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.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Are you a new IP lawyer in search of a network? Here's something for you

The flyer for the first conference
of the New IP Lawyers Network
Are you a 'new' IP practitioner or academic - whether with a legal or non-legal background - looking for a network to join in order to share ideas and discuss topical issues facing this great area of the law?

Then you may be interested in the recently created New IP Lawyers Network (@NewIPL), which - in the words of enthusiastic founders Mathilde Pavis and Hasan Kadir Yilmaztekin (both PhD candidates at the University of Exeter) is

"[T]he first endeavour to create a hub for new lawyers as well as non-lawyers who share different interests spanning IP, culture, science, creativity and the law. With a “the more, the merrier” approach, the Network looks for more and more members to start a lively and genuine conversation. By creating a buzz among its members, the Network aims to build a community [this is of course something that the IPKat can only approve of], a visible and vibrant network of lawyers and non-lawyers, which draws attention to and influences the future directions of IP law.
To this end, the Network embarks on this endeavour with a sense of initiating a shared adventure with members at law and other schools across the UK as well as across the world. Thus, slowly, together, we will be able to increase the links and open discussion spaces where few previously existed in the IP world. With this exciting prospect, we now invite all researchers, practitioners, artists, scientists and those who are dealing with IP issues to create this hub. We believe that creativity has no boundaries."

From L to R:
Lionel Bently, Eleonora and Graeme Dinwoodie
Yesterday and today the New IP Lawyers Network is having its first inaugural conference, held at the University of Exeter and entitled Why IP Matters: Who Owns the Arts and the Sciences?.

This Kat had the opportunity to attend and share her views [slides available here] on the current state of EU copyright, and if any parallels may be drawn between possible approaches to copyright law and the challenges facing those deciding to enter IP-related professions.

So far attendees have had the chance to appreciate the other keynote presentations delivered by invariably charming and thought-provoking Professors Graeme Dinwoodie (University of Oxford), Lionel Bently (University of Cambridge), and Charlotte Waelde (University of Exeter).

Graeme delivered a fascinating presentation on The Territorial Character of Trade Mark Law in a Post National Era, addressing recent suggestions that trade mark law should move away from its territorial character and suggesting instead alternative means of envisaging a trade mark system that is less dependent upon the principle of territoriality.

A clearly new IP lawyer
seeking to join the Network
Charlotte addressed the relationship between intangible cultural heritage and IP, using disabled dancers as a case study.

Lionel discussed whether the phrase 'intellectual property' should be instead replaced by the term 'innovation', since the latter appears to have become increasingly popular to name research centres and refer to what some people still call ‘IP’. He highlighted that to some extent IP is a deceptive phrase, since it includes rights that are not really intellectual, eg trade marks, or lack a properly proprietary nature, eg traditional knowledge , GIs and copyright moral rights. Whilst adopting the term 'innovation' might have some advantages, eg helping overcome the idea of IP as an end in itself, it might also risk marginalising other dimensions, such as the relationship between IP and fundamental rights. So, at the end of the day, we can keep using the term IP, which is a relief because ‘InnovationKat’ would sound a bit mouthful.

The conference programme features numerous other presentations by doctoral candidates and young IP practitioners from a number of different jurisdictions, focusing on issues such as parody in trade mark law, registration of the shape of a guitar as a trade mark, copyright and remixes, current challenges facing copyright exclusive rights, online IP enforcement, etc.

Overall the idea of having a network for New IP Lawyers is a great one, and the IPKat wishes the best of luck to its founders and members.

The Network is happy to hear from enthusiastic individuals willing to join. If you are among them, then get in touch! You can find the relevant contact form here.

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