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.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Squaring the Cercle: a Kat takes a look at this year's IP Summit

IP on a plate: the Cumberland Sausage
is not a thing to be trifled with ...
Winter 2015 is a great time for 10th anniversaries in the intellectual property world.  Not all such anniversaries are marked, though.  It's ten years since the European Commission announced its intention to organise a major reform of EU copyright law [a job it has since abandoned to the Court of Justice, says Merpel].  It's also a full decade since the sausage-makers of Cumberland banded together and commenced their campaign to seek protected geographical indication status for the Cumberland Sausage.  But some landmarks are definitely commemorated. The Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP), which this blogger currently edits, is holding a special event to commemorate the passage of a decade since its launch. A week later Premier Cercle holds the 10th Edition of its annual IP Summit, which takes place on 3 and 4 December in the Hilton Berlin [or the Berlin Hilton, if you regard the word Berlin as being a sort of adjectival qualifier -- though inverting the words is a good way of distinguishing eg the Hilton Paris from Paris Hilton]. Technically speaking, this is actually the IP Summit's eleventh anniversary since the 1st Edition was held in Brussels back in 2004, but it's definitely the 10th time it has taken place.

For some great IP discussion,
served up on a plate
In a world in which me-too products and services are all too prevalent, Premier Cercle has ploughed its own highly distinctive furrow and has sought to deliver events that stand out on their own. The eye-catching and idiosyncratic use of colour on its website and marketing material, which some of its more solemn competitors might regard as bordering on the frivolous, has successfully differentiated its events at a glance from those organised by others, as does the combined effect of its use of terms such as "edition" (as though each annual event was a book, perhaps), "agenda" for the programme and "verbatim" for testimonials by speakers and VIPs as well as regular registrants. There's also a slightly old-world feel about the manner in which registrants are dealt with by an event team that is as well-informed as it is courteous.  With its own highly identifiable style, the company is a sort of Starbucks of the IP conference world -- even if you can't sit through it all day for the price of a coffee ...

When will IP offices do the same?
This year's programme is designed to appeal to registrants who hunt in packs, since the registration package includes a "buy two, get one free" offer [don't worry: there's no way of spotting which of the three is the freebie]. With at least 600 souls attending, from intellectual property VIPs and public sector power-wielders to corporate decision-makers and private practitioners, the programme doesn't assume that everyone is there for the same reason: it is sensibly divided into streams, enabling registrants to follow their IP specialities via workshop sessions and to engage with their own kind, as it were. There are some great debating topics on offer too: do we need more IP rights or simply better protection for the ones we have, for starters. The list of confirmed speakers, which is awesome, contains many Katfriends (and incidentally friends of JIPLP too). 

Only one way to reform copyright in
a harmonised Europe -- but which is it?
Of the various streams, the one on patents looks to have most to offer, possibly on account of the fact that transactional and asset management issues involving patents have been developing ahead of other IP rights. The recent flare-up of interest in patents for second medical use and available judicial remedies when they are infringed is also given a prominent place on the agenda.  The trade mark stream allows for discussion on the spillover from tobacco plain packaging, a topic first seriously raised in international debate the MARQUES Conference back in September 2012 but generally avoided on account of its sensitive nature.  The copyright topics pretty well select themselves, with an opportunity to explore the highways and byways of the European Commission's copyright roadmap for modernising Europe's copyright framework.  

You can check out the programme and pretty well everything else about the event from the Premier Cercle website here


Sally Cooper said...

I keep checking this - I'm still seeing the PGI as "Traditional Cumberland Sausage" and papers filed in 2008

Sau Sage said...

The papers were filed in 2008 but the Cumberland Sausagemakers Association was formed in late 2005 for the purpose of gaining protection.

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