Speed, cost & global consistency
Litigation isn’t always the best way through an IP dispute (though, as I’ve said before, in some circumstances, it is the only way). There are many risks in litigating intellectual property rights in a global dispute and litigants are sometimes surprised at what courts fail to deliver.
In his book ‘Virtual Monopoly‘, Christopher Pike takes issue with the ability of courts to deliver speed, cost effectiveness and global consistency. I think these are great points. In my April 2006 article, I compared 8 key jurisdictions on speed and cost of patent infringement actions. Global consistency is still a valid point, but I wonder whether overall, there is indeed a move towards harmonisation.
Firstly, compare results in the Lipitor litigation around the world (see the Lipitor Scorecard). The result has been pretty consistent in quite a few countries (but not all) – base patent upheld, enantiomer patent invalid. Some would argue that recent controversy in India over section 3(d) (and Gleevec) indicates that India and other developing countries are out of step with the rest of the world. However, the net result of section 3(d) seems to be the same as a well argued, and well reasoned inventive step case.
If global consistency is indeed increasing, what would you say the courts could better deliver (apart from timeliness and cost effectiveness) in IP disputes? Justice?