The latest version of the programme –
all 44 pages of it – was posted online on Friday and
as usual it reflects some of the most pressing IP issues from
around the world.
FRAND and Standard Essential Patents are there, of
course, as are SPCs and the UPC from Europe – the
latter with a panel featuring judges, lawyers, EPO
representatives and in-house counsel. There is also a
tantalising session comparing the new Inter Partes Review at
the USPTO and Oppositions at the EPO, featuring speakers from
the US, Japan and Europe.
Broader policy issues
are also prominent, with the opening session on
"Multilateral/FTA Issues & Policy" featuring views from
Washington DC and Brussels. At the back end of the week,
"Crisis in IP or Not?" promises to look at the "anti-IP
boomerang". For those attendees that need a lift at 7.30am, the
sunrise seminar, "Judicial Influence in Trademark Law; Why
SCOTUS has Little and CJEU has Less and Less", at which Fordham
professor of law Hugh Hansen (right) will speak, will be
more invigorating than a double espresso.
I also look forward to seeing how the panel on "US
Patent Law: Recent Developments" (which includes Jay Thomas and
Hal Wegner and is moderated by Martin Adelman) manage to cover
the various controversial Supreme Court and Federal Circuit
case and stick to their allotted time of 45 minutes. There will
be no lack of strong opinions there.
Some of the most
lively discussions are likely to be in the copyright field. US
Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante (right) and European
Commission copyright supremo Maria Martin-Prat have top billing
in "Copyright Review Around the World". There is also a
65-minute session on Aereo, with what look to be a
range of views represented on the panel, while another panel on
"Orphan Works & Extended Collective Licensing" addresses a
highly topical and emotive issue. European copyright
practitioners will note from the preview for "EU Copyright:
Recent Developments" that it looks like Lord Justice Floyd has
prepared a provocative presentation.
I should at this point declare an interest as Managing
IP is a media partner and I will be participating at Fordham.
I’m delighted to be moderating a session on trade
mark litigation in the EU, featuring Judge Allan Rosas of the
CJEU and a great panel from across Europe. I’m
sure we will also pick up some unfinished debates from previous
years in the sessions on "Recent Developments in the EU" and
"Global Legislative Developments".
Trade mark practitioners will also be queuing up for
the sessions on "TTAB and OHIM Boards of Appeal: A Comparison"
which is preceded by a live hearing of the TTAB case Promark Brands v GFA
Thanks to the reputation built
up over the past 20 years, it goes without saying that
Professor Hansen and his team have once again secured many
top-notch speakers for the faculty, including the leaders of
the USPTO and Mexico’s INPI, the president of OHIM
and WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. There are too many
judges to count (four active and retired judges just from the
UK, I think) as well as many notable academics and
But as Hugh always emphasises, one of the features of
Fordham is that you could swap the stage and audience and still
have the same quality of debate. The programme specifically
recognises this fact this year, and there are designated
audience members for some panels.
If all that sounds over-enthusiastic,
here’s one note of reservation: as regular
participants at Fordham will know, the speakers and panellists
can change right up to the last minute, so do keep checking the
website for the latest information.
More information about the conference, which takes
place on April 24 and 25, is online at the Fordham
IP Institute site. We will of course be reporting on
discussions as much as we can on managingip.com too.