Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Multinational companies may need to better assess IP risks

According to the Intellectual Property Litigation Risk Report, companies with a multinational presence may be overlooking key intellectual property issues. Firms based in New Jersey may face risks because intellectual property has become more mobile. Mergers between companies as well as the creation of new fields such as health tech have also factored in the increase of intellectual property disputes.

Lawsuits related to intellectual property occur most often in the United States, China and Germany. In China, the number of such cases doubled in the four years between 2013 and 2017. According to the report, 50 percent of respondents said that they were concerned about facing legal action in the United States. This is despite the fact that more intellectual property lawsuits occur in China. However, only 7 percent of companies included in the report had IP insurance.

Part of the reason is that there wasn't much of a market in the recent past because insurance companies weren't sure how to create effective policies. This has changed as more information has become available, but insurance companies still differ in the coverage that they provide. Another reason why only a small percentage of companies buy insurance is that they may not realize just how valuable their intellectual property is.

Companies that have patents or trademarks generally have the right to defend them against infringement from other parties. In some cases, this may mean working out a licensing agreement with a potentially infringing party. However, it might also mean going to court to compel an infringing party to stop its illegal activity. An attorney could represent a company in its effort to protect its intellectual property from being used without permission.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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