Wednesday whimsies, in black and white

"How do you spell *!&%*@!* ?"
When litigants misbehave, lawyers debate ... A couple of weeks ago this Kat had the enjoyable experience of attending a full-blooded debate, in the cosy comfort of London law firm Collyer Bristow's Gallery, on the motion "This House Believes That There Is No Sanction For Unreasonable Behaviour in the IPEC", IPEC being the acronym of the increasingly popular Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, England and Wales.  Proposing the motion were Joe Cohen (a partner in the host firm) and barrister Chris Aikens (11 South Square); opposing were Joe's partner Patrick Wheeler together with another young barrister, Stuart Baran (3 New Square).  The outcome of the debate, chaired by veteran Katfriend, former IP judge and current mediation enthusiast Michael Fysh QC SC, was a little hard to judge, since the proposers took a narrow view of "unreasonable behaviour" as that term is used in the court rules, while the opposers took the term to mean "behaviour that is unreasonable".  This notwithstanding, the occasion was a highly informative one, which sparked off sufficient audience interest to generate questions from the floor and (this being the sign of a really good debate) discussion that continued even into the reception that followed it.  The debaters' presentations can all be accessed online, as follows: Joe Cohen here; Patrick Wheeler here; Chris Aikens here; Stuart Baran here. Oh, and the result? The motion was defeated by 28 votes to 20.

Sajid Javid
Who is the Minister?  Last week's General Election in the United Kingdom has returned Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to office with an absolute Parliamentary majority. He has thus taken the opportunity to make some fresh Cabinet appointments. Former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Vince Cable lost his Parliamentary seat and has been swiftly replaced by Sajid Javid -- a man whose background is in banking rather than in business, which means that he must have taken a huge pay cut in order to enter politics.  The fate of Baroness Neville-Rolfe, who served in the previous government as Minister for Intellectual Property under Vince Cable, is not yet known.  Since she is both a Conservative and a member of the unelected House of Lords, she would appear to be both appropriate and available for instant re-appointment. To her credit, she has not done a bad job, but this Kat still wishes that IP had a "real" minister in the House of Commons, where he or she would be more immediately engaged in debate and more closely answerable for government policy.

Women in IP is a theme that stirred up a lot of interest on this weblog, as well as some rather childish comments from anonymous correspondents who really should have known better [for the whole saga see Katposts here, here, here and here]. Now the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) is holding its 2015 Women in IP Global Networking event next week, on Thursday 21 May 2015.  According to Katfriend and Hogan Lovells partner Sarah Turner,
"The event is a meeting of IP professionals (in-house and private practice) located around the globe who practise IP law or regularly face IP issues in their business. This year, the event is taking place in more than 65 locations on the same day. The London event  -- open to men and women -- will include a live link to simultaneous events across Europe and an informal panel discussion looking at diversity issues across various industries and practices. Our panel includes Toe Su Aung, Co-founder and Director of Elipe (and former INTA President) and Funke Abimbola, UK & Ireland Managing Counsel at Roche. The panel discussion will be followed by a drinks reception". 
If you'd like to be there, just email Michelle Menne (, Alex Williams ( or Sarah herself ( The venue is Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG; registration begins at 5.30 pm for a 6.20 pm start.

Around the weblogs. The IPKat was not the only blogger to pen his thoughts on this year's International Trademark Association Meeting. Here you can read Michael Factor's account on the IP Factor.  Joshua Jarvis was there too, as his post," Brand Prophylaxis or Trademark “Protection” Racket?" on the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog indicates.Meanwhile the MARQUES Class 46 weblog proudly trumpets MARQUES's presence at the current Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of a new Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, which is probably diplomatic in name only when one thinks of the hostilities and name-calling generated by this sensitive topic.

In case you missed the event ...  Here, thanks to Neus Melich Checa (Departament de Cultura, Catalonia), are the video clips of the IP Symposium held at @artssantamonica earlier this year (you can check the program schedule here and the speakers here).
Wednesday whimsies, in black and white Wednesday whimsies, in black and white Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. As those who practice in IP will know, it is very much a profession of young women. Young men are the exception.

    Now, some might say this is a very good thing for young men in the profession - I dare not comment on this - but it strikes me that perhaps a society of male IP lawyers might be called for in order for us to further our own position, and to counter the scurrilous rumors abound regarding the relative merits of male and female candidates.


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