For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

A touch of the Waldorfs: the International Patent Forum 2014

As the first publisher and founder-editor of Managing Intellectual Property magazine back in 1990, this Kat has always kept a benign and fatherly eye on its various activities and exploits. Over the years MIP has grown in size and in stature (so much so that it sometimes has to struggle to squeeze its way through the occasionally challenging letterbox); it has become increasingly effective in reaching its constituency of readers, boasting an editor's blog and a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  MIP also runs its own events, of which there is one in the offing that is the subject of this blogpost.

Waldorf: nothing Fawlty here
The International Patent Forum 2014 will take place on 18 and 19 March at the Waldorf Hilton, London (left), three years after MIP's first International Patent Forum. This Kat has fond memories of that event, not just because his newsy little post to say it was on its way attracted a flurry of comments concerning the event's differential pricing policy, but also because one of the features on offer was a press conference starring the then flavour of the month, USPTO Director David Kappos.  This was the comfiest, cosiest press conference the Kat had ever attended, in a well-appointed room at the Chancery Court Hotel, replete with tasty refreshments.  There the Director demonstrated the art of daring to care, turning short questions into long and often enthusiastic answers in a session in which all the excitement seemed to be channelled towards issues such as quality patents, patent examination, peer-to-patent and the patent prosecution highway, with trolls and FRAND scarcely anywhere to be seen or heard.

Three years later, the world has plainly changed. Patent trolls and non-practising entities (NPEs) are the subject of constant debate: do they actually exist at all and, if so, how may they be successfully defined, controlled or -- in the event that they are beneficial -- cultivated?  The map of European patent litigation is being radically redrawn, FRAND has given birth to SEPs (standard-essential patents), the Court of Justice has been bombarded by a series of questions on supplementary protection certificates and the extension of pharma patents which have left industry and practitioners almost as baffled and exasperated as before they took the trouble to ask them, while securitisation, harvesting income streams and tax planning have become ever more sophisticated as new rules and Patent Boxes replace the old regimes.  All of this stuff is no doubt familiar to dedicated readers of MIP (right), or jolly well should be.

This year's International Patent Forum programme is, as one might expect, a catalogue of up-to-the-moment issues: you can check it out for yourself here.  There are also some very well informed folk with whom to discuss these issues, including but not limited to the following miscellaneous assemblage of experts, enthusiasts and Katfriends:
• Russell Bagnall, partner, Adams&Adams
• David Barron, partner, Wragge & Co
• Frédéric Caillaud, director of licensing and business development, L'Oréal
• Charles Clark, head of intellectual property, Edwards Limited
• David Galaun, patent attorney, Cisco
• Matthew Goodwin, global head of patents, Unilever
• Nicky Garnett, partner, Adams & Adams
• Catriona Hammer, senior counsel intellectual property, GE Healthcare
• Andrew Hammond, European patent attorney, Valea
• Alexander Herget, brand protection specialist, Ingenium Investigations
• Kerry Miller, senior IPR licensing counsel, Nokia Siemens Networks
• James Pooley, deputy director general for innovation and technology, WIPO
• Simon Roberts, head of patents, British Telecommunications
• Richard Vary, head of litigation, Nokia
• Sergey A Viktorov, CIS area legal director, GlaxoSmithKline
• Nicky Weimar, senior economist, Nedbank Group
Three years ago this Kat wrote:
" ...most of the speakers deserve to be tied to their chairs for a while, some so that they can't escape and have to talk; others so they can't escape and will therefore have to listen. They know who I mean."
Looking at this list, much the same can be said again.

There's a handsome £300 reduction in the registration fee for readers of the IPKat weblog -- just use this form for registration.  An even bigger reduction awaits in-house patent/IP counsel, who get in for free!

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