Since most readers are probably more interested in who won than in anything else, the Kat will cut to the chase. The winners were as follows:
- Copyright law firm of the year: Berwin Leighton Paisner
- Trade mark law firm of the year: Grau & Angulo
- Patent law firm of the year: Allen & Overy
- IP law firm of the year in an emerging market: Remfry & Sagar
- IP Law firm of the year: Allen & Overy
- Domain name/online strategy of the year: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton for the Namealizer, a domain name evaluation tool
- Outstanding IP portfolio management/development in business: Lupin Pharmaceuticals
- Innovative IP strategy design or execution: Allied Security Trust
- Young IP lawyer or executive of the year: Christopher Stothers (Arnold & Porter)
- IP lawyer/executive of the year: Anna-Lena Wolfe (Tetra Pak)
- CEO of the year: Fran Nevrkla from PPL.and Allied Security Trust’s Daniel M McCurdy.
In congratulating all of the winners, this Kat would also like to say some encouraging things about those who were short-listed but did not succeed: on the whole, the standard of the nominations was remarkably high and really impressive. Without divulging any state secrets, he can say that every one of the award categories was keenly contested, which was why the adjudication meeting was so long and arduous. He was particularly impressed by all the entries for Young IP Lawyer/Executive, each of whom would not have been out of place on the list of entries for [old] IP Lawyer/Executive.
In the course of discussion, some very interesting issues arose. For example, in the 'IP law firm of the year in an emerging market' category, should there be separate classes for firms originating in those markets and those which, as international or at least multinational practices, have been able to focus their resources and their expertise into those same markets? Different skills and mind-sets are demanded in each case and different challenges are faced. Also, how does one compare and contrast the IP portfolio management tasks faced by (i) corporations with massive proprietary IP which they must protect, monitor, enforce and monetarise, and (ii) corporations with slender IP assets of their own, operating in markets where others hold the rights and where survival depends on dodging between the raindrops by not infringing, on taking favourable licences where necessary and on successfully challenging the scope or validity of third party rights if need be.
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