AuthorLanning G. Bryer/Scott J. Lebson/Matthew D. Asbell
ProfessionPartner in the New York office of Ladas & Parry LLP and is Director of the firm's Mergers, Acquisitions, and Licensing Group/Partner in the Mergers, Acquisitions, and Licensing Group of Ladas & Parry LLP/Associate in the New York office of Ladas & Parry LLP, primarily practicing in the area of domestic and international trademark law
FPREF 09/02/2011 14:34:20 Page 13
‘‘ T he Times They Are A-Changin’,’’ wrote Bob Dylan, in the early 1960s, as a
protest song characterizing the public sentiment, culture, and politics of
that era. While some viewed the anthem as outdated by the very changes it pre-
dicted, the lyrics were prophetically timeless. In viewing Dylan’s sentiments in
the context of the modern era, his views could be applied to many important
issues that affect not only the strategies employed by corporations to obtain and
maintain competitive advantage, but also how those strategies are implemented
on a day-to-day basis.
For instance, in asking us to ‘‘admit that the waters around [us] have grown’’
or we’ll ‘‘sink like a stone,’’ Dylan’s words could be extrapolated in terms of
the pressure market forces are placing on modern businesses to become or at
least to appear ‘‘green.’’ More corporations are investing in research and devel-
opment of environmentally friendly products and processes, and governments
are attempting to further encourage such investment. Simultaneously, more busi-
nesses are branding and marketing their products and services to take advantage
of growing public interest in sustainability, and governments are exploring how
to balance the reward of sustainability with the protection of consumers from
false claims.
‘‘The Times They Are A-Changin’’’ warned politicians that the ‘‘battle
outside...[will]...soonshake yourwindows andrattle your walls,’almost
50 years before the cultural changes brought about by security concerns and the
availability of instantaneous information from across the globe. His words are
as relevant to the earthquake victims in Japan, Chile, and Haiti and the revolu-
tionaries in Egypt and Libya as they were to the ‘‘establishment’’ interests and hip-
pies of the 1960s. The technological advances of the past decade or so and the
resulting globalization have brought every battle and every natural disaster closer
to home. In doing so, they have changed the ways in which companies do busi-
ness, whether such business is with governments or their armed forces, manufac-
turers, or distributors in foreign nations, or with consumers in the companies’
they are ‘‘in the trenches’’ of a global economy?
Dylan recognized that tradition would have to give way when he advised
the earlier generation that ‘‘your old road is rapidly agin’’’ and requested that
they ‘‘please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand.’’ As globaliza-
tion advances, traditional rules of the economic game are being challenged, and
businesses need to determine how best to implement new strategies in practice.

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