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CONFERENCE CALL


IP WEEK, CROWNE PLAZA BRUSSELS LE PALACE, DECEMBER 6-9, 2011


Delegates who travelled to Brussels for the conference were rewarded with some lively discussions on how IP is changing to keep pace with innovative businesses.


World Intellectual Property Organization director general Dr Francis Gurry kicked off proceedings with a keynote speech that set the agenda for the rest of the conference. His organisation’s recently-released report, World Intellectual Report: the Changing Face of Innovation, argues that innovation has evolved signifi cantly. Gurry said that this has increased demands for IP protection and that it has forced IP into playing a central role in fi rm strategies and innovation policies.


A panel discussion on the ways in which organisations develop and benefi t from their own innovation ecosystems was the highlight of day one. Professor Dr Martin Curley, director of Intel Labs Europe in Ireland, said that there are oſt en competing innovation ecosystems in an organisation and the “faster and smarter one oſt en wins out”.


Referring to the diffi cult fi nancial climate in the EU, Curley added that Intel is doing it all it can to help by developing technology partnerships and innovating in EU countries. A network of Intel Exascale laboratories, which house supercomputers for research and development,


“CLOSER HARMONISATION ON PATENT POLICY MAY HELP INNOVATORS HAVE CONFIDENCE IN MARKETING THEIR INNOVATIONS ACROSS THE GLOBE, AND THIS CAN ONLY BE A GOOD THING.”


T ere were lively discussions on the unitary patent package that is being negotiated in Europe. On the unitary patent in its current proposed form, Pierre Delsaux, deputy director general of DG internal market and services at the European Commission, said that “at this stage, it is better to have something that is not perfect than to have nothing at all”. However, the unitary patent litigation system under consideration could cause problems. Delsaux said that IP professionals and owners should “forget about the patent” if an agreement on the unitary litigation system cannot be fi nalised.


is being established in Europe. T e fourth laboratory will be established in Barcelona in partnership with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Curley said that 80 percent of the work that is being done on Exascale supercomputers in Europe would have been done in the US a few years ago. “[T is is] innovation driven by need, not innovation driven by greed,” he said.


In a press lunch, European Patent Offi ce (EPO) president Benoît Battistelli discussed his offi ce’s preparations for the unitary patent. He said that his offi ce “will be ready” for the unitary patent and added that a three-level patent system in Europe—allowing applicants to choose from a national patent, a European patent and the unitary patent—will be benefi cial because “it is useful to off er a choice to the users”.


A separate panel highlighted European trademark enforcement reform as an important topic for brand owners. T e Internet is a key reason for reforming


World Intellectual Property Review January/February 2012 65


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