Nodus meeting

One quarter of the IPKat's human representatives attended last evening's Nodus event in Nottingham, at which a quadumvirate from 3 New Square spoke about various aspects of what they do. The speakers were Denise McFarland, Douglas Campell and Tom Hinchliffe, who were coralled by Colin Birss QC. Denise gave a very enlightening (to this Kat, at least) presentation on how to instruct chambers. Key points that the IPKat took away from this were that things don't always have to be wrapped up in pretty tape, but it does help to organise your papers and keep it simple. It might also help to consider barristers like difficult children who have a tendency to scribble on things and ask awkward questions.

Douglas gave an overview of the 'Bolar' exemptions relating to experimental use of patented products. Most of this went over the IPKat's head, but there appears to be one main lesson from this, which is that if you are considering relying on the exemption it's best to get some very heavy duty advice first unless you like living dangerously.

The highlight of the evening, however, was Tom Hinchliffe who talked about the recent case of Actavis v Merck (see the IPKat's commentary here). Much of this case was about whether the court of appeal could go against an earlier judgment of theirs (BMS v Baker Norton, to be exact), and in the end it decided it could, partly because the EPO case law in the area was 'settled' and happened to arrive at the opposite answer to what appeared to be the case in the UK. Unfortunately, at the very last minute a new referral to the EPO Enlarged Board appeared, which seemed to cast a fair degree of doubt over the very issues that were thought to be settled. This was all very interesting, and will certainly keep the lawyers busy for a little while longer, but the IPKat was shocked to find out that his faint suspicions at the time (see the comment here) were actually correct. It was his posting here that apparently prompted the last minute panic, which resulted in a postscript being added to the judgment, which allowed an unusually extended time for leave to appeal to the House of Lords until after the Enlarged Board had delivered their decision. 

The IPKat would like to thank all those at 3 New Square for taking time out to visit Nottingham, and especially Ann Critchell-Ward at Freeth Cartwright for organising the event.  Tufty would also like to thank Denise for her clever idea; he is working on it right now and should have the results shortly...
Nodus meeting Nodus meeting Reviewed by David Pearce on Friday, September 19, 2008 Rating: 5

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