For those of you who have just returned from your Easter break ...

Last week saw a good deal of activity on this weblog, which coincided with a good deal of inactivity on the part of many of our readers who took the opportunity to have a bit of a holiday break.  Accordingly the IPKat, after due consultation with Merpel, thought it might be a good idea to welcome you back with a quick update.

Three Kats and friends at the opening of this year's Fordham event
Three Kats (Jeremy, Annsley and Eleonora) attended this year's Fordham Intellectual Property Conference -- an event which we cannot recommend highly enough.  The participants are drawn from some of the leading members of the judiciary, in-house and private practice and academe and the two days are devoted to an intensive pursuit of a deeper understanding of IP. Here you get a warm appreciation of the golden glow of IP at its finest, and also a dark intimation of what IP law produces at its worst.  No-nonsense, highly-focused presentations are closely followed and finely analyses. Anyone presuming to misappropriate more than his allotted number of minutes (anything between 8 and 15) is unceremoniously guillotined. It's an environment in which no holds are barred, no questions are off-limits, no quarter spared.  Hugh Hansen, inventor of the Fordham formula and pretty well synonymous with it, has done the IP community an immense favour by coining this template, and we Kats thank him gratefully for having done so.

The following sessions of this year's conference were noted on this weblog:
  • Multilateral and FTA (that's Free Trade Area) Law and Policy, here
  • IP Leaders here
  • Enforcement issues here
  • Trade Mark Law and the CJEU here
  • Multilateral developments here
  • Perspectives from Intellectual Property Pioneers here
  • The European Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court here
  • General Counsel Roundtable, by Annsley, here
  • IP industries' contribution to economic performance and the public's opinion thereof here
And here are some sessions that were noted by members of the IPKat team on other blogs:
  • Fair use and freedom of speech (1709 Blog, here)
  • Copyright revision round the world (1709 Blog, here)
  • Copyright enforcement (1709 Blog, here)
  • Aereo (1709 Blog, here)
  • General Counsel Roundtable, by Jeremy (IP Finance weblog, here)
  • SPCs (The SPC Blog, here)
  • Trade marks at Fordham (Class 46, here)
Two further reports are still to come.  One covers the session on developments before the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. This report, which has been kindly prepared for us by OHIM Mediator, Board of Appeal member and regular Fordham participant Gordon Humphreys, will be posted within the next day or so.  There will also be a report on the inter partes review procedure in US patent law.

For those whose interests extended beyond Fordham, we ran the following posts last week, which may have been a bit swamped by all those Fordham postings:
  • Tuesday Titivation (a brief round-up by Darren S), here
  • Pipcu prevails, counterfeiter calamities and now YOU can be a trade mark 'intern' on your smartphone! (a trilogy of anti-piracy titbits from Darren M), here
  • “Quentin, come here!” -- a plea for Tarantino’s copyright litigation in Europe (a bit of typical creativity from Alberto), here
  • Wednesday whimsies, as usual ... here
  • The EPO Rules on Strikes Revealed to Merpel, here
  • BREAKING NEWS: AGCOM issues the first fastissimo administrative blocking injunction (Alberto again, this time in serious mode, here)
  • Spanish Napster defeats music majors (posted by Alberto for guest contributor Carlos Garcia Berned, here)
  • Phil & Ted's Most Excellent Buggy Company Limited prevails in patent dispute on baby buggies (a Most Excellent analysis by Darren S, here)
  • Own Your (Trade Mark) Power! A fascinating glimpse into the world of US celebrity litigation, posted by ?Jeremy for guest blogger Marie-Andrée Weiss, here
  • Smartphone brands: cachet or commodity? Neil's Thought for the Week, here
Things should be getting back to normal now. Our apologies to those readers who felt a bit bombarded by Fordham -- and to those returning to work who have had so many emails awaiting them on their first day back.

Have a great summer!
For those of you who have just returned from your Easter break ... For those of you who have just returned from your Easter break ... Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, April 28, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. So who is that sitting behind the Kats...?

  2. Thanks for this useful list. Can you do it more often, to make it easier for us to see what has built up on your blog over time?

  3. This was, all in, one of the more disappointing Fordham conferences especially the plenary sessions. It was marked by too much looking back with no clear aim in mind, anecdotal remarks from the past, and a high degree of platform seeking even by Fordham standards. Very low audience participation save from the usual suspects.The effect of all that can be rather exclusionary and some of those taking part are showing their figurative age in this area without bringing anything else to bear. There appears to be in some areas a lack of fresh talent leading to rotation of jobs amongst some of those taking part -from the private sector to the public sector and back again or vice versa. That said, on the whole, the participants from the public sector or the various international organisations including the judges (former and sitting)were the soundest, providing real food for thought in their presentations with some new faces. However, these particular participants are generally not in need of a platform and they are constrained in what they can say -so they tend to be more careful.As to the private sector including academe,it was patchy.Some excellent and some not so. There were many more participants from Europe and whilst this is to be welcomed, in at least one instance there was a real problem with language skills as one presentation was so heavily accented, it was impossible to discern what was being said were it not for the slides. Attempts from previous years to make the conference more international i.e. wider than Europe (China etc)have been abandoned.

  4. Anonymous, 15:48. Thanks for your comments, which contain a good deal of truth.

    The old faces will continue to hog a considerable quantity of the limelight for three reasons. One is that many of the big names operate as a magnet: they are generally highly accessible when they're not speaking or on a panel. A second is that, even if they do not provide scintillating and thought-provoking content with every word, they are generally good value when they make their contributions from the floor. A third is that they find it easier to obtain funding and time to attend.

    I suspect that attempts to make the conference more international failed because they weren't supported by the people who attended. In previous years I've been to several excellent sessions at which people from minority interest jurisdictions have given excellent papers to sparsely-populated rooms.

    I'm all in favour of younger speakers and will be happy to recommend them, as I have done in the past.

  5. A big day for hearings today. In Luxembourg,International Stem Cell before the Grand Chamber of the CJEU and in the US, Aereo before the Supreme Court.Reports anyone?


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