Coronavirus crisis challenges owners of IPR

When the Danish courts reopen after the lockdown, they are greeted with a massive pile of pending cases. Some of the people awaiting critical verdicts are the owners of Intellectual Property Rights, and while they are waiting, they now need to reassess their IP strategy and make sure it still fits into a world that has been turned upside down.

The coronavirus crisis has changed the way we meet privately as well as professionally. Home offices and digital meetings are the obvious themes, when we pinpoint the ways that businesses are challenged to make adjustments. However, these are not the only ways in which businesses need to reassess their business as usual – their IP strategies call for attention as well.

IP in a changed world

Claus Elmeros, patent attorney at Plougmann Vingtoft and appointed technical judge at the Maritime and Commercial High Court, reckons that the coronavirus crisis and its effects will influence the way we approach IPR now as well as in the long run.

“The coronavirus crisis has changed the way that many businesses operate,” Claus Elmeros says and elaborates that the crisis will be evident in the appearance of new market advantages and drawbacks.

For this reason, the patent attorney advises businesses to reassess their IP rights and strategy.

It is essential that you spend time assessing your IP and consider whether it fits the business model that you will stick to, now that the world and the business environment has changed significantly.

There will be plenty of time to get the strategy in place. Even though the courts will reopen in the beginning of next week, priority is given to more critical cases than the ones relating to IP rights, and the owners of IP need to have patience. 

Read more about about the reopening of the Maritime and Commercial High Court

Extended processing of IP related cases

The Danish Courts were supposed to reopen on April 20th. However, the Court Administration announced a postponement for April 27th.

The postponement indicates that court day for IP related cases is still a distant prospect, says Claus Elmeros:

The Courts were already behind schedule and the lockdown has only added to the pile of pending cases. There will be many hearings scheduled in the next couple of months, which will inevitably put pressure on the capacity of The Courts. Therefore, extended processing of IP related cases is to be expected.

The Maritime and Commercial High Court categorizes IP cases as non-critical and it is natural, that they have lower priority in times of crisis. However, for companies that rely on IP in their business model it is in fact a critical question, when the Courts will be up to speed.

“The lockdown has – litigation or not – altered the business model massively in several industries. Adding a heavy litigation will not make it any easier to cope with the consequences of the coronavirus lockdown,” says Claus Elmeros, who is looking forward to conducting cases in front of the Danish Courts once again.