Annual Cambridge CIPIL Conference on mens rea in IP

Every year in spring, when daffodils are in full bloom and the lovely town of Cambridge looks even lovelier (a dream indeed!), IP aficionados gather to attend the conference organized by the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge.

This year's conference theme is particularly intriguing, in that it focuses on the relevance of knowledge and intention in IP law, ie something that has possibly changed in recent times more than what most some people might have expected or wanted.

Chaired by Sir Richard Arnold, the conference will discuss the following:
Intellectual property law had, for much of the 20th century, been thought of as a body of strict liability torts: a defendant infringes, irrespective of whether they knew about the claimant’s intellectual property right or intended to infringe it. As long as the act is not involuntary, there is infringement. Knowledge and intention might be relevant in evidentiary terms, or as a component of a defence, with respect to remedies, of to establish accessory liability, but rarely, if ever, in relation to substantive infringement by the primary actor. Yet, in recent years, questions of knowledge and intention have taken an increasingly prominent place in matters of IP infringement, particularly as a response to new technologies and environments.
Some of the questions that will be addressed during the day include whether:

- a farmer should be regarded as infringing patent rights over genetically-modified plants, where seed spread on to the farmers land which they then bred (perhaps even without being aware of its presence);

- a manufacturer of a generic drug is liable for infringement where it sells the drug knowing it will be prescribed for a therapeutic use covered by a “Swiss-form claim”;

- a search engine that automatically creates hyperlinks to infringing material communicates that material to a new public when the search engine provider cannot be said to ‘know’ the link is to such material;

-a maker of wine infringes another’s trade mark where users hide part of the mark applied to the goods by the alleged infringer so as to give the impression they are drinking the claimant’s wine?

For further details and to book your place, just click here!
Annual Cambridge CIPIL Conference on mens rea in IP Annual Cambridge CIPIL Conference on mens rea in IP Reviewed by Eleonora Rosati on Friday, February 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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