- In the first place, there's an old saying that, among the blind, the one-eyed man is king [Merpel wants to know about the prospects of one-eyed women being queen ...]. There are a few people who, on the basis that they feel that they do genuinely know something about the new patent litigation scheme for Europe, get the urge to tell everyone else about their real or imagined expertise. Conferences are great places for doing so but, at the onset of the largest upheaval in patent law and patent litigation that Europe has ever seen, hardly any of us has that comforting degree of knowledge gained through experience to be able to claim to be anything other than one-eyed.
- Then there are people who genuinely want to find about about the new parameters for patent litigation in Europe, the United States and indeed beyond, and who consider that it is more efficient to derive their understanding of the subject from a focused conference than by randomly searching the web, reading blogs or anxiously devouring the newsletters sent to them by law firms, trade organisations and, where appropriate, lobby groups.
- Others who attend are creatures of habit. Their commercial or professional success has depended on their unerring consistency. Being averse to change, they attend patent law events in the hope of receiving comfort from speakers who say things like "while the substance of the law is changing, things will remain much the same in practice" -- words that one rarely hears in patent conferences at this juncture.
- Finally there are the people who enjoy networking. They pick up the conference pack, skim the photocopied PowerPoint frames for useful statistics and signs of intelligibility, and then save themselves for the tea, coffee and lunch breaks when they can glean some really useful information, such as what other ordinary folk are making of the sea of change in which all good patent people are tossed.
|Putting a patent case together will usually|
involve a blend of knowledge and experience
Looking further afield, readers of both this blog and IP Finance will know that there has been an extensive and ongoing debate as to whether patent litigation, and in particular United States patent litigation, has had the effect of depressing patent values, thereby damaging the prospects of patents being firmly recognised as a respectable asset class; investigation of patent litigation in general, bearing in mind its points of intersection with standard essential patents and FRAND arrangements, is thus a worthwhile course of action. And now that the America Invents Act is losing that glossy sheen of novelty that attended its arrival, many people who resisted events that dealt with it in its embryonic stages are now prepared to lend their ear to practitioners' perspectives on how they live and work with it.
So what is the best that anyone can hope for, when the conference programme that spans the known, the known knowns and the unknown knowns as this one does [Merpel doubts that many patent dispute resolution experts would admit at this stage to there being many, or indeed any, unknown unknowns]? For one thing, one should hope speakers who can look at the new laws -- and the new problems which they cause -- clearly and objectively, measuring them against their personal experience of the old laws; speakers who can interact with their audience, answer questions and, where appropriate, bounce them back at their inquisitors. An event that furnishes such speakers, this Kat is pleased to say, is IBC's 6th Annual International Patent Litigation Conference which takes place on 4 and 5 December in the amenable atmosphere of the Melia White House Hotel, London [for some personal reminiscences concerning this venue, see below]. Several of his friends are speaking, and the organisers are offering a 15% registration fee reduction for readers of this weblog [to claim the 15 % discount, register using this link and be sure to quote the VIP KatCode FKW82525IPKB].