Milan Congress – Professional development programme

by Sarah Matheson (Reporter General of AIPPI)

The 2016 AIPPI World Congress in Milan offered another extensive professional development programme spanning a wide variety of topical issues in IP, including the ever popular ‘Pharma Day’, plus other panel sessions similarly divided into ‘streams’ of interest.

‘Pharma Day’ included sessions on patentable subject matter, biosimilars, skinny labelling and the intersection between pharma and antitrust. The patents stream included sessions on contributory infringement and priority rights. A dedicated ‘high tech’ stream covered computer implemented technologies (as a precursor to a Sydney Study Question on the same topic) and the European Digital Single Market. The copyright and trademark stream included sessions on parody, the European Trademark Package and developments in geographical indications introduced by the new Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement. Fittingly for the location, there were also sessions on IP and food and IP and fashion.

The programme also covered breaking news and recent areas of controversy, with two sessions focusing on Brexit – one looking at the IP implications generally and the other being a deep dive into the implications for