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Copyright is generally known as a specific legal protection for content creators (as well as their licensees and assignees) and is meant to encourage individuals to create, distribute, reproduce, perform and spread their works of knowledge, information or entertainment by giving them financial or other benefits (such as recognition). Copyright law grants compulsory licensing and royalty payments and there is no analogous concept in trademark law. Copyright safeguards the method of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing.

While global business transcends all boundaries, the freedom of sharing information is key to growth, especially in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors. Employees of multinational organizations exchange information regularly with customers, collaborators and their internal colleagues who may work and purchase goods in many different jurisdictions around the world.

Fulfilling medical information requests, excerpting articles for presentations and sharing the latest research discoveries from a journal with others, increases the potential of exposing an organization to accidental copyright infringement risks, as well as harm to reputation and brand.

International copyright law is extremely convoluted since each country has differing approaches governing how copyright laws are applied. Without one standard, the international copyright regulatory environment becomes very patchy and tricky to navigate. In a digital age when it is easier than ever to access, reuse and share content, the potential for infringement skyrockets.  The struggle to obtain copyright agreements on a case-by case basis can be inefficient and costly, especially where there is a high-volume of consents needed on a consistent basis. For these reasons, it is imperative that legal counsel be consulted.

If you are concerned about another party infringing your copyrights, or are concerned that you’re in breach of a copyright agreement, please contact us. Our litigation team has extensive experience advising companies in the life science with managing their copyright strategy.

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