AIPPI Congress Report 1: The Brazilian sun rises over this year's Congress

The AmeriKat started purring
when she saw this equatorial
sunset on her way to Rio
Passing south over the Earth's mid-section Saturday afternoon, the AmeriKat was being warmed in her airplane seat by the equatorial sun as she imagined what her first trip to Brazil would entail (so to speak). Four hours later, the AmeriKat arrived in Rio to a blast of tropical air, Portuguese twirling around her ears and palpable excitement about AIPPI's 46th World IP Congress.  Although the official Congress program did not start until today, this never stops AIPPI's attendees from over 80 countries arriving early to enjoy the chosen location's sites and sounds and some pre-programme debates and festivities.

As is the form, Sunday was primarily dedicated to the Working Committees.  During these sessions, members debate final resolutions or recommendations.  This follows after extensive work from National and Regional Groups who prepare reports on the status of the particular IP issue in their jurisdiction.  These reports are then summarized which highlights commonalities, as well as differences, between jurisdictions on the protection and enforcement of IP.  The resolutions seek to propose minimum standards or approaches on a particular issue which are later voted on at larger AIPPI sessions (more on that later this week).  

At last year's Congress in Toronto, it was the question on second medical use that garnered the most attention (see IPKat reports here).  This year, the trade secrets question is attracting similar interest, especially in light of the proposed EU Trade Secrets Directive.  If trade secrets aren't for you, you are in luck as the other questions have something for everyone.  The remaining questions include:  (i) exceptions and limitations to copyright protection for libraries, archives and education and research institutions; (ii) taking unfair advantage of trademarks: parasitism and free riding and (iii) inventorship of multinational inventions.  These questions are all up for heated debate later this week.

The trade secrets question
gets underway in Rio
After hours in these committee meetings, those that still had their energy (and had not escaped to the nearby beach in Barra de Tijuca) made it to the introduction of next year's questions on the following issues:
  • Protection for industrial designs
  • Security interests over IP
  • Added matter in patent law
  • Linking and making available on the Internet
Those that stayed in the room where then treated to the UPC Open Session organized by AIPPI's Unitary Patent and UPC Standing Committee. As the Secretary of the Committee, the AmeriKat could be seen (albeit barely) behind the podium outlining the importance of clarifying the transitional regime under Article 83 of the Unified Patent Court Agreement.  The Chair of the Committee, Alan Johnson (Bristows) emphasized the timeline for in the run-up to the UPC with an anticipated date of mid-2017 for its launch.  The Committee's Co-Chair, Thierry Calame (Lenz & Staehelin) closed the session by leading the discussion of an expert panel of distinguished guests including Niclas Morey (EPO), Judge Meier-Beck (Presiding Judge of the German Federal Court of Justice), Larry Welch (Eli Lilly), Tina Chappell (Intel) and Michael Fröhlich.  The panel debated issues including industry views on the granting of injunctions, SPCs based on unitary patents, judicial training and non-patent law issues in the UPC (the nitty-gritty of this session will be subject to a follow-on post).

Literally, kicking
the Congress off
with some caopeira
The UPC Open Session could have continued for much longer than it did, but there was the small matter of the Opening Ceremony to attend.  The Opening Ceremony marks the official kick-off of the Congress.  Elisabeth Kasznar Fekete (President of AIPPI Brazil) outlined the fast pace in which the Brazilian consumer market is growing, highlighting that of the 204 million people in Brazil 55% represent what is referred to as "the new middle class".  As this consumer market grows, innovation is increasing as is the use of new business models which is why, Elizabeth explained, the role of technology transfers is increasingly prominent in Brazil.  Although she noted there were structural constraints to overcome in Brazil to improve the local IP systems, progress is being made in particular in relation to counterfeit products as a result of increased integration between IP bodies in Brazil.

After being entertained by a talented Rio-based youth string group called Camerata Laranjerias who played traditional Brazilian songs (and one from Norway for good measure) and an impressive display of a variety of Brazilian dance forms the Congress was officially opened.  For those readers who could not make it to Rio this year (or those that did but are instead exploring the sites), the AmeriKat and her wonderful team of guest bloggers will be back later on with topic-specific reports from this year's Congress.  
AIPPI Congress Report 1: The Brazilian sun rises over this year's Congress AIPPI Congress Report 1:  The Brazilian sun rises over this year's Congress Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Monday, October 12, 2015 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. it should say "Capoeira" in that photo caption ;)


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