Net encourages copyright litigation

The New Economy's greatest legacy: heaps more lawyers

Over ninety percent of respondents to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey examining Net-related intellectual property litigation claimed to be involved, or anticipated being involved, in intellectual property litigation where damage claims would exceed US $100 million. The PWC survey indicates that IP litigation is increasing rapidly, while respondents expect the Internet to impede patent and copyright enforcement. In a related study, PWC found that increased spending by companies seeking to protect IP rights is resulting in more patent filings and considerably greater legal expenditures. The report found that IP-intensive companies increased their median IP-related legal spending by 16.3 percent from 1997 to 1998, while reporting a median 23 percent increase in the number of patents issued over the same period. According to the report, IP-intensive companies burned a median sum of $31 million annually in legal fees. ®

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