No trade is a stranger to litigation, however for the tech sector, it seems mental property (IP) and patent disputes, adopted by cybersecurity and information safety points, are among the many prime authorized issues that hold tech firm managers up at night time.
In response to the 17th Annual Litigation Trends Survey by Norton Rose Fulbright, which surveys lots of of in-house litigation leaders from international firms, labor and employment disputes are additionally excessive on the record for tech firms.
Startup groups, authorized counsel and different inside stakeholders seeking to deal with these authorized challenges ought to contemplate three key components impacting the sector.
IP disputes: The highest litigation concern going through the sector
Expertise respondents had been extra more likely to be involved about IP disputes than every other potential dispute supply, with 46% itemizing them among the many most regarding, in comparison with 16% throughout all industries.
Provided that the core perform of most know-how firms is to develop and market revolutionary know-how and options, it’s unsurprising that tech firms listed IP disputes as having essentially the most relevance and significance to them. Respondents cited the important nature of IP property to their core enterprise as the rationale why disputes had been such a priority.
The prices related to these disputes, significantly when defending in opposition to accusations of patent infringement, had been prime of thoughts for respondents. Defending in opposition to IP disputes could be a drain on assets, significantly given the continued price and prevalence of disputes initiated by “patent trolls” — entities whose main enterprise is to acquire and implement patents in opposition to know-how firms — far exceed the prices related to leveraging the patent to supply items and providers.
Many respondents reportedly are increasing their authorized groups. Methods embody including extra in-house authorized workers, partaking exterior counsel to deal with particular IP methods, increasing investigation and enforcement actions in opposition to doubtlessly infringing exercise, enhancing the safety of firm patents and constructing a extra mature and strong contract drafting and evaluate course of for IP-related contracts.
Tech corporations really feel uncovered to cybersecurity, information safety disputes
Expertise respondents listed cybersecurity and information safety points as the highest regarding dispute pattern, greater than every other trade — 71% reported they felt extra uncovered to cyber safety/information safety disputes, in comparison with the earlier 12 months. They stated defending each their very own proprietary data and their buyer’s data was important, significantly in an more and more international market.
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