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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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Trade mark scholars: this IS for you!

"6 May, INTA ..."
The IPKat has just received a call for papers which particularly interested him.  Calls for papers are pretty frequently found in his in-box and he ignores most of them. Some are for conferences on topics so remote from intellectual property that he wonders why they were sent to him in the first place.  Others are for conferences so far into the future that he wouldn't dare commit himself; others are so close at hand that he can't accommodate them in his burgeoning diary.  But the call for papers to which the IPKat refers is one that ticks all the boxes -- and it's in hos diary already. In full, it reads like this (with some of the most significant bits highlighted like this):
Call For Papers: Fourth Annual INTA Trademark Scholarship Symposium

The International Trademark Association (“INTA”) is pleased to host the Fourth Annual Trademark Scholarship Symposium during the 135th INTA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. The Symposium will take place on Monday, May 6, 2013 as part of INTA’s Academic Day and is an opportunity for trademark scholars from around the world (including part-time and full-time professors, graduate and post-graduate students) to participate in small group discussions of scholarly works-in-progress. Each selected scholar will present their project in a workshop setting, receive comments, and engage in a dialogue with other academic scholars and accomplished trademark practitioners. 

Please send an abstract (approximately 300 words) describing a current trademark or unfair competition scholarship project to Signe H. Naeve at SNaeve@uw.edu by February 1, 2013. The Task Force will then select a maximum of 8 projects to be presented at the Symposium, grouped into related topics or themes. Selections will be announced by February 15, 2013.  For each selected project, a working draft of the paper (10-20 pages) must be submitted by April 1, 2013. There is no publication obligation.

Participants will receive complimentary enrollment in the Academic Day program, including an all-professor panel exploring boundaries of trademark law, a trademark professor luncheon discussing trademark blogging, a reception and other networking opportunities. Additional expenses are the speaker’s responsibility. For INTA membership and Annual Meeting registration information, please contact Carin Diep-Dixon at cdiep@inta.org.

The Symposium is organized by the INTA Professor Task Force:

·         Barton Beebe, New York University Law School
·         David C. Berry, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
·         Megan M. Carpenter, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
·         Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law
·         Mark Janis, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
·     Susan Barbieri Montgomery, Northeastern University School of Law & College of Business Administration
·         Signe H. Naeve, University of Washington School of Law
·         Antonio Selas, Law School of Universidad Carlos III, Madrid Spain
This Kat is very pleased that the INTA holds its own academic programme, and he is delighted that a considerable number of academics now attend.   In earlier times he campaigned for INTA to provide concessionary registration rates for academics, which they have done, and he has been impressed at the quality of the scholarship symposium, at which teachers and researchers in the field of trade mark law can share their ideas and their perspectives with practitioners and trade mark owners.

BUT...

Some academics have
found this guide helpful
when seeking to raise
cash for overseas
conferences ...
... the Kat's INTA friends will recall last year how disappointed he was that, despite INTA's efforts to welcome and encourage academics from outside the United States, and despite that organisation's commitment to serve the international community, the Symposium was a local event since there were no papers presented by anyone whose affiliation was with a non-US institution.  The problem is a simple one: the vast majority of full-time trade mark academics -- professors and students alike -- do not live in North America and/or are not currently studying there.  They often as not lack the financial resources (that's a polite way of saying "money") even to travel to the United States, let alone pay the cost of accommodation.  While some teaching and research institutions do provide some travel funds, even when those funds are available they will often be inadequate to cover the entire cost of INTA participation, and may also give the academic an uncomfortable dilemma as to whether to attend and participate in a number of local and less expensive events or to blow the entire entitlement on defraying all or part of the cost of spending a few jet-lagged days in Dallas.

This Kat hopes that his academic colleagues from afar will be able to attend in order to present papers based on their own final thoughts or on their work in progress, and urges them to do so if they can.  Money is, however, an issue that cannot be diplomatically avoided by any organisation, particularly in times of financial slowdown.  This Kat is also convinced that trade mark scholars from some of the world's poorest and least-resourced countries, where IP is little understood and even less appreciated, are likely both to gain more benefit and subsequently to impart it than are their colleagues from countries where trade mark law is almost a commonplace.

Wouldn't it be grand if some of the INTA's wealthiest members, both corporate and in private practice, and some of the local attendees from Dallas and its surrounds, were to offer to "adopt" a deserving overseas scholar who wanted to attend the INTA Symposium but couldn't afford to do so, providing one or more of the following: travel and accommodation costs, a daily allowance to cover the bare necessities of survival, a friendly face and a little human company?

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