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.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

IP and retailers: a new event

Retail therapy may be fun for
some -- but there are lots
of legal issues to address too
Always happy to share his thoughts with readers, this Kat is pleased to say that one of his little ideas for a wouldn't-it-be-nice project has now come to fruition: this is the "Intellectual Property and Retailers Conference 2013", a one-day event which will be held in Central London on 13 February 2013.  Why retailers?  Well, they are not usually the prime infringers of the IP rights of original manufacturers; nor are they the ultimate consumers of IP-protected products.  They are in a sort of piggy-in-the-middle position: whether they are High Street, Mall or Retail Park-based or trade online, they help makers and sellers of goods sell their stocks and keep their cashflow going, while offering choice, assistance and a level of confidence to the shopping experience of those who are the ultimate consumers. Being in the middle, they take a lot of flak, they receive threats -- but they are also in a unique position to leverage their role by bringing out their own premium or bargain brand products and competing with those who often depend so heavily on them. As the CLT conference web page explains:
In need of re-tail
therapy?

 Brand value is at the heart of every retail business, no matter what or how it sells. The importance of creating and protecting a strong and identifiable brand in a competitive market and difficult economic conditions is paramount and can be key to the survival of smaller or start-up businesses. As markets become increasingly international, retailers face the additional challenges of protecting their brands across jurisdictions and ensuring consistency. This conference ... examines key issues surrounding the creation, use and protection of brands in the retail sector. It will be valuable for lawyers advising both start-up and established retailers of all types and sizes from online boutiques to major high street names. The key topics to be covered include: 

  • Protection of shop names and trade dress 
  • Retailers going online 
  • Developing a successful business model into a franchising format 
  • Use of third party brand names in advertisements and marketing material 
  • Cross-Border Sales - Issues involving grey goods 
  • Development of own-brand products: Economic and legal Issues 
This weblog is represented among the all-star cast of speakers, since blogmeister Jeremy and guest Kat Robert Cumming are both on the programme -- Jeremy in the chair and Robert doing some of the hard work.  Other speakers, in alphabetical order, are Mark Abell (Field Fisher Waterhouse), Alex Carter-Silk (Speechly Bircham), Abida Chaudri (Baker & MacKenzie), Rebecca Chong (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and Chrfistopher Stothers (Arnold & Porter).

If you want to join us on the big day, registration details are here. If not, Jeremy is hoping to do a spot of real-time speed-blogging so that you will have at least an inkling of what you're missing.

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