the simple act of getting a declaration sworn, documents filed, submissions prepared, seem to all carry more friction than they would in the absence of the conflict.
Friction has a psychological as well as a physical impact. I’ve seen a bad morning in court jeopardise an entire case because the lead advocate had raised the ire of the Judge and couldn’t get beyond it (until the next day).
All else being equal, victory then, will go to those who can effectively reduce friction.
Here are some initial thoughts on reducing friction:
- Keep the team together, and working as a team.
- Prepare, prepare, and prepare – see my earlier article – Global Litigation Strategy and the Art of War.
- Understand that friction is inevitable and be ready to handle it.
- Be sensitive to friction for your opponent and be ready to capitalise on it.
- Have effective systems and procedures in place to minimise mishaps in the heat of (courtroom) battle.
What would you add?