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No IP department is an island

So often, it seems the patent and trademark lawyers trundle along on their own track, barely heedful of the “general” lawyers in the department, while the generalists in turn remain oblivious of their intellectual property colleagues. Frequently with offices in different places, usually with cultures on the two sides of C.P. Snow divide, and always with some level of stereotyped prejudices, the generalists and the IPists co-exist at a distance.

Yet the truth is that the two sides often commune together. For an acquisition or divestiture, the MA& group calls on their IP colleagues for due diligence. Licensing agreements may twine the two sides. Litigation over patents or trademarks combine the forces, and marketing managers need to hear from both sides of the house.

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