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The Future of Intellectual Property

As the industry booms, what can legal organizations expect in the coming years?

Patent applications have tripled since 1990 and trademark grants increased more than eight-fold.
Patent applications have tripled since 1990 and trademark grants increased more than eight-fold.

As anyone working with intellectual property knows, it’s a segment of the legal world with enormous potential for growth. Patent applications have tripled since 1990 and trademark grants increased more than eight-fold. For law firms this means a growing number of filings, enforcement efforts and coordination with organizations around the world. What does this mean for the lawyers and administrators who manage the massive workload?

IP laws affect global partnerships

For today’s organizations, vendors, customers and other partners are just as likely to be located across the globe as across the street. Yet the strength and enforcement of a nation’s IP laws are an important factor in determining a global partner. In fact, businesses considering foreign partnerships list weak IP rights as their top area of concern. After all, proprietary inventions, ideas and products are among the most valuable assets for any organization.

Shared cross-border IP is on the rise

Certain segments of IP like scientific discovery are more prone to collaboration than others. In recent years the partnership among global scientists has grown substantially, with a 25% increase in 2017. Experts attribute this to the complexity and high level of innovation required for modern discoveries. Within this group, American cities are named as the most likely to be involved in a cross-border relationship.

IP from Asia on the rise

There was a time when nearly all patents were granted to companies and individuals in the US, Japan and Europe. Today’s numbers reflect a very different reality. In 2018 Chinese-based applications accounted for nearly half the global total with an incredible 1.5 million requests. There’s also growth in South Korea and Canada, among others.

Automotive patents drive growth

The car industry has been hugely influenced by new technology in recent years. Autonomous vehicles and electric motors are just two of the areas which saw large numbers of patents in the past decade with U.S. filings in this area on the rise.

What does this mean for IP lawyers and administrators?

Clearly, those in the field of patent, trademarks, trade secrets and other forms of IP can look forward to healthy industry growth. While positive, there is also an opportunity to increase efficiency and streamline operations. We can help firms of all sizes to simplify both domestic and cross-border payments. Read our client case study on how we helped a Texas IP firm save time and money with their billing.

For more information, contact one of our specialists.