Like a 49’er looking for gold, I pan through streams of on-line material hoping to find nuggets that glitter for law department managers. The quantitative ore I often find pertains to patents. Why this online nexus?
Patent filings are public information, as are patent law suits. Another reason is that active trade groups undertake research, like the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association (AIPLA) and the International Trademark Association (INTA). Third, the massive spending in IP creation and maintenance, as well as the stupendous costs sometimes to businesses if they infringe, both in settlements or judgments and in freedom to operate, gives research in the field a hefty ROI. Also, many law school professors specialize in the IP field, unlike such in-house staples as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, litigation management, or contracts negotiation.