03rd September, 2018
Dear FICPI Family –
I hope all FICPI members in the northern hemisphere have been enjoying an excellent summer, and for our members from south of the Equator, I am sure you are all welcoming the first early signs of spring. FICPI is the organisation that never sleeps, and while August has been a quiet month, FICPI has still been hard at work continuing its efforts on behalf of the free profession of patent and trade mark attorneys around the world.
October will see the first in-person meetings of this new term. The Bureau, Study & Work Commission (CET) and Professional Excellence Commission (PEC) will hold meetings on 11-14 October 2018, which I will be delighted to host in my hometown of Bath, England.
FICPI Strategic Plan 2018
There will also be the first in-person meeting of FICPI's new Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) since the Executive Committee approved the formation of that group at the Toronto Congress in June. The Strategic Planning Committee is responsible for maintaining, developing and administering implementation of FICPI’s Strategic Plan, which articulates the Federation’s Goals and sets out Objectives that will achieve those Goals by way of specific working Initiatives. I will give more information about the Goals and Objectives that the Executive Committee set for FICPI in future newsletters, and a copy of the Strategic Plan will be circulated to all members in the near future.
Membership of the Strategic Planning Committee is by appointment and is designed to reflect the diversity of FICPI’s membership in terms of geography, demographics and areas of practice. The appointed members are Gabriel Di Blasi (BR), Britta Fromow (NZ), Rich Goldstein (US), Iseki Katsumori (JP), Eleni Kokkini (GR), Swarup Kumar (IN) and Elena Miller (BG). The Presidents of the Study & Work Commission, Communications Commission, Membership Commission, Professional Excellence Commission and Training & Education Commission (TEC) are ex officio members.
Prior to the Toronto Congress, the Strategic Planning Committee met by videoconference and considered how to achieve one of the Objectives of the Strategic Plan, which is to attract the younger generation to FICPI and encourage the participation of young professionals in FICPI’s activities. Several Initiatives were agreed upon by the Committee to achieve this Objective, including making FICPI more visible on social media, holding more local FICPI events, encouraging and supporting the national FICPI groups to recruit more young members and forming an ad hoc panel of younger FICPI members to provide direct input into the planning of FICPI events and activities from a younger member’s point of view. All of these Initiatives are now underway, and the SPC and the Bureau will review their progress during the meetings in October, when the SPC will tackle four more Objectives from the Strategic Plan. A critical part of any Strategic Planning process is implementing the agreed Initiatives, and the Bureau will be focusing on that.
Upcoming meetings and conferences
As we enter autumn in the northern atmosphere, we also enter conference season and I would like to draw members' particular attention to the FICPI-Japan Symposium, which will be held on 1-3 November 2018 in Osaka, Japan. This will be the third FICPI-Japan Symposium following the successful ones in Yokohama in 2008 and Kyoto in 2014, which attracted more than 400 participants, including approximately 200 local Japanese patent attorneys. Details of the Symposium, as well as information about how to register, are available on the FICPI website here.
I will be pleased to represent FICPI at the FICPI-Japan Symposium and at the AIPLA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on 25-27 October 2018. FICPI will be represented at the AIPPI Congress in Cancun on 23-26 September 2018 by Philip Mendes de Costa (CA) and at APAA in Delhi on 17-21 November 2018 by the immediate past president, Doug Deeth (CA). If you will also be attending these meetings and would like to speak to us about any FICPI matter, please do not hesitate to do so. We will be pleased to hear from you.
President of Honour, Danny Huntington (US), will represent FICPI in Warsaw on 12 October 2018 at a Symposium organised by the Polish Chamber of Patent Attorneys in cooperation with Ministry of Industry. Danny will be part of a panel on international organisations dealing with the promotion of intellectual property protection.
Daniel Alge (AT), president of FICPI's European members' commission will represent FICPI at a forthcoming high-level meeting on 13 September 2018 in Brussels which is being organised by EUIPO to look into possible ways to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which are involved in IP related disputes. EUIPO believes that they should develop a programme in partnership with user associations, and within the scope of its legal framework EUIPO could look into the possibility of supporting user associations whose members are willing to provide their valuable time and expertise in supporting SMEs. Such a pro bono scheme would take into account that the professionals render their services for reduced fees thus allowing for a sharing of the burden. Daniel Alge will represent the views of the independent IP practitioner at this meeting and, if you have any comments that you think might be helpful, please contact me (email address below) or Daniel as soon as possible.
Last month I encouraged all members to complete our survey on a proposed new FICPI led IP litigation insurance arrangement. We had a good response to the survey, which I believe will remain open until Friday 14 September if you have still not replied, and members of the Professional Excellence Commission are now analysing the results with a view to feeding those back to the underwriter and broker involved. If you wish to participate in the survey, you can do so by clicking here.
Other meetings and submissions
Throughout the summer, FICPI has been represented as usual at various meetings of official IP organisations. Kim Finnilä (FI) represented FICPI at the 28th session of WIPO's Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), Vladimir Rybakov (RU) attended the 11th session of the PCT Working Group, and meeting reports are available here.
FICPI also submitted comments in response to EUIPO’s consultation on the draft Design Guidelines 2018: Design Invalidity Guidelines and Registered Community Design Examination Guidelines. A copy of FICPI's comments is available here.
I wish all members a happy and profitable September and hope to have the opportunity of meeting some of you "on the Road" at one or more of the upcoming conferences and meetings mentioned above. As always, if you have any comments or suggestions on any aspect of FICPI or its work, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Julian Crump, President of FICPI
1 September 2018