Monday, 18 May 2015

CIPA initiative to boost 2015 Congress

This blogger has often wondered about the pricing of major conferences. While the main cost to any IP professional is the loss of chargeable time while he attends them, the registration fees can be a significant factor too -- particularly for people who are not partners or owners of their own practices but who work in-house and have little or no control over their budgets.  Accordingly the following news, received via Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) Chief Executive Lee Davies, is especially welcome. Writing to CIPA members he says:
CIPA’s annual Congress has been a recurring theme during the recent ‘meet-the-members’ tour. It is clear that you value CIPA staging Congress each year as it acts as a showcase for the UK profession and helps your Institute to influence policy formers on your behalf. Many of you have, however, said that you would be more likely to attend if it were not so expensive. I am going to put that to the test.

I have encouraged the Congress Steering Committee to reduce the cost of Congress by up to twenty-five percent for 2015 as an experiment [Bravo! Can this be the beginning of a new trend?]. This is a challenge for us in that we always aim for Congress to achieve a break-even budget and to do so we need more of you to attend, but you have told me that cost is the deciding factor and I hope that at £775 (+VAT) for a two day conference (£685 +VAT if you book early) you will see this to be real value for money.

We are taking a provocative look at the world of intellectual property in 2015, asking the question: The global IP system, is it fit for purpose? A programme full of influential speakers will address themes such as:
  • Do patents block innovation?
  • Harmonisation: holy grail or poisoned chalice?
  • IP crime: a crime without victims?
  • At last, a unified patent system for Europe, but what does this mean for business strategy?
  • Disruptive technologies: the end of IP as we know it or a new beginning?
  • How can business and industry make the best use of the global IP system?
The venue is still the Lancaster London Hotel, and the dates are Thursday 1 and Friday 2 October 2015. This blogger ventures to suggest that the new registration fee arrangements will have an impact, particularly on corporate patent departments, and he expects that the event will be all the better for them [ie the fee reduction should be fit for purpose ...].

This year's CIPA Congress has its own website here, from which all relevant details can be accessed.

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