foreigners view of intellectual property in the US

Friday 18 April, 2008

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest in cooperation with Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione held this event: Avoiding US Intellectual Property Pitfalls The event featured a user’s view from the General Counsel of Robert Bosch, 1 of Germany’s largest electronics firms along with 2 attorneys from Brinks, 1 from Chicago & 1 from Detroit (Ann Arbor actually) with the law firm’s view.  Bosch is a prolific patent filer with an average of 14 filings/working day placing them 3rd in the US Patent office & 1st in Germany. Their goal is not to monetize their patent portfolio, rather to simply protect their  core manufacturing base.  Their best example is anti-lock braking systems.  The lawyers admitted intellectual property litigation is more expensive & extreme in the US, but 98% of cases settle.   Patent clearance searches can help an IP user avoid litigation.  IP owners can be sued when accused of infringements on patents, trademarks, & copyrights.  There are new standards for filing:  “justiciable controversy” judged by the “totality of the circumstances.”  They also offered 10 IP red flags, i.e. instances when IP should be secured

1 hiring an employee

2 disclosing information

3 selling product ideas

4 internal product development

5 co-development projects

6 solving customer problems

7 contracting engineering services

8 contracting software services

9 licensing in or out

10 acquiring business operations

The target audience apparently was German members of the GACCOM, but I’m not sure how many/what percentage of the attendees were German lawyers.  I requested copies of the presentations or links to them from the organizers, but have yet to receive them.


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