While there has been a push to provide uniform and harmonised intellectual property coverage worldwide, it seems at every turn there are events that pull that goal further away. Thus, there remain significant differences and gaps in intellectual property coverage globally. This is exacerbated by the increase in international trade where practitioners need to know the law in many individual countries, and they also need to understand the differences between those countries.
While jurisdictional differences can be anticipated and addressed, these differences are further magnified by the geopolitical turmoil that persists worldwide. As was the case the previous year, the United Kingdom's Brexit vote and potential departure from the European Union continue to leave a cloud over establishing a Unified Patent Court in Europe. That uncertainty continues in part because even as of 3 April 2019, there has been no Brexit deal and, adding to the uncertainty, Germany has not ratified the UPC. Whether the UPC will ever come to fruition is debatable. Another example is the trade 'wars' between the United States and China. One of the principal disputes is that the US has accused China of misusing US intellectual property rights and has implemented tariffs in an effort to convince China to stop those alleged misuses. While those negotiations are ongoing, the trade dispute has heightened tensions between the countries and lessened efforts at worldwide cooperation on intellectual property matters.
To aid practitioners who are navigating this ever changing landscape of global intellectual property, we now present the eighth edition of The Intellectual Property Review. In this edition, we present 24 chapters that provide an overview of the forms of intellectual property coverage available in each particular jurisdiction, along with an update of its most recent developments. Each chapter is written and assembled by leading practitioners in that jurisdiction. While all involved have striven to make this review both accurate and comprehensive, we must note that it is necessarily a summary and overview, and we strongly recommend that the reader seek the advice of experienced advisers for any specific intellectual property matter. Contact information for the authors of each chapter is provided at the end of this review.
Dominick A Conde