Thursday afternoon found the IPKat attending two worthy Workshop sessions at the MARQUES conference. First was Ben Goodger (right, Rouse & Co, International) on "Managing and Nurturing Your IP". This session focused not only on what businesses need to know when practising the art of intellectual asset management but also how professional advisers need to get it across and what sort of resistance they might meet. Next came "Abuse of Trade Marks by Third Parties (undesirable association, parody and other misuses)", a double-header led by Marieke Westgeest (Markenizer, the Netherlands) and Massimo Sterpi (Studio Legale Jacobacci, Italy). This session led to some vigorous expressions of difference of opinion as to the best course to take when your brand is appropriated by chavs, right-wing louts or - in the case of Cristal Champagne - hip-hop artists and rappers. Although Benelux has special laws that provide redress for trade mark owners when the reputation of their marks is groundlessly damaged even by use other than regular trade mark use (an option offered by Article 5(5) of the harmonisation directive), it may be better to laugh off the damage or counter it with a well-planned marketing exercise.

And so to the Gala Dinner: the location was Porto's former Customs House on the bank of the river Douro, but the happy diners demonstrated some fairly jolly customs of their own. The IPKat is proud to announce that his paper aeroplane flew further than that of the other occupants of Table 9.

Right: The Douro by night

More to the point, he has been asking quite a lot of people a question: "Can you name three things you've gained from this conference that will make you a better trade mark lawyer?" While all his respondents affirmed that they had benefited a great deal from the event, he notes that several of their answers were, like trade mark rights themselves, somewhat intangible. Nxt time, he promises, he'll ask them before the wine is served.
MARQUES in Porto VI MARQUES in Porto VI Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, September 21, 2007 Rating: 5

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