The annual AIPPI World Congress is the one moment in the year when members from all around the world come together to discuss hot topics in IP.
It comprises four main components:
- the substantive legal work or harmonization programme
- the professional development component
- the management of the association
- networking opportunities
The congress schedule follows the same general structure from year to year. A “programme-at-a-glance” schedule is made available in advance of the congress and presents the details of the programme. This programme-at-a-glance is color coded to facilitate consultation.
The Reporter General team is responsible for handling the Study Question process. In 2020, the four questions under study are:
The work done at the congress relies on a considerable effort put in by dedicated members in each of the national groups to describe their country’s position on the topic under review and propose harmonization avenues. The draft harmonization resolutions are analyzed, discussed and formulated live by the representatives. The Reporter General ensures that harmonization resolutions are voted upon by the ExCo at the conclusion of the congress.
Plenary Sessions where the resolutions are discussed and further amended if necessary. There is one plenary for each question and the outcome of these sessions are Approval or Dismissal of a Resolution for harmonization on each topic under study. Everyone is invited to attend the plenary sessions and may comment while the official delegates of each group may vote on the resolutions.
The Executive Committee, during the 2nd ExCo session, will adopt the resolutions.
An important component of the congress is the professional development opportunities. The Standing Committees and the programme committee work hard each year with the Reporter General team to identify timely topics of interest and select speakers which have an in-depth knowledge of the issues at play. The panel sessions are usually well attended and lively affairs.
An exciting new feature of the 2020 Online Congress is the Virtual Roundtable format. Although we cannot gather together in person this year, we can use these small-format sessions to see our colleagues and discuss current topics in an informal format. Each Virtual Roundtable has a Host and a pre-designated discussion topic. The participants are limited to 15 people (plus the Host) per Roundtable, to ensure an interactive discussion can take place. The Host will introduce the topic and moderate the discussion, but there will be no formal presentations. So please come prepared to share your views on the topic with your colleagues!
Please note that Virtual Roundtable seats are limited to one per Congress Registrant. Even with this limitation, there are more Registrants than seats at the Roundtables. We apologize in advance if your preferred Roundtable is full.
A few meetings serve to carry out the business of the association.
Sessions 1 and 2 of the Executive Committee meetings deal with Elections, Awards, Budget, Reports from the different bodies of the association, Discussions with the Groups and, as per the harmonization programme, Adoption of Resolutions. Every attendee is encouraged to attend as an observer. Please note, however, that only delegates nominated by their groups may vote.
A General Assembly is held when amendments to the Statutes and Regulations of AIPPI are needed.
Apart from the normal informal networking opportunities, special-interest meetings, such as the Women in AIPPI get-together and the Young AIPPI member Forum are also great occasions to meet new acquaintances.
After the Congress
When the Congress is over and everyone has safely travelled home, back to their practice, the national and regional groups continue the work of AIPPI locally. The resolutions voted upon by the ExCo are communicated to law-making bodies and IP-related activities are organised locally. National and regional groups also propose timely issues for the next Study questions, topics of the professional development programme and nominations for the committees. The guidelines for the next congress’ study questions go out before Christmas and members kick off the year working on the preparation of the national response to the questionnaires.