Global IP Strategy & national differences

Global strategy guru Pankaj Ghemawat (professor at both IESE and Harvard), wrote a post earlier this week on exploiting differences between countries for strategic advantage.

Pankaj’s post focussed on arbitrage (exploiting price differentials between markets). However, the concept applies particularly well to global intellectual property strategy – in fact, it is at the heart of every excellent IP strategy.

Here are some examples:

  1. Freedom to Operate- choose countries where no IP has been registered for your major supply chain points.
  2. Litigation – the Netherlands, Germany and the UK are particularly fast, though the UK is (relatively) expensive and a patent is more likely to be invalidated there. (See my July 2006 article ‘Value for money in global patent litigation‘)
  3. Transactions – some countries have more sophisticated means to value and transact IP (eg. IP Auctions, Securitizations…)
  4. Certain subject matter is not patentable in some countries (eg. business methods, pharmaceutical extensions…)
  5. Customising branding and trade mark strategy for each country.
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