Emerging early from his lair, the IPKat's first date of the day was with the LinkedIn Madrid Protocol Group, whose breakfast meeting he joined at 7.30am prompt. This meeting, hosted in the US Bank Centre Building by Leydig, Voit & Mayer Ltd, was conducted dynamically by Alfred Strahlberg (shown, right, with UK-based trade mark celebrity and bonnie fighter Shireen Smith), who expertly led the assembled experts through a selection of problems and solutions relating to the gap between users' demands regarding international trade mark filing and the resources and ability of the World Intellectual Property Organization's International Trademark Bureau to discharge its functions effectively.
With his understanding of the Madrid System duly enriched, the IPKat then marched up the hill to the Convention Center, where he spent a pleasant couple of hours sampling the exhibits before deciding to attend the session on Due Diligence. Many people consider that this subject is only marginally less thrilling than watching paint dry -- though a good deal more lucrative -- but those attending the session must have come away with the impression that it is actually a species of extreme sport. Karen Fong (Rouse) kicked off with a wonderful parody of Elle Macpherson when she sketched out a scenario in which her family business, the House of Fong, had fallen into the hands of her two sisters whose neglect made it a prime target for a rescue package. Bret Parker (Wyeth) then listed the Top Tips for Due Diligence while frankly conceding that some were, er, a good deal less significant than others. Sarah Anne Keefe (Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice) spoke on the various levels of risk posed by different types of IP sale and what can be done to reduce the odds on disaster, while James Buchan (Gowling Lafleur Henderson) related various due diligence war stories, which included Volkswagen's purchase of the Rolls-Royce car business (which failed to secure rights to the famous ROLLS ROYCE trade mark) and the King Kong/Donkey Kong dispute.
To his great disappointment the Kat missed the European trade mark regional update. He set out in time to get there, but kept getting hijacked/waylaid by a succession of people he would have been very pleased to see any other time than this. Compensation came in the form of three delightful receptions, culminating in a trip to the Chinese Toom at the top of Smith Tower where a congeniality [this seems a better word than flock, swarm or bevy] of George Washington alumni demonstrated that, whatever TV serials may suggest, you don't have to be rude and absrasive in order to be an effective lawyer.