The coronavirus pandemic is a daily reminder of just how interconnected the world has become. While the world is more connected in some ways, it is also clear that legal systems remain considerably misaligned from country to country. The differences and gaps in intellectual property coverage globally are significant issues. Those issues are exacerbated by the increase in international trade, which requires practitioners to know the law in many individual countries.
Other world events have magnified the differences. Following the United Kingdom's announcement that it would not participate in a Unified Patent Court (UPC) in Europe, Germany's Federal Constitutional Court struck down the statute by which the German parliament had sought to ratify the UPC Agreement. Whether and on what timeline the UPC project may proceed thus remains an open question. And like last year, trade wars between the United States and China have greatly affected intellectual property. What will be the practical impact of the agreement reached regarding intellectual property in Phase 1 of the trade agreement between those countries? Will other ongoing negotiations regarding trade between countries heighten or lessen efforts at worldwide cooperation on intellectual property matters? Those questions and more remain open issues.
To aid practitioners in this changing environment of global intellectual property, we now present the ninth edition of The Intellectual Property Review. In this edition, we present 16 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, 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