Presentation Intro

Making IP attorneys better at what they do

The FICPI World Congress 2022 brought the FICPI global community of independent IP attorneys together in Cannes, France for the first time in three years. 

High level speakers from the profession, IP Offices and judiciary give updates on important developments in global patent, trade mark and design laws and procedures.

Leading practitioners and experts explore how best to adapt your practice to face new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. 

Highly relevant plenary sessions on managing home-working IP staff, training IP attorneys in the 21st Century, the relationship between IP Offices and the profession and the impact of moving online on Office and court hearings and other procedures, 

Break-out sessions on the UPC, social awareness and brands, patent-eligible subject-matter in the US and elsewhere, IP in M&A transactions, a marketing masterclass for IP attorneys, getting things done in a busy IP practice, financing IP litigation, running a virtual IP firm and an in-depth look at minor procedural errors with possibly fatal consequences for IP rights, 

The FICPI World Congress 2022 was an exciting festival of IP, making you just a little bit better at what you do.

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Event Title 2022 FICPI World Congress Cannes
Session: Day 1
PLENARY 1 // Managing Mental health Issues in an IP Firm in 2022 and beyond Buy Session Content

Issues associated with personal health and wellness continue to rise, reaching critical levels, with mental health particularly impacted. The global pandemic and an increase in remote working are contributing to these challenges. Attorneys and staff in IP firms are not exempt.

In this session we address how to recognise signs of depression, addiction, anxiety and other mental health issues. Speakers discuss how firms can disseminate information so that staff can identify these issues in colleagues and how they can address a situation when it appears that a worker may be experiencing health issues. Tips for helping firms ensure partners and staff stay physically and mentally well is covered.

The speakers will also discuss other important questions including:

  • Does a firm need a formal policy on health and wellness issues or can it address them on a case-by-case basis?
  • Should issues or policies around health and wellness be different for staff and professionals/attorneys?
  • How can a firm balance issues around health and wellness with employees’ rights to privacy?

Panellists for this session includes a mental health professional and leading members of US and UK IP firms.

Why watch? At the end of this session delegates will have a better appreciation of the steps their firm could and should take to help partners and staff to improve their personal physical and mental wellness and build resilience for the future.

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Robert S. Katz, Clare Davis & Simon Rees
PLENARY 2 // The IP Courts Online Buy Session Content


IP Offices and courts were already using remote communications technology for some procedures before the pandemic. Urgent applications to the court could be made by telephone, VICO was available for some hearings at the EPO and other Offices, and some national courts were piloting videoconferencing. But the global public health emergency made this a necessity, and, in many jurisdictions, videoconferencing became the default overnight.

As travel becomes possible again and people can congregate safely, should we revert to in-person hearings as standard? Online hearings have advantages in terms of convenience, cost, training and participation: they are also good for the planet if they mean less travel. But are they best for parties who want their “day in court” to ensure their case is presented in its best possible light?

This session will:

  • Explore the pros and cons of online hearings for the parties, the Offices/courts and representatives.
  • Consider how best practice differs between in-person and remote hearings.
  • Highlight potential pitfalls for those attending online hearings.
  • Discuss how best to present your client’s case through a webcam and headset.
  • Consider what future opportunities technology offers to improve hearings and other procedures before Offices and courts.

Why attend? By attending this session, delegates will understand the pros and cons of online hearings for their clients and themselves, gain an appreciation of how their “performance” on camera comes across to the judge or Board and be better equipped to handle online hearings in the future.

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Dr. Patrick P. Erk, Richard Davis, Gerjan Kuipers, Wolfgang Sekretaruk & Scott C. Weidenfeller
BREAKOUT SESSION 3.1 // Financing IP Litigation for SMEs Buy Session Content

Your SME client has spent years developing their new product or technology. You have assisted them with the time-consuming, costly process of filing a provisional patent application and then a PCT application and later with national phase entry and parallel prosecution in the EPO, USPTO, JPO
and CNIPA. They are pleased with your work but have exhausted their IP budget. The resulting patents must protect their inventions for them to generate the profits they deserve.

Then comes the unexpected: a challenge to the validity of the patents, or an infringer who hopes your client will be unable to afford the cost of infringement proceedings.

This session will explore:

  • Options for financial assistance to help your client enforce or defend their rights
  • The pros and cons of contingency fee arrangements and litigation funders, which might make an infringement action possible but will take a substantial share of the proceeds in return 
  • Litigation insurance, and FICPI’s role in possible new arrangements to help small and medium size clients enforce their IP 
  • Speakers will include a contingency fee lawyer, representatives of a litigation funding firm and an IP insurance firm, as well as attorneys experienced in this area. 

Why watch? At the end of this session you will have a more informed idea of which route might be right for your client to best defend or enforce their IP rights, plus greater knowledge to continue to work with your client proactively while these unexpected, but very real challenges are resolved.

