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, 26 August 2015

“Simple Past, Present Continuous…Future Perfect?” GFIP Conference Report IV

The second plenary session today addressed the topic of IP Value Creation—Strategies for the 21st Century. But first a word about the conference organization, This Kat heard many attendees marvel at the level and detail paid to the organization and on-site management of the event. From the speakers’ perspective, we were particularly well looked-after. IPOS and the IP Academy should be warmly complimented for their efforts.

If you liked The Economist's piece on patents,
you'll just adore this board game ...
Four speakers offered various perspectives on the issue of IP value-creation. First up was Ian Harvey, formerly the head of the well-known English technology commercialization company BTG and today affiliated with Tsinghua in Beijing and Imperial College in London. His mantra is that IP is the currency of innovation. However, there is still a disconnect between IP and those that are responsible for looking after it in a company, and the low level of awareness of IP at the corporate manager level. Even more telling, from his experience, IP is still not a boardroom item. The challenge remains how to bring the IP professionals into the mainstream of the company’s business considerations. Mr Harvey’s most rousing moment was his impassioned criticism of the last week’s cover story in The Economist, “Set innovation free! Time to fix the patent system” (this Kat is in full agreement and Kat readers can expect further comments on a truly appalling piece of IP populism upon this Kat’s return home).

Following Ian Harvey, a familiar face from previous GFIP events, Kenichi Nagasawa, Director and Group Executive at the Corporate Intellectual Property and Legal Headquarters of Canon, took the audience through a series of fascinating slides on how Canon manages its IP interests. The degree of sophistication in the way Canon handles its IP matters were an eye-opener for a not insignificant number of the audience. This Kat, for one, is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get his Kat-paws on the slides for further study and reflection.

Etienne: a Loire
unto himself?
From the multinational tech world of Canon, we turned to Etienne Sanz de Acedo, the kinetic CEO of the International Trademark Association (INTA). Etienne (as he is wont to be called), identified three topics that posed a challenge to the commercial viability of trade marks, namely (i) counterfeiting: (ii) bad faith registrations; and (iii) providing a proper valuation for a company’s trade marks and other IP. In response to a question for the audience, he mentioned plain package labelling as a further issue of concern. He noted generally that business people need to better understand IP as a company asset.

... and not just global trade?
The final speaker, and in some ways a complement to the presentation by Mr Nagasawa, was Karen Law, Group General Counsel at Digital Domain Holdings, a media company. Ms Law has previously worked for a number of years in a senior IP capacity at Alibaba. If Mr Nagasawa represents the approach used by the high tech product world, Ms Law represents the IP challenge posed to media companies. As she mentioned, her entire experience at Alibaba had been in the context of online products. What was particularly interesting for this Kat was her several references to co-branding activities as a means for obtaining greater market share and enhancing one’s goodwill. Even more, these co-branding activities were not simply arrangements to use together marks from two or more entities, but also entailed establishing a joint venture in the furtherance of the co-branding efforts.

1 comment:

Michael Factor said...

Jeremy,

I've offered to treat everyone to a drink, not to pay for the drinks. There is a slight difference if any of your associates are heavy drinkers...

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':