E Pluribus Unum: a US patent reform conference comes to Munich

The “London bus” effect is well-known to many IPKat readers: you wait patiently in line for a bus. After peering into a bus-free horizon for what feels like an eternity, you discern a distant red speck, crawling at an almost inconceivably slow pace towards you. At last the distant speck comes close enough for you to see not one bus, but two or even three, travelling together in what appears to be a convoy.

The casual observer might think the same about events on US patent law reform. Last year, while US lobbyists and legislators were (as it seems from a European perspective) at war with each other —and indeed with themselves —over the form that US patent reform was to take, things were very quiet in the Old Continent. There was scarcely a ripple to disturb the becalmed sea of US patent programmes. Now the opposite has happened. The US lobbyists have spent their cartridges; the lawmakers have retired, exhausted, from the fierce arena of legislative reform and have retreated to the relative tranquillity of Presidential election campaigning. But over in Europe the opposite has happened: the dam of uncertainty has burst and, now that the America Invents Act is upon us, the surge of seminars, webinars, podcasts, learned articles, not-so-learned articles and conferences has rushed upon us. One such event is the conference ‘U.S. Patent Reform: Consequences for European Practitioners’, hosted next month in Munich, the heartland of European patenting.

"Pluribus" does not mean
a plurality of buses ...
If all buses are alike, the same cannot be said of this event, since there is much that is singularly praiseworthy (you can check this out for yourself from the event’s website here. Indeed, this product is very much a case of E pluribus unum (“One out of the many”), the motto on the Great Seal of the United States. Apart from the entirely meritorious fact that the organisers, FORUM, are inviting registrations from the IPKat’s readers at a generous preferential rate (detailed below), they have also gone to the trouble of importing some of the biggest transatlantic names for European delectation. These include the Kat’s friend USPTO Director David Kappos, who is not just speaking but making himself available for a lengthy Q&A session; indeed, you can get almost whole mornings-worth of him (even more, if you can catch him at breakfast!) Then there’s Q. Todd Dickinson (the AIPLA Executive Director), a man who speaks the language of the battle-hardened practitioner. Both David and Q. Todd should be well on top of their subjects in more ways than one: they will have just been performing a few days earlier in the Washington DC conference which the IPKat told you about last week, so their Q&A skills and repartée should be freshly honed, ready for their Munich audience.

The European contingent is pretty impressive too. Syngenta IP head Michael Kock is not a man whose opinions are lightly brushed aside—and for those who like economic gurus who interface with the real world of patents and innovation, Dietmar Harhoff, who chairs the European Patent Office’s Economic and Scientific Advisory Board, is also contributing. And there are others.

Someone else whose name
ends in -o, but he isn't
"starr-ing" in this event
The bit of the programme that most appeals to this Kat is the European Practitioner Forum session that concludes the serious side of Day One. Merck KGaA’s Arno Hartmann looks at how ‘first-inventor-to-file’ (the US version of ‘first-to-file’) will actually affect the daily work routine of the EU-based practitioner, while Ingo Brückner [Merpel thinks names ending with “–o” are really cool, and there are two of them in this session] tackles a topic we all thoroughly wish didn’t exist: how to navigate the transition period. Sandwiched between them, Michael Kock addresses the impact of the prior user rights defence on global patenting strategies. This should be more than enough to whip up a true appetite for what the organisers mouth-wateringly call the “Joint Dinner” which follows.

Now, says the IPKat, about that generous discount of 10% which his readers can enjoy when they register for this conference, what you do is this: you click here to register as a FORUM customer. Once you’ve done that, just follow the simple on-screen instructions for IPKat readers and the conference registration details will miraculously appear.
E Pluribus Unum: a US patent reform conference comes to Munich E Pluribus Unum: a US patent reform conference comes to Munich Reviewed by Jeremy on Sunday, March 04, 2012 Rating: 5

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