CIPA, The Lancaster London Hotel, London


Patent attorneys amassed at a London hotel to talk IP of the past decade and the next. WIPR looks at the highlights.

As 2010 nears its end, intellectual property professionals are readying themselves for an unpredictable couple of years. Key highlights of the 15th annual Congress for the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) include:

  • Green technology has emerged as an important industry, both economically and socially. But its social importance has given rise to demands for free access to IP
  • European patent customers and their attorneys recognise the need for a harmonised market, yet political disagreements have stalled European patent reform for decades
  • The Internet is on course to expand with an increase in top level domains available to interested parties.

At the end of September, the CIPA Congress prepared its attendees for what could be a challenging decade for IP. Carl Horton, a keynote speaker and the chief IP counsel at General Electric, warned that green technology has become a target for countries and institutions that oppose IP rights, in his presentation on the effects of globalisation on IP practice. He warned that companies need to recognise the threat posed by an alliance that seeks to “‘get a deal’ on climate change”.

Horton does not believe that the monopolistic nature of patents can lead to the blocking of green technology. He believes that while a blocking patent is theoretically possible, the level of competition and ready availability of core technologies means there is little pricing power for a company to play with.

CIPA, London, conference call