Do Your Suppliers Use Unauthorized IP? A Critical, Emerging Global Business Risk

Do you know whether the suppliers in your supply chains use unauthorized intellectual property (IP)? Are you in a position to answer this question definitively? Even if you own, or have the legal rights to use, all IP that you need to produce your own products or to deliver your services, you still could face serious legal and business consequences if any supplier in your supply chain uses “unauthorized IP” (patents, copyrights, utility models, software, trade secrets, etc. that have not been authorized by the lawful owner and for which royalties have not been paid in accordance with relevant laws) at any point in its processes.

Who does this affect?

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Asia is fast emerging as the world’s largest producer of unauthorized products. Global companies with supply chain links in certain Asian countries are particularly at risk, especially if they sell in the United States.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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