We’ve worked with lots of foreign attorneys over the years and they never fail to point out how “peculiar” Americans can be.  Toping the list is Americans’ apparent fondness for acronyms and  nicknames. Our ease of using terms like “TP”, “NG” and our natural tendency to shorten names–like Hewlett Packard® and McDonalds® to, respectively, “HP” and “Micky D’s”– sends my foreign colleagues into hysterics.  They just don’t get our natural obsession for linguistic efficiency.  I can’t wait to see how they react when Jimmy Fallon’s nickname for Amazon®

Istanbul, Turkey-Topkapı Sarayı (طوپقپو سرايى

(“The ZON”) becomes more widespread.  So what does “IP” mean? “Intelligent Person”, “Its Pointless” or “I’m Pissed?” Most people understand that “IP” is short for “intellectual property”, which, as compared to “real” property, is a bit abstract.  IP includes property rights in patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyright.  While IP rights are more abstract than real and other property rights, they’re no less crucial to our economy and to innovation.  Importantly, they are the property of their owner(s). If you’re a fan of Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged, you’ll understand this concept in Hank Rearden’s explanation of his love and attachment to his work and the new metal that he developed over ten years:  “Because its mine”…