Celebration or Regret?

Today is World IP Day 2010. Are you celebrating today or looking back wishing that things had gone differently?

It seems there are “days” for everything.  Some are for celebrating, and some are for remembering less fortunate times.  World IP Day, April 26, celebrates the anniversary of the convention establishing WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization.

And, whether you are celebrating or wishing things had been better, you should use today to take positive steps to secure your company’s IP.

Since IP Day 2009 there have been court decisions affecting the breadth and enforceability of IP rights, and many companies found their patents challenged and invalidated by competitors.  Some of those companies are based in San Diego.  One likes to think that everything is under control.  Then, in what seems like an instant, a court decision changes the outlook for patent or trademark protection, and ultimately for the company’s commercial success.

For example, just this month, the U.S. District Court in Delaware ruled invalid five patents that cover Santarus’s Zegerid for heartburn and acid reflux. The court found the patents invalid due to obviousness.  Santarus will appeal, but their stock has suffered and they will be involved in a long battle.

So, today you could call and thank your IP professional, or party this evening with the Licensing Executive Society, or even download a postcard commemorating IP Day.

More importantly, you should start working on your IP strategy and risk management plan.  Such tasks may seem daunting, but the costs of doing nothing will far outweigh the effort to get started.  So, take a cue from WIPO and make World IP Day 2010 the day you take positive action to secure your company’s IP future.

And while we are on the subject of “days”, don’t forget, Mother’s Day is May 9.

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