According to the 2021 Annual Litigation Trends Survey by Norton Rose Fulbright, IP & Cybersecurity predicaments are among the top legal concerns for the technology sector, crippling their top decision makers, and internal stakeholders.
Apart from IP & Cybersecurity predicaments other top legal concerns for the tech sector companies were patent issues, data protection, and labor and employment disputes.
IP disputes were a key concern across all technology respondents, with 46% listing them among the most concerning, compared to 16% across all industries. The costs associated with these disputes, particularly when defending against accusations of patent infringement, were top of mind for respondents. Defending against IP disputes can be a drain on resources, particularly given the continued cost and prevalence of disputes initiated by “patent trolls” — entities whose primary business is to obtain and enforce patents against technology companies — far exceed the costs associated with leveraging the patent to provide goods and services.
IP litigation concerns are impacting their entire organization and many respondents have reported that they have increased budgets for IP protection and enforcement, expanded legal resources, and created new internal risk management policies. The companies in the technology sector are being presented with a myriad of concerns and IP protection is among the top ones. Tech companies must thwart the many forms of infringement that threaten their future success.
Cybersecurity and data protection represents one of the biggest challenges for technology respondents in 2021. Many companies are concerned about protecting both their own proprietary information and their customer’s information, particularly in an increasingly global market. These concerns have prompted many organizations to reassess their internal and external policies on these matters, as well as the formal process for reporting and handling disputes. The survey revealed that protecting both their own proprietary information and their customer’s information was critical for most technology organizations, particularly in an increasingly and highly competitive global marketplace.
The 2021 Annual Litigation Trends Survey combines insights from thousands of legal professionals, including general counsel and in-house litigation directors from global companies. In a post-COVID world where few organizations can rely on permanent, physical office space for their employees, leaders face challenges associated with working remotely and in hybrid formats. The Norton Rose Fulbright survey found that most participants felt their teams had largely come to grips with the new normal of remote and hybrid working; however, they were fearful that emerging legal predicaments could pose financial and reputational risks to their organizations.