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.