InternationalUSRemember you can easily switch between MIP US and MIP International at any time

MIP International Women's Leadership Forum 2016 - Overview

February 23, Hilton London Bankside Hotel






Contact us

The MIP International Women's Leadership Forum returned to London on February 23. 

Although it is only the second time that the Forum has run in London, this year saw 230+ delegates register to attend, bringing together more women IP lawyers than last year and the event was met with much enthusiasm.

Women IP professionals were keen to discuss the latest issues in IP and the challenges facing women working in the IP field. As such, the Forum welcomed associates, senior associates and partners in private practice; as well as legal counsel, senior legal counsel and general counsel.

The Forum is a development opportunity for the next generation of women leaders with the aim of providing an inclusive debate around building the talent pipeline as well as discussing the latest developments in IP. If you missed this year's event, view the key takeaways below.

For more information on the MIP Women in IP Global Network, email

Key takeaways

The Unitary Patent and UPC

  • Unitary patent terms, rules and an administration system have been set up. All declared ‘ready to go’ by the Unitary Patent Court in December 2015.
  • The panel discussed the concept of ‘buy 4 patents, get 22 (or more) free’. Good or bad?
  • Julie Dunnett (director of intellectual property at GKN) highlighted the importance of cost efficiency in UPC litigation
  • It is expected that patent owners in the pharmaceutical industry will be attracted by the cost efficiency of the unitary patent however Carol Arnold (president of IP Federation and associate counsel at Shell) warned that they must also address the probability of losing the majority of their patents in the event of revocation actions.
  • Court fees for UPC are currently under review. It is generally believed by industry members that the ‘opt-out’ fee will be scrapped.
  • Make sure that your client truly is truly responsible for the patent in question, to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and the denial of opt in/out actions.

Legal trends in the life science industry

  • Implementation of the Bolar Exemption is disharmonised in Europe: Belgium and the Netherlands limit exemption to generics/biosimilars and MA in the EU while France, Germany, UK, Italy and Ireland limit exemption to generics/biosimilars and MA in any country.
  • In the U.S., the exemption is applied to all medicinal products, medical devices and CMOs (Contract Manufacturing Organisations)
  • In Astellas v. Polpharma, the grant of exemption for the CMO was subject to whether the supplied active ingredient will be exclusively used for the purpose of exempted trials and that appropriate measures were taken to avoid the use of the active agreement amounting to infringement
  • Unitary SPC expands duration of the IP protection for products subject to regulated market authorisations.

The CJEU's decision on Huawei/ZTE. A new era of FRAND?

  • Anja Lunze of Taylor Wessing reviewed pre-Huawei case law before the European Commission in which it was deemed abusive for Motorola to seek injunction against a user if user agreed to take a license and to be bound by a determination of the FRAND royalties by the relevant court
  • SEP is essential to any competitor wishing to manufacture corresponding products, obtained only in return for the proprietor’s undertaking to grant licenses to third parties on FRAND terms.

Best practice for anti-counterfeiting strategies

  • Infringement notice not always necessary but efficient
  • Choose your battles wisely: is there quantifiable loss at stake and what is your financial position against the opponent?
  • Anna-Marie Norman from Sky told in-house practitioners to use technology to their advantage, search their brand names, identify and quantify key issues
  • Technology changes: you need to consider future markets, products and acquisitions
  • Your relationship with customs should be at the core of your anti-infringement and brand protection strategy
  • Meena Sayal from Unilever told delegates to maintain close and quick communication with their global brand protection team to enable interception and confiscation of goods in transit
  • SMEs need to be aware that they need rights in the transit and destination markets.

Issues surroundings online brand protection and security

  • Get acquainted with unique online platforms and their take-down provisions
  • Susie Harris from King recommended a calmer approach to online infringers: act quickly and know when to intensify your actions
  • Intermediaries are key to successful enforcement online

The future of IP in the digital world

  • IP professionals should establish the right balance between commercial and user interests.
  • Copyright and trademarks are going to become more important in the digital future
  • Particularly in the area of software, patents are becoming a narrow way of protecting your product
  • As an alternative to instant litigation, know your online platforms and how to work around online infringement
  • Arty Rajendra of Rouse said the efficacy of the Enforcement Directive will be limited until there is harmonised copyright law.

Trade mark harmonisation and copyright issues

  • Amended EU trade mark regulation will be introduced on 23 March 2016
  • Proposed portability regulation is due to come into force in 2017. At the moment, there is no distinction between paid and unpaid services
  • IPRED review announcements due before the end of the year
  • 'Follow the money' approach to IP enforcement - announcement of concrete provisions on the voluntary measures initiative due this spring

The importance of leadership in developing your career

  • Judy Yee from Microsoft said that stepping into leadership meant she had to learn to ask for what she wanted
  • Jenifer Swallow from TransferWise told attendees that self-appreciation is the antidote to self-doubt
  • Nicola Dagg from Allen & Overy shared that evaluating the role of each person in her personal and working life helped her to become a better person, equipping her to be confident leader
  • Know and embrace your strengths and draw on resources around you

For more information on the MIP Women in IP Global Network, email


Allen & Overy
Bartlit Beck
Dechert Hogan Lovells


Marks & Clerk

Powell Gilbert



Veron & Associes


Association partner

Anti-Counterfeiting Group   ACID

More from the Managing IP blog

null null null

null null null

November / December 2019

IP law: are the pressures taking their toll?

Following World Mental Health Day, Max Walters seeks the views of in-house professionals on whether they struggle with workplace pressures, and asks how to improve wellbeing

Most read articles