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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #105 – additions to earlier posts and short takes

Regional patent applications. “With 28,000 cases under management, Canon Europe’s patent department files approximately 200 applications on behalf of Canon Inc every year, in addition to European filings from other group company offices around the world.” Those facts come from IP Rev., Spring 2009 at 37. The next issue, Summer 2009 at 10, adds that of the “top 10 companies by number of registered patents in 2008,” Canon ranked number 3, with 2,114. If patent coverage lasts about 17 years, then 17 times the 2008 registration figure would leave 35,938 cases under management, which is pretty close to the 28,000 number given (See my post of March 25, 2008: patent activities except litigation with 49 references.).

Legal knowledge codifies as an industry ages? “Typically, as an industry ages, tacit knowledge tends to be replaced with codified knowledge.” I have lost the source of that quote, but the idea makes sense. A legal wilderness becomes malls and golf courses. The legal framework that encases the industry settles down, concentration increases as companies grow larger and they figure out how to co-exist, business methods become polished and consistent. All this could lead to reductions in total legal spending as a percentage of revenue (See my post of Aug. 21, 2008: total legal spend as percent of revenue with 9 references and one metapost.).

Helicopter leaders: an apt metaphor for general counsel. A letter to the editor in the Harv. Bus. Rev., Vol. 86, May 2009 at 123, invokes this metaphor: “leaders who [can] rise above the fray to see the big picture and, when necessary, land at any location to drill down into the detail” (See my post of June 11, 2008: leadership with 32 references.).

“E-billing” becomes “ebilling.” No less than the voice of the in-house bar, the Association of Corporate Counsel in the ACC Docket, Vol. 27, May 2009 at 47, approves the word “ebilling,” sans hyphen. I have always used “e-billing,” avec hypthen. Now I am totally confused and wish William Safire would cast a deciding vote. Else, will we toggle between “ediscovery” and “e-discovery?”