For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Sunday, 11 November 2012

A word about the Competition Law Association

Last week the IPKat made mention here of the Golding Essay Prize sponsored by the Competition Law Association. Since this Kat is actually quite fond of the CLA, he'd like to take a little time to tell readers what it's all about.

The CLA promotes the discussion of both law and commercial practices affecting competition and intellectual property, both nationally and internationally. Membership is open to all those interested in its objectives, whether in industry, private practice or academe. Right now, the CLA's membership is composed principally of barristers, solicitors, academics and patent and trade mark attorneys, as well as some economists who practise in the field.

A series of lunchtime and evening meetings, principally in London, keep members on their toes, covering topical issues in the field of IP and competition law and luring people in with blandishments such as CPD points and plenty to drink suitable refreshments. Topics covered recently include the future of European trade mark law, media plurality and mergers, harmonisation by stealt, the CJEU and European copyright and, for good measure, the work of the Patents County Court. The CLA has also run two seminars on the IP/competition law interface, the first addressing the role of competition authorities in IP matters and the second looking at the abuse (if you're a competition lawyer) or 'abuse' (if you love IP) of intellectual property rights. Members can even join Working Parties on Competition Law and Intellectual Property Law -- which provide a forum to contribute to the CLA’s representations to Government and competition authorities in relation to legislative initiatives.

Further information on the CLA (and its parent body, the International League of Competition Law, the LIDC) and on the benefits of membership, with details of how to join, can be found here. The cost of membership per calendar year is £120 with a concessionary rate of £95 for full-time academics and public sector/regulator employees (other than secondees from private practice). However, anyone joining the CLA between 1 October and the end of the year is entitled to membership through to the end of 2013 for the same price. Membership entitles those fortunate enough to enjoy it to free attendance at all CLA seminars (save for the annual Burrell Lecture, which is too good to let anyone in without paying). Students, trainee solicitors and pupil barristers can join as associate members for £20 a year (the subscription year for associate members runs from 1 October to 30 September). [Merpel notes that, since there is no other organisation that services the IP-competition interface in this manner, it would appear that the Competition Law Association apparently has no competition ...]

For the record, and if you are thinking of giving the CLA a test-drive, it has two upcoming IP-related seminars this month:

  • The first seminar, in conjunction with the Lincoln’s Inn Euro Group, is on the new European Patent Litigation system and will take place on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 at 5 pm in the Old Court Room, Lincoln’s Inn. The seminar, moderated by Mr Justice Arnold, will also include contributions from Kerstin Jorna, Christopher Stothers, Sabine Age and others. The speakers will be looking in particular at how the new system will affect multi-jurisdictional applications and the impact it will have on advocacy.

  • The following week, on 28 November, the CLA’s seminar is on the same topic that inspired the title of the Golding Essay Prize. Guy Tritton of Hogarth Chambers and Mathew Heim, Senior Director for Government Affairs at Qualcomm are speaking on “Euro defences to intellectual property infringement: does the recent decision in Sun v M Tech mark the end of Euro-defences and are injunctions available when a FRAND commitment has been given?” This seminar will be held at the offices of Powell Gilbert in London (85 Fleet Street), starting at 6pm.

Not wishing to make fish of one and fowl of the others, IPKat hopes, in the fullness of time, to be able to say a bit about the other organisations that cater for specific segments of the intellectual property community, both at national and international level. That way, readers will at least get to learn a bit more about the IP ecosystem and the forums and bodies which spread information and encourage an exchange of opinions about it.

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