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Doug N. Deeth, James Blick, David Bloom, C. Gregory Gramenopoulos & Dr. Emily O'Neill
BREAKOUT SESSION 3.2 // Putting the IP in M&A Buy Session Content

In many countries, when the assets of a business are sold and the parties do not detail the intellectual property included in the transfer, the general rule is that the seller is presumed to have transferred the IP of the business to the buyer. However, it is not always clear which assets relate to the business being acquired and which do not.

An IP due diligence review typically involves reviewing all IP owned by a company, comparing pending applications and issued registrations to the intellectual property in use, assessing any gaps in protection, and evaluating current and future protection needs.

This session will cover:

  • Identifying relevant IP assets
  • Patent and trade mark due diligence
  • Pre-closure review of agreements
  • Practical case examples and recent acquisition activity
  • IP due diligence best practices
  • Comparison of IP due diligence practices across various jurisdictions
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Naresh Kilaru, Prof. Dr. Christian Czychowski, Gary Daniel & John McNight
BREAKOUT SESSION 3.3 // Getting Things Done - Implementing Strategic Objectives Buy Session Content

We know what we need to do for an IP firm to be more successful; like win new clients and improve efficiency: but often these key objectives are not achieved. “Getting things done” means different things to different people; in this session we will focus on implementing your strategic goals.

This session will:

  • Examine the psychological barriers that prevent us achieving our business objectives
  • Explain different approaches to delivering objectives
  • Provide examples of the successful implementation of these approaches in an IP Environment

We will also be looking for volunteers for periodic meetings through the coming year where we will focus on the practical implementation of these theories on real life objectives, with the aim of reporting back to the 21st FICPI World Congress in London next year on what worked, what did not work and why.

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Ian Gill, Chris Bull & Ekaterina Tsimberis
WORKSHOP 2 // Scope of registered designs and the 7-view requirement
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Jürgen Buchhold
WORKSHOP 8 // Knock, Knock: Who’s There? A discussion of “Straw Person” proceeding
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Supporting Presentation
Session: Day 2
PLENARY 4 // IP Offices and the Profession Buy Session Content

Both the IP Offices and the IP profession perform important roles in facilitating the protection of IP rights. In this session, speakers from the profession and leading IP Offices will explore their respective roles in achieving the best outcomes for industry and society in general.

  • What role do IP Offices see for the profession in the future?
  • What role does the profession see for Offices in the future?

In particular, the speakers will address the question “Are there limits on what the IP Offices and IP profession can and should bring to the table?”, including a summary of FICPI’s previous positions in this area.

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Julian Crump, Michael Caine, Andrea Di Carlo, Pascal Faure, Steve Rowan & Robert Watson
PLENARY 5 // Training IP Attorneys in the 21st Century Buy Session Content

Despite long-lasting efforts to simplify IP practice, such as global harmonisation, things are actually increasingly complex, from both a legal and practical perspective, and training of young professionals is key to quality of service.

This session will address the challenges of efficiently improving the skills of practitioners in the most sophisticated jurisdictions, while senior professionals in private practice are busier than ever, leaving less time for in-house training and professional development.

The session will also cover:

  • The development of legal and practical knowledge of all stakeholders in countries with lower innovation index ratios and limited local training resources.
  • Cooperation between the public and private spheres in this area.
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Eric Le Forestier, Marco M. Alemán, Geoffrey de Kleine & Chris Mercer
BREAKOUT SESSION 6.1 // Marketing Masterclass for IP Professionals Buy Session Content

In a world full of mind clutter, where we are overwhelmed with noise from the media, the Internet and our own social circles, not to mention the stresses of the global pandemic, if your IP firm is to get the attention of key audiences for your marketing, then you need strong, relevant and credible messages – in other words, a great story.

This workshop will:

  • Address the basics of building effective messaging for IP professionals.
  • Share case studies from well-known IP firms and as well as FICPI’s own successful efforts to strengthen its communications.
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Mike Hatcliffe, Dima Litvak, Gustavo Piva de Andrade & Rebecca Sandland
BREAKOUT SESSION 6.2 // Social awareness and brands Buy Session Content

While the concept of quality underpins trade mark laws, today’s consumers look beyond the quality of the goods or services and question how a brand is associated with characteristics such as sustainability, equitability, racial justice and gender equality. Buyers, especially younger ones, increasingly expect companies to take a social, political, environmental, sustainable or economic stance that reflects their own values. Research also suggests the majority of people no longer believe it is acceptable for companies to stay silent on social justice issues.

Successful, purpose-driven brands achieve greater market share and profitability, enhance sales and increase referrals, while cementing brand loyalty from consumers. There is also a positive effect on employees of companies with strong purpose-driven brands.

