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It is not an overstatement to say that essentially all business is global, and the protection of intellectual property is the lifeblood of all business. The scope and implementation of that protection, however, varies from country to country.
It would be ideal if there were one universal set of laws, rules and procedures. But, while the efforts of many dedicated individuals have accomplished much in harmonising intellectual property protection, we remain defined as much by our differences as by what we have in common. It therefore is incumbent on all of us, as advisers to our clients, to be conversant with the individual practices in each of the economically significant countries.
The goal of this review is to provide that guidance. We have assembled a body of leading practitioners to explain the opportunities for intellectual property protection in their respective jurisdictions, together with the most significant recent developments and any aspects that are unique to their country.
In assembling this second edition, we have been reminded just how swiftly intellectual property law has been evolving on a global scale. Over this past year, we have observed implementation of the America Invents Act in the United States, the final push towards a Unified Patent Court in the European Union, and progress towards enhanced patent enforcement in China. The authors of our several chapters will highlight these and other notable developments in their respective countries. These significant, global events remind us just how dynamic intellectual property law has become, and just how critical it is for us, as advisers to our clients, to remain current with these recent changes.