Building Fences to Protect Your Turf: Developing a Global IP Legal Strategy
By Andrew J. Sherman, author and Partner at Jones Day
“Confiding a secret to an untrustworthy person is like carrying a bag of grain to the market with a hole in the bottom.” – African proverb
Farmers and ranchers build fences around their property to delineate what property belongs to them, to prevent intruders from stealing their crops, and to prevent cattle from wondering off their property. Fences protect what is theirs and tell the outside world where the lines of trespass are. In the intangible asset-, knowledge- and information-driven society, intellectual property laws can serve as virtual fences. We use these laws to declare to the world which intangible properties belong to us and where the lines of infringement have been drawn.