American links strengthened by success of roadshows

American delegates to the CIPA/CITMA USA Roadshows last week liked what they heard so much that they want us to return next year.

The large UK delegation, headed by CIPA President Julia Florence and Past President Tony Rollins and including Patents Court Judge Sir Colin Birss, CITMA President and Vice President Tania Clark and Richard Goddard and senior UKIPO officials, held all-day seminars supported by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) in Washington, Boston and Palo Alto.

The US delegates heard about the impact of Brexit on patents, trade marks and designs, comparisons between the US and UK IP litigation systems, insights into filing at the European Patent Office, the patentability of artificial intelligence in Europe and modernisation programmes at the UKIPO and USPTO.

CIPA’s main message was that European patent work would be unaffected by Brexit and CIPA’s animated video on this subject was played.

Sir Colin was joined in Washington by retired Federal Circuit Judge Paul Michel and in Boston by Chief District Court Judge Patti Saris, of Massachusetts. Sir Colin explained the benefits of litigating at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) for smaller companies, due to the cap on costs and fast track procedures. Judge Michel, in particular, was full of praise for the IPEC.

In Palo Alto we were joined by senior in-house litigators Laurie Hill and Rebecca Grant of biotech giant Genentech, Catherine Maresh of Immersion Corp and Nick Aries, partner and co-head of Bird and Bird’s San Francisco office, for a panel exploring best practice in international IP litigation strategy.

All panel sessions were well received with our AIPLA moderators doing a fantastic job. In Palo Alto two moderators travelled in from Chicago and Texas and we also had an award-winning entrepreneur in the audience – Patrick O’Neill, inventor of the iPhone removable lens, the Olloclip.

CIPA thanks the following speakers on the UK delegation:

Sir Colin Birss
Andy Bartlett (Divisional Director, UK IPO)
Clare Cornell (Finnegan)
James Cross (Maucher Jenkins)
Paula Flutter (EIP)
Nicholas Fox (Finnegan)
Mike Jennings (AA Thornton)
Matt Maitland (EIP)
Gwilym Roberts (Kilburn and Strode)
Richard Roberts (Potter Clarkson)
Adam Williams (International Policy Director, UK IPO)
Simon Wright (JA Kemp)

Awards for stamina go to Mike Jennings of AA Thornton and Clare Cornell of Finnegan who were the only speakers to join the CIPA, CITMA and IPO participants in presenting at all three locations. Mike's insights into the hot topic of the patentability of AI at the European Patent Office and Clare's knowledgeable presentations on accessing UK design protection through the Hague System were received with great interest on both coasts.

Feedback was very positive with delegates generally keen for the visits to become annual events.

CIPA is grateful to its lead sponsor, Patent Seekers, and individual event sponsors Sughrue Mion (Washington), Finnegan (Boston) and Bird & Bird (Palo Alto).

US delegates at the Washington roadshow
Washington full group (edit).jpg
All delegates and participants at the Washington event
Sir Colin Birss and Chief Judge Patti Saris at the Boston roadshow
Tony Rollins opens the Boston roadshow
Lisa Jorgenson, Executive Director of AIPLA, with CIPA and CITMA officers in Washington
Adam Williams, International Director of the UK IPO at the Palo Alto event