For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Biotech and Pharma: the conference that stood the test of time

The early 1990s seem a long, long time ago ...
The Biotech and Pharmaceutical Patent Conference 2012 -- the latest in a long line of successful events on this topic organised by IBC Legal Conferences -- takes place in Munich on 21 and 22 February. This year's event is actually the 20th, which is quite an achievement for any private sector conference organiser. This Kat can remember all the way back to the earliest years of this conference, with not a little nostalgia and affection. He was editing Patent World and Trademark World at the time and took a good deal of interest in conference programmes since a good one would provide him with plenty of ideas for new articles as well as lots of clues as to whom he might approach to write them (Patent World and Trademark World were not at that time in common ownership with IBC: this occurred a few years later).

This Kat was always fascinated by the IBC pharma law programmes since they were among the first sectoral conferences, concentrating on a specific industry. Editing what were then seen as niche publications, he felt that the proper way to divide interest in registered rights was by trisecting the topic between (i) getting the rights in the first place (filing, office actions), (ii) suing on them (infringements, threats etc) and (iii) performing transactions with them (licensing, securitisation etc). That way, no-one was excluded from benefiting from the journals' contents. Events such as a Pharma Law conference surely wouldn't thrive, since they excluded patent owners and experts in other industries and thus greatly reduced the potential market for potential registrants.

Events subsequently proved that sectoral analysis has ultimately been more successful than the general approach.  Each field of technological application has its own issues. Thus the pharma sector has regulatory, moral and environmental issues, as well as prospects for the extension of patent term, that are either specific to it or shared with few other areas, while patent-pooling and the setting of technical standards -- which require such careful treatment in the telecoms sector -- cause scarcely a ripple in the laboratories of product originators and the boardrooms of their generic nemeses. Patent World and Trademark World are now no more than fond memories, but sector-specific conferences gain in popularity and usefulness, as their participants can be sure that the people they meet are, in professional if not linguistic terms, speaking their language. The Biotech and Pharmaceutical Patent Conference is among the best of them.

W. A. Mozart: never played
football for England or
won the coveted Young
IP Lawyer of the Year award
Moving from generalities to specifics, the IPKat is pleased to see some excellent speakers and advisers on this year's programme. These include -- and are certainly not limited to -- Christopher Stothers (Arnold Porter LLP), who is still recovering from the pleasant surprise of being voted Intellectual Property Magazine's Young IP Lawyer of the Year ("young" in this context means "35 or under". For the record, 35 was the age at which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died; the oldest member of the current England football squad is 32).  There's also Dr Thomas Bopp (Gleiss Lutz Rechtsanwälte; age unknown) who, apart from being a distinguished IP litigator, has helped provide some useful updates for The SPC Blog -- and who also has one of the easiest-to-spell names of any continental patent litigator.  Penny Gilbert (Powell Gilbert) is putting in an appearance too, having made the difficult choice to stay in respectable legal practice rather than give it all up for the thrills and spills of IP blogging to which her legal training and scientific background have so well suited her.

Further information about this programme, plus registration details, can be obtained by clicking here. Recognising the discerning nature of this blog's readership, the organisers are kindly offering a generous 10% discount to IPKat blog readers who remember to quote the VIP Kat-code FKW82256IPKE when they book.

No comments:

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':