INTA report: Day 2

The IPKat's second breakfast of the day coincided with the INTA Professors' Breakfast Meeting. Although the breakfast was conducted deep in the bowels of the McCormick Center, the discussion was fresh and wholesome. After a few false starts and halting beginnings, the relationship between the academic community and the INTA has matured encouragingly.

Right: Professor Doris Long (John Marshall Law School) demonstrates this year's INTA professorial dance step; Richard Heath (Unilever) looks on.

The topics discussed, under the benign eye of INTA President Dee Ann Weldon-Wilson (Exxon Mobil, left) and other INTA worthies, included the integration of law teachers and students into the wider INTA programme, the need for academic writing to remain relevant and attractive to trade mark owners and practitioners (correlative to this there is a need for owners and practitioners to pay more attention to the results of university research), greater involvement of academics in the Association's often technical and complex committee work, and who had the most badge ribbons. One learned professor from Kentucky claimed to be this year's ribbonmeister, but the IPKat continues to spread the rumour that one highly-committee'd INTA star, whose ID he will gallantly protect, could run around Chicago clad only in her badge ribbons without any offence against modesty.

The IPKat next failed to gain entrance to this year's big event, which was packed to the rafters: representatives of the big internet companies were being hoisted before the trade mark lobby and asked to justify adwords, pop-ups and alien banners. Given the sheer power of the internet companies and the righteous indignation of the trade mark interests, this might be one of those cases in which the lions were fed to the Christians.

Right: a medley of pop-ups, from Spyware Sucks

Privately, several responsible people mentioned to the Kat that, while the present situation might be legal, it was not tolerable, and that a negotiated settlement of the balance of interests of those who own trade marks and those who sell them as adwords would be the best basis on which to found any future legislation.

The rest of the working day was spent in good old-fashioned networking. The IPKat learned from Chris Morcom QC that the real problem with this year's venue was not the somewhat charmless nature of the interior but its remarkable capacity for making INTA look small. He also learned a good deal about what people think about (i) each other, (ii) themselves and (iii) their clients - which is, it seems, what a lot of networking actually is.

The evening was reception time again, the highlights being (i) the IPKat being unable to find the way into Soldier Field for the Arent Fox reception, having foolishly approached it on foot, (ii) the Meet the Bloggers drinks at the Billy Goat Tavern, at which IP bloggers and their readers got together for some mutual back-patting and (iii) the Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione reception at The House of Blues, at which veteran trade mark law practitioner and commentator Jerome Gilson and his delightful wife Jamie twinkled like stars in the the iconic venue's stygian gloom.
INTA report: Day 2 INTA report: Day 2 Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, April 30, 2007 Rating: 5

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