The value of IP moves up business agendas – Suárez, de Suárez de la Dehesa

The IP department at Madrid firm Suárez de la Dehesa, specialising in IP, audiovisual law and entertainment law, is currently very active in audiovisual production and distribution, both cinema and television, and cinema law and videogames, says José Antonio Suárez, co-Managing Partner of Suárez de la Dehesa.

Los Tribunales Europeos deliberan continuamente sobre temas relativos a la Propiedad Intelectual (PI). Por lo tanto, los despachos deben trabajar con el cliente para proteger el valor de la PI, afirma José Antonio Suárez, de Suárez de la Dehesa, especialmente porque dicho valor puede influir en el balance de sus cuentas.

“However, we are conscious that the panorama changed drastically at the start of 2012 as the number of films being produced is markedly down from last year, and the industry is hoping for new regulation.”

While the cultural industries still have open lines of credit, investment itself is down. The EU Courts, however, are issuing a record amount of decisions affecting IP particularly software, says Suárez, which is keeping law firm departments busy. They are also seeing a great deal of activity in videogames, especially in the development of apps. “Looking ahead, software is going to have to share a great deal of space with the apps,” says Suárez, “and we’re working on making that happen”.

Looking ahead, law firms will be busy as businesses are ever more conscious of the value of IP, says Suárez, especially when it comes to its impact on their balance sheets. “In Madrid, the big firms are reinforcing their IP departments and becoming more competitive. By the end of 2012, we could see big and medium firms incorporating teams in IP.”

Spain should also follow the UK’s lead, says Suárez, and start having agreements between ISPs and the cultural industries on copyright issues. “There is some movement but so far this has had to pass through the UK Court system. If Spain moves in the same direction then this could create opportunities for Spanish IP and boutique law firms.”