This has not been a year for blockbuster cases. Even though the volume of litigation remains high, neither Europe nor Asia has thrown up many surprising results. And though the United States has given us Louboutin's red-soled shoes and the first jury trial in Apple v Samsung, both cases covered issues that had been raised the year before.
Rather, 2012 was characterised by a series of cases with important but often subtle points. UsedSoft in Europe and OptusTV in Australia addressed fundamental issues about the future of copyright. Oracle v Google in the US threw up both patent and copyright issues, without any particular one grabbing the headlines.
As usual, we present our 10 biggest cases of the year, which can be accessed from the links below. But we also include a selection of smaller cases that readers might have missed. They often received little mainstream coverage, but settled important points such as the prevention of parallel imports in Russia, or highlighted worrying trends such as Monsanto's loss in Brazil.
The cases were all selected by Managing IP's journalists in London, New York and Hong Kong. Cases could not be nominated and no one could vote for their inclusion.
We welcome comments on the cases. Please use the comment button at the top of the page, or join us on Twitter (@ManagingIP) to join the debate there.
The 10 cases of the year
A fillip for the EU pharmaceutical sector
Relief for trade mark owners in red sole saga
Australian TV streaming service held to be illegal
Smartphone war hits front page in the US
Liberalising the EU’s software market
India allows parallel imports
Victory for fair dealing in Canada
Lacoste loses its trade mark in China
Google prevails in Android attack
EU test case clarifies class headings
Ten you might have missed
Canada: Ambiguous claims can invalidate patents
Russia: Certainty on parallel imports
Italy: TV formats win copyright for the first time
First FRAND cases litigated worldwide
Monsanto loses in Brazil
Data exclusivity backed by Mexican courts
China: A shift over OEM manufacturing
Authors in the US able to reclaim joint copyrights
Germany: Knitted trainers a sign of the future
India: Financial Times loses trade mark