Our speakers will consider:

  • Brand activism success stories and some failures.
  • The dangers of inauthenticity.
  • Trade marks considered culturally (or otherwise) offensive and what to do about them.
  • How a reputation associated with brand activism can impact a trade mark portfolio.
  • Analysis of the traditional definition of trade mark use and how it fits with goodwill allied, not to quality, but to factors like support for social justice.
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Marion Heathcote & Riikka Joukio
BREAKOUT SESSION 6.3 // The Unified Patent Court Buy Session Content

Work on a “European patent” began in 1949: the Council of Europe found the plan to be impracticable. The European Patent Convention (EPC) entered into force in 1977, but the Community Patent Convention failed; as did its “revival” in 1989, the Community Patent Regulation, and the European Patent Litigation Agreement in the 2000s.

Early plans for a Unified Patent Court (UPC) were rejected by the CJEU, but a “unitary package” was eagerly pursued under “coopération renforcée”: the UPC Agreement and the EU Regulations on the European Patent with Unitary Effect (EPUP) were signed in 2012/2013.

Following entry into force of the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement on 18 January 2022, the road leading to the UPC and the EPUP seems finally clear. The UPC is expected to open in late 2022/early 2023: the European Patent Office (EPO) will then be entitled to grant European patents with “Unitary Effect.”

The panel will discuss:

  • Will this be the dawn of a new and spectacular era in the European patent world?
  • Will the system be popular?
  • How should we advise our clients?
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Dr. Daniel Alge, Dr. Silvia Dondi, Judge Dr. Klaus Grabinski & Katalin Lubóczki
BREAKOUT SESSION 7.1 // Tooling Up Buy Session Content

And suddenly we were a virtual law firm!

In this session, patent attorneys from different-sized firms and various countries will share their experiences of transitioning to a virtual law firm, driven by technological advances and hastened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Discussions will include:

  • How has collaboration within an IP firm changed?
  • What tools should we use?
  • How should internal processes be adapted to ensure safe and smooth workflows, even when people are no longer sitting together?
  • What are the biggest obstacles?
  • What is easier?
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Georg Puchberger, Marek Łazewski, Philip Mendes da Costa & Ahmad Saleh
BREAKOUT SESSION 7.2 // Out on a technicality Buy Session Content

IP Offices around the world were prompted to suspend or extend deadlines in the face of disruption during the Covid-19 pandemic. In some jurisdictions, this situation established a noticeable contrast with the usual policy of Offices to be strict with respect to granting extensions or restoring IP rights lost in view of a technicality or the missing of a deadline.

Let’s consider that the goal of the IP system to encourage innovation stems mainly from economic fundamentals: risk capital and effort put into innovation must be sufficiently rewarded or investment in innovation will decline.

Looking with renewed perspective on old paradigms, we should ask the following questions when an IP right is accidentally terminated prematurely:

  • What is the economic rationale for prematurely terminating an IP right on a technicality or because a deadline was accidentally missed?
  • Is premature termination of an IP right on a technicality conducive to the overall benefits sought by the IP system?
  • Should an involuntary, often petty, mistake made by an IP owner or his/her representative cause an IP right to lapse?
  • Does society benefit from such premature termination?
  • What is the reason for sometimes draconian legal interpretations by IP Offices and courts to reject requests for reinstatement of terminated IP rights?
  • Is the justification to penalise an IP owner in the harshest possible manner for accidental non-compliance with a legal requirement influenced by moral considerations? If so, isn’t perhaps a moral assessment of the matter misplaced and/or outdated?
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R. Danny Huntington, Eduardo Mello e Souza, Hugh O'Neill & Shunsuke Shikato
BREAKOUT SESSION 7.3 // Eligibility: whither the patent system? Buy Session Content

The US Supreme Court opinions in Mayo, Myriad and Alice have caused “massive uncertainty and unpredictability” over what is an “abstract idea,” a law of nature or a natural phenomenon and thus not eligible for patenting. The lack of protection in key areas of technology has been said to have a “chilling effect” on investment and to discourage commercial development of potentially valuable inventions. The Federal Circuit has declined to use the USPTO’s guidelines which attempted to reduce the uncertainty, and asked Congress to deal legislatively with the unpredictability the Supreme Court cases have created.

Stakeholders are divided on whether legislative reform is appropriate: a “Pro-reform” group seeks change to provide clarity, while an opposing “Concerned” group of stakeholders are content with the status quo and resist the potential availability of broad exclusive rights. They say innovation in many areas can thrive without patents.

The panel, including former Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit, Paul Michel, one of the leaders of the “Pro-reform” group and an outspoken advocate of the need for legislation, will discuss:

  • What should be the reach of patent rights?
  • Are current laws are fit for purpose to ensure the patent system delivers on its economic and societal objectives?
  • Does the current situation in the US really does result in excessive costs for patent owners, burdens on the courts and patent office, or deleterious impacts on investment decisions and innovation?

Speakers will highlight the respective positions of “Pro-reform” and “Concerned” groups who are negotiating possible legislative changes to 35 U.S.C. § 101; and will explore and compare the current US system with those of Europe and Asia.

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Dr. Sharon E. Crane, Dr. Daniela Kinkeldy, Corey Salsberg, Dr. Deepa K. Tiku