Conference on Innovation, Research and Competition

I’m headed to Europe later this summer, but I’m considering rearranging my plans to participate in the Université de Liège’s Conference on Innovation, Research and Competition (LCII-TILEC) hosted by Professor Nicolas Petit who is the Director of the Liege Competition and Innovation Institute.  May 29-30.

[Program LCII-TILEC Conference SSO]

The focus this year is the role of patents in Standard Setting Organizations and Agreements.  The upcoming European Unified Patent Court (UPC) is heaving in the background.  This week’s French election signals to me that UPC will move forward and likely begin operation in 2018.

Among other topics, I’m interested in Prof. Ruddi Bekkers’ evidence of discrimination against foreigners in the patent systems and Prof Stephen Haber’s  fallacy of the patent holdup theory.

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For those more interested in the actual practice of law – consider the USPTO / AIPLA (Patent Law Committee) customer partnership event on Monday, June 5th, 2017 at PTO-Alexandria – focus on TC 3600 and TC 3700. (Register Here).






10 thoughts on “Conference on Innovation, Research and Competition

  1. 1

    I don’t think the UPC is out of the woods yet–I think it still depends very much on the results of the UK’s June 8 elections. The UK still needs to ratify, whereas France has already ratified it. Despite the posturing, I am not yet convinced that the UK has any interest in ratifying, but simply may use it as leverage in negotiating the terms of Brexit.

    1. 1.1

      Agreed. The UK never stops reminding everybody that for the time being it is a fully paid up EU Member State. As such, for the last few decades, it has done sterling work within the circles of EU power, to imbue everybody else with pragmatism and common sense. So, in the context of the UPC, what else can it do, as a “good European” and a “Big 3” EU Member State, than ratify?

      So much more the disappointment of last year’s 52/48 BREXIT vote. Both that and the June 8, 2017 UK general election are manifestations of struggles for power within the Conservative Party, struggles inflamed by Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon and their lackeys at Cambridge Analytica, who specialise in gathering voter inclination data and then using it to target individual voters. The age-old First Past the Post UK voting system is a sitting duck for such manipulation.

      UK politicians haven’t the foggiest clue whether to favour the UPC or not. I’m sorry to say, it is not on their radar whatsoever. With all the infighting going on, they none of them have any time whatsoever for policy issues.

      Which is fine for people like Mercer and Bannon.

    2. 1.2

      The UK can negotiate all it wants after it leaves the EU. It’s going to be a paradise after all. The EU will have to give the UK all kinds of goodies, just because.

      1. 1.2.1

        Because? The BREXIT line for the Little People is that the EU is desparate to close a “deal” with the UK: the absence of one, you see, would imperil the very lucrative flow of German-built cars into the market in England. The Little People look around at all the swanky Mercs and Beamers on the roads of London and its green suburbs, and believe every word of it.

        Meanwhile, unknown and unrecognised by the Little People, Plan A preparations continue apace, in London and elsewhere, to complete the conversion of Great Britain into the world’s biggest, most desirable, most accommodating, most entertaining Tax Haven base for the privileged offshore 0.1% (which includes nearly all the owners of the British national newspapers).


            That’s pretty much it.

            UK: “We don’t want to be part of the agreement anymore, but we still want all the good stuff that comes with being part of the agreement. And we’re entitled to it because we say so. Which part don’t you understand?”

    3. 1.3

      When the UK announced—shortly after the BREXIT vote but before PM May filed the paperwork in Brussels—that they were still planning to ratify the UPC, I thought that this was a tell that they do not plan really to go through with BREXIT. Now that they have filed the paperwork, however, I am forced to the opposite conclusion—they were merely lying about their intention to ratify the UPC.

      I really cannot see how you can have both—at least not in a sense that the BREXIT voters intended. PM May has said that foreign courts will have no jurisdiction in the UK. If the UPC goes through, and a court in Paris allowed to issue an injunction with force in London, then Ms. May’s statement will have been a lie (carefully reasoned arguments to the contrary notwithstanding).

      1. 1.3.1

        Greg, I understand the argument to be that PM May wants out from under the jurisdiction of the CJEU, in particular. That’s not the same thing as escaping the jurisdiction of all international tribunals (WTO, perhaps). And some people argue that the ultimate court of appeal for the UPC is something other than the CJEU. Thought of like that, ratifying the UPC is not incompatible with jumping the EU ship.

        All a bit bonkers, however, when you recall that May’s antipathy stems from her period as the UK’s Interior Minister, when she tried to evict a terrorist and the European Court of Human Rights forbade her from doing so. As most people well know, however, the ECHR is not the CJEU, nor is it even an EU court.

        How could Mother Theresa still not understand the difference between the two courts, even now? I don’t know. Can you tell me?


          Greg, in the above, first para, reference to “some people”, I have in mind the views of Munich University IPR law professor Ansgar Ohly, which were published recently in GRUR International (paywall)

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