There are a lot of IP associations around the world: at
least four that purport to be global, six or more regional
bodies, and scores of national ones. They represent a variety
of constituencies, among lawyers, attorneys and IP owners, and
various types of IP right. Yet there are big holes, too. There
is no global body lobbying for patent rights, or copyright, and
both are badly needed.
Some of the associations, such as INTA, are expanding
rapidly across the industry and the world. In the coming years
this could exacerbate the overlap between bodies that already
exist in some regions - particularly Europe - and make some
associations less relevant. Soul-searching reports, such as
that recently commissioned by AIPPI, could lead to aggressive
reform and further attempts at expansion. The recently
announced merger of AIPPI-US with AIPLA, and the latter's
global outreach, demonstrate similar ambition.
At the same time, the role...