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 preserve tech firm managers up at night time.
In response to the 17th Annual Litigation Traits Survey by Norton Rose Fulbright, which surveys a whole lot of in-house litigation leaders from world firms, labor and employment disputes are additionally excessive on the checklist for tech firms.
Startup groups, authorized counsel and different inner stakeholders seeking to deal with these authorized challenges ought to contemplate three key elements impacting the sector.
IP disputes: The highest litigation concern dealing with 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.
On condition that the core perform of most know-how firms is to develop and market modern know-how and options, it’s unsurprising that tech firms listed IP disputes as having probably 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, notably when defending in opposition to accusations of patent infringement, had been prime of thoughts for respondents. Defending in opposition to IP disputes is usually a drain on assets, notably given the continued price and prevalence of disputes initiated by “patent trolls” — entities whose major 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 companies.
Many respondents reportedly are increasing their authorized groups. Methods embody including further in-house authorized workers, participating outdoors counsel to concentrate on 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 overview course of for IP-related contracts.
Tech companies 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 mentioned defending each their very own proprietary data and their buyer’s data was important, notably in an more and more world market.