A monthly column devoted to IP curiosities and controversies, named in honour of John of Utynam – who received the world's first recorded patent in 1449
Utynam was pleased to attend the European Patent Forum in
Munich last month, where 400 IP owners, policy makers and
campaigners grappled with the thorny questions of
globalization, geopolitical shifts and the legitimacy of the
EPO officials and a team of consultants have been busy
developing a series of scenarios for the year 2025 designed to
challenge the conventional thinking of bureaucrats more used to
redesigning rules of procedure and calculating whether the EPO
pension fund will last until they retire than considering
whether the patent system itself might collapse.
The challenging tone of the meeting was set when the
audience was treated to a multimedia extravaganza. The show
featured an opera singer, robot dancers and a pair of
futuristic go-go girls who, it seemed, had little else on their
minds than searching for answers to questions such as "How are
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