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Intellectual property very easily falls into the category of legal practice areas that has become increasingly global in nature. In an era in which IP-fueled products and services — among them software, entertainment and biotechnology — are researched, developed, produced and marketed with little regard for international borders, the lawyers who specialize in intellectual property similarly must approach their work with a global perspective in mind. If for no other reason, they need to do so in order to remain competitive with other lawyers and firms that are busily positioning themselves as international providers of legal services. For some years now, various legal and business publications — including some from American Lawyer Media, which publishes this magazine — have been heralding the imminent arrival of the Chinese in the world’s marketplace. Lawyers, of course, were sure to follow in the footsteps of those seeking to do business in that vastly populated country, which had been effectively sealed off from traditional international commerce for decades. There were, after all, deals to be made, corporate structures to be built, investment strategies to be parsed and vetted, licensing agreements to be negotiated. U.S. law firms made plans for outposts in places like Hong Kong and Shanghai. Some of these earlier forays to the Far East didn’t exactly pan out, particularly after the slump in the Asian economy and the ebbs and flows of China’s political and commercial relationships with western capitalist economies. But now we seem to be back in a China-is-burgeoning mode, which means that many lawyers are once again touting their international expertise in areas ranging from intellectual property to corporate financing. The cover story in this issue of IP magazine examines what’s at stake for firms — in this case, the home-grown technology-savvy firms in California’s Silicon Valley — that appear to be lagging behind their competitors when it comes to providing China-related legal services. It remains to be seen if law firms will secure as much China-related business as some have been predicting. But there’s little question about the continuing internationalization of the practice of law. Adding further to the international flavor of this issue is a report about the United States’ entry into the so-called Madrid Protocol, which aims to make it easier for trademark owners to register their marks in multiple countries. Some IP lawyers, along with questioning just how effective the international accord will be when it comes to offering global trademark, are suggesting alternative strategies for their clients. And then there’s the tale of a Swedish candy manufacturer who tried to protect its fish-shaped confections in a New York federal court, only to end up downstream without a leg — or would that be a fin? — to stand on. As a quarterly magazine, we’re always obligated to be selective when choosing which news and feature stories to bring to your attention. For more depth — including full texts of IP-related court rulings, practitioner-written white papers and other features and analyses — you might want to take a look at the IP Practice Center that is part of our companion Web site, www.law.com. Subscribers to the Web site will find a full array of news and other information services that will help keep them competitive in their own specialized practice area. Steven Pressman Editor

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