International IP considerations

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • International IP considerations
  • Introduction
  • Types of IP rights
  • Dealing in IP rights in different countries
  • E-commerce
  • Sector-specific considerations
  • Life sciences
  • Energy and environment
  • Telecommunications and media
  • Disputes over IP
  • More...

International IP considerations


International dealings with IP continue to increase in importance as even the smallest companies can find themselves operating across jurisdictions in the digital age.

Types of IP rights

There are some IP rights in relation to which protection is possible in most major economies; these include copyright, patents and trade marks. The Getting the Deal Through (GTDT) reports, for which links can be found here, deal with the scope, enforcement and potential disposal of these three IP rights in dozens of the major jurisdictions including the US, Japan and China and major South American countries. See Practice Notes: Getting the Deal Through: Copyright, Getting the Deal Through: Patents and Getting the Deal Through: Trademarks.

Some rights that protect particular kinds of creativity are specific to a few countries, and by no means spread internationally. Examples are the right to sue for 'passing off' (which is an English common law tort) the right to sue for 'unfair competition' (which exists in some continental European jurisdictions, for example, but is not the same as taking action for breaches of antitrust law), or industrial designs, which are protected very differently, for example by unregistered and registered design rights in the UK, utility models in Japan, and design patents in the USA.

Some countries are said to have no right to privacy as such, but they may recognise a 'right

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