IP, IT & telecoms

The year of the outsized outsourcing project continues apace. In the private sector greater power has shifted to buyers of IT systems. BAE Systems’ $1.9bn (£1.03bn) contract with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) allows the defence company to go back to the market to find new suppliers for different elements of its IT operations if it is unhappy with CSC’s performance.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) also continues to grow. The £600m Pearl Group BPO raised eyebrows in the market and drove revenues for the outsourcing practices at Morrison & Foerster and Herbert Smith.

Meanwhile, the European patent system, or lack of, has come under scrutiny. Two proposals have both fought for attention this month, the Community Patent and the European Patent Litigation Agreement. But question marks still hang over over which system will be adopted once the time comes for Europe to decide on a unified approach to IP rights.