Shaping the Terrain and IP Strategy

Terrain is one of the five fundamental factors from Sun Tzu‘s ancient treatise on ‘The Art of War’.

In Intellectual Property Strategy, terrain can be anologised to a variety of strategic factors. One of the best is the legal environment of the country of interest (the legislation, case law, procedures and practice).

Unlike the terrain that Sun Tzu speaks of, it is possible in IP Strategy to shape the terrain as you go – one of the many reasons why IP Strategy is so fascinating.

One example is the online world and the balance between copyright infringement and fair use and how it impacts on content providers and ISPs. The RIAA and others are actively spending large sums of money to litigate so as to firstly define the terrain and secondly shape it in their favour as best they can.

A second example, which is beginning to take shape, is the area of biosimilar drugs (in essence – generic versions of biological drugs). Moves have been afoot for some time to lobby for the legislative bedrock. Next will be the litigation which will further shape the terrain over which producers of biosimilar products will have to move to get to market.

3 Comments on “Shaping the Terrain and IP Strategy

  1. Hi,The relationship is very interesting but i have a few queries:What do we say about the i-pod’s DRM based and amazon’s non DRM based music distribution in relation to RIAA’s IP litigation strategy?RIAA was not able to shape its terrain and failed miserably whereas online distribution succeeded. or was it that RIAA was a secret party to this!.

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  2. Thanks Mukundan, and welcome to the discussion.Sometimes the terrain can’t be shaped, or at least not on the first (few) attempt(s).  Interestingly, just the fact that you are trying can have an enormous impact on an opponent and the competitive environment.

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  3. Pingback: Taylor Wessing’s new European patent litigation tool | Duncan Bucknell

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