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, 11 May 2014

Kats at INTA 1: Sunday raining cats and dogs

Home to thousands for the next few days
Following a few preliminary events on Saturday, it was Sunday that witnessed the first big day of activity at this year's International Trademark Association (INTA) Meeting in Hong Kong (click here for programme). The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (right) is the venue: this vast modern cavernous building seems to consist largely of open spaces joined to one another by counter-intuitive escalators which have on least a couple of occasions caused this Kat to go down in order to go up, and vice versa (or at least it felt that way).

Next year, San Diego ...
If one word had to be found that would summarise today, it would probably be "soggy".  The sky, which varied during the day between a pale silvery whiteness and a thick rich grey, demonstrated a remarkable versatility in terms of the moisture which it precipitated upon those INTA participants who were foolish enough to emerge from the sheltered, air-conditioned comfort of hotel, vehicle or venue.  There was the cloying dampness of the humid air; there was a fine drizzle, imperceptible but penetrative; there were the occasional large droplets that descended with force and landed with a smack; there was the insistent pounding of an angled, wind-driven shower and -- particularly when this Kat got lost in the dark on the way home to his hotel -- the full fortissomo orchestral spendour of the unrelenting cloudburst.

The rain actually brought out the best in many people.  Umbrellas and occasionally taxis were shared with relative strangers; plastic bags and other improvised garments were worn in ways and in places not often seen at IP conferences, and complete strangers could pretend to be British and talk to each other about the weather.  The same climatic conditions also contributed to more people not sneaking off for the self-indulgences of sight-seeking or the feigned altruism of present-shopping, but rather staying in the Convention Centre with their fellow IP enthusiasts. Sadly, however, the weather did nothing to assist the kind souls who had organised receptions this evening. While some invitees managed to arrive, others did not -- some because the rain had absorbed so many local taxis that they couldn't get one in time and others, including this Kat, because they had completely soaked their only presentable set of clothes and had to beat a retreat in order to dry them out.

Even at this early stage, the choice of Hong Kong has given the INTA Meeting a very different flavour.  This blogger's impression is that there are considerably fewer participants from North America but far more from Asia (he's not sure about the Europeans, but there seem to plenty of them around).  The stands in the Exhibit Hall seem to be more numerous, and many more than usual are occupied by firms offering professional IP services (go back 20 years and there was scarcely an IP law practice to be seen exhibiting; the booths were largely taken up by companies offering search services, computer solutions and printed publications).

Apart from a couple of meetings with lawyers at which he was able to sit down and discuss real legal issues, this Kat spent most of the time in the vicinity of the Oxford University Press stand which, being conveniently near the entrance to the Exhibit Hall, makes it easier to spot his friends -- and even easier for them to spot him.  He won't be there so much tomorrow (it's the Scholarship Day so he'll be at the Professors' Lunch and the afternoon Scholarship Symposium), but he'll be there for much of Tuesday and Wednesday, if you happen to be there and want to say hello.

1 comment:

Barbara Cookson said...

should have a full house for your scholarship sessions - maybe rainy destinations are the answer to improving the educational content

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