IP ADR blog; UK Law Blog Conference; Trade mark scholarship

Via Justin (Human Law) Patten the IPKat has just been introduced to the IP ADR Blog which, as its name suggests, addresses the increasingly popular option of alternative dispute resolution - in particular mediation - in the contentious arena of intellectual property. This blog is brainboxed by Victoria Pynchon (left) and Les Weinstein (right) whose dazzling smiles suggest that they know a thing or two about maintaining a high-profile dental presence. The IPKat will be watching this blog carefully, knowing how many good ideas that really originate in European ADR circles were, quite coincidentally, pre-invented by our American cousins ...

Last Friday a dedicated band of UK legal bloggers and their friends came together in London for a day's face-to-face discussion of matters of mutual interest, hosted by IP information-crunchers CPA.

Right: what a legal blogger looks like (popular misconception)

More important than anything else, the IPKat felt, was the comfort of knowing that he was not alone: blogging is a solitary activity and, though it need not be a lonely pastime, it often is. But it struck the IPKat that the bloggers present were not sad souls hiding behind their screen personae: they were pretty sociable, outgoing types who probably employ their blogs as a means of burning off the excess of social energy which, if directed elsewhere, would probably be far less constructively deployed. Thanks, Geeklawyer and everyone else for making the event so interesting and informative.

At the recent INTA Meeting in Chicago, the IPKat and Merpel had the good fortune to attend a session of one of that organisation's excellent subcommittees - the one that tries to build bridges between trade marks as a practical subject and trade marks as an academic discipline. At this session two very pertinent questions were asked: (i) why don't trade mark practitioners take the time and trouble to read the writings of academics writing in the field of trade mark law and ((ii) why don't trade mark professors take the time and trouble to write the sort of articles that trade mark practitioners want to read?

These questions reveal a good deal about the workings of both trade mark practice and academe itself. Many law teachers write more for their academic peers than for the professions, since their academic credibility depends on how their colleagues in teaching and research view their output, while many legal practitioners do not consider that the often theoretical analyses of university-based writers - sometimes couched in terminology that reflects economics, psychology and other disciplines that they are not so familiar with - are addressed to them.

The IPKat sympathises with both positions and feels that something can and should be done about this disjunction of output and consumption. As a small start he says: if any practitioners who read this blog can identify a particular subject involving trade mark law, can they please email him here and he'll compile a list and publish it on this weblog. The second step will be to find some friendly academics who might consider the viability of these subjects. Merpel adds, the third step is presumably to find a means of educating practitioners to read something other than legal updates and case notes and to prove to them that academic writing can be quite improving ...
IP ADR blog; UK Law Blog Conference; Trade mark scholarship IP ADR blog; UK Law Blog Conference; Trade mark scholarship Reviewed by Jeremy on Sunday, May 20, 2007 Rating: 5

1 comment:

Victoria Pynchon, said...

Thanks for the shout out Jeremy. The blog will also cover IP arbitration issues, which is Les' specialty. Because I'm the obsessive blogger, however, you're right to note that the "ADR" covered will primarily be the mediation alternative. We DO hope to add value to the field. Best, Vickie

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