From October 2016 to March 2017 the team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Tian Lu and Hayleigh Bosher.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

European Patent Reform: a high-power forum may be heading your way ...

MIP: food for thought
While interest in the governance of Eponia (the eponymous Central European fiefdom of the European Patent Office) runs gratifyingly high, as the comments posted to Merpel's Sunday night blogpost testify, a more serious thread of interest in the present and future of the European patent system is not hard to discern either, as it weaves its way through the consciousness of the patent community.  One strand of this thread is an intriguing event hosted in two cities which, between them, hold so much of the fate of the new European patent regime in their hands: it's the Managing Intellectual Property (MIP) magazine-backed European Patent Reform Forum and you can catch it in Munich on 9 September or wait a couple of days and attend it in Paris on 11 September. The significance of the host cities will not be missed on patent practitioners and their clients, or on commentators and lobbyists: the Unified Patent Court, looming large in our minds though not yet in our daily routine, has chosen Paris for the Central Division of its First Instance Court, with  Munich handling mechanical engineering cases.  The "missing" city is London, which will accommodate the court's chemistry and pharma workload -- though it was London that hosted the same organisers' International Patent Forum this March (on which see "A touch of the Waldorfs", here).

Fast food
Having founded MIP back in the early 1990s and then having edited it for some years, this Kat is always happy to see what it's up to, and he's pleased to see that quite a few of his friends, and contributors to his own rival publication, have been pressed into service in the forthcoming Forums. The panel of Munich speakers and participants, which you can see by clicking here, features a convincing blend of in-housers, private practitioners and bureaucrats, as well as a good mix of industrial sectors, and the programme focuses a good deal on the discussion of strategic issues (ie what to do, when and how to do it). A novel feature is what Merpel calls "speed-lunching", since the action-packed morning and afternoon sessions leave just 50 minutes for the traditional mid-day pit-stop and refuelling. The venue for this challenging event is the "Marriott Munich Hotel, Munich" which, from the repetition of the M-word, sounds like an attempt to persuade us that the hotel really and truly is in Munich -- unlike that lovely city's airport, which is actually a short flight away.

Slow food
The Paris line-up (which you can check out here) features many of the same speakers, but with some tactical substitutions to reflect the local terrain: among them is the redoubtable Christophe Geiger, Director of CEIPI in Strasbourg. This day's programme also has the speed-lunching feature, so Merpel hopes there won't be too many escargots on the menu. The venue for the "Paris re-match", as one might describe the second edition of the Forum, is the Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Élysées, which sounds like a good place for a night out on the town an ideal location for an event of this nature, particularly for some of our American cousins who don't travel too well and like to feel at home wherever they may be ...

Digest the message ...
Now for the nitty-gritty. MIP, out of the kindness of their hearts and notwithstanding their lack of charitable status, are offering FREE attendance for academics and for in-house counsel, patent counsel and R&D professionals. If you don't fall within any of those categories, you're still entitled to a 25% DISCOUNT if you are an IPKat reader who happens to be a private practitioner, consultant or adviser (this works out at €820).  Everyone else -- and there can't be that many "everyone elses" apart from monarchs, footballers and bloggers -- has to pay the full whack, €1,095.

Further information about this useful and highly tempting forum can be obtained by clicking here. To claim your special IPKat reduction, email Alicia Sprott at and quote your VIP Katcode IPK25.

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