For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

When unitary, unified patent dust settles -- up come the seminars

Glorious ruins? European
patent system 1978 to 2014
Now that the dust is either settling or at least swirling around less thickly on the plans for the European Union's unitary patent and unified patent court, the time is coming when the focus shifts away from lobbying, campaigning and complaining. In their place comes the painstaking analysis of the new reality which, subject to any glitches in the ratification process, may be producing unitary patents by 2014. Rather like shell-shocked inhabitants of a war zone picking through the rubble in search of a few recognisable objects which might be salvaged, Europe's patent owners and practitioners are now beginning to pick through the new legislative framework within which they soon will operate, while rummaging through their stock of acquired experience of the system which is now to be replaced, wondering which advice, which strategies, which tricks of the trade might still come in handy.

Bearing all of this in mind, the IPKat has taken note what seems to be the first event that seeks to advise patent folk how to live with the new system rather than how to stop it in its tracks or change it.  It's a fairly imaginative seminar, organised by his friends at Management Forum who, judging by the company's logo, are no strangers to ancient ruins.  The seminar is boldly entitled "The Unitary Patent and Unified Court: What in-house Counsel needs to know".  Following the theme of the tie-up between JIPLP and GRUR Int (here), this is an Anglo-German cooperative venture, being a double-act between Ulrich Blumenröder (of Grünecker, Kinkeldey, Stockmair & Schwanhäusser, Munich) and  William Cook (Marks & Clerk Solicitors, London).  Apart from providing a more multifaceted view of the subject by offering thoughts emanating from two very different jurisdictions, each with its own rich experience of patents, the harnessing of a German presenter with an English one limits the scope for the sort of sniping comments about things "foreign" that we many of us have come to love but which, as we become more familiar with them, we are probably becoming less willing to pay to hear.

Apart from the predictable coverage of the unitary patent and unified patent court schemes themselves, the presenters will cruise through both infringement and revocation proceedings, offering what the brochure describes as the "presentation of a simple decision" [Merpel thinks you'll only get simple decisions where both parties want them for their own purposes, which may not often be the case] complete with timelines.

But what appeals to this Kat most is the goody pack with which registrants will leave.  According to the organisers this will include
"flowcharts describing the new procedures, and a CD containing a standard Powerpoint presentation which attendees can use to give demonstrations to colleagues when they get back to their offices".
As the organisers admit, this is a somewhat unusual course of action for anyone in their line of business to take.  Are they shooting themselves in the foot, Merpel wonders. or is this a matter of the sensible dissemination of important information?

For the record, this event takes place on Friday 8 March (when this Kat will be in Barcelona: can someone grab a goody pack for him?) at the Rembrandt Hotel, London. You can get more details of this event here; registration happens here. Any queries? Aim them at Josephine Leak by email here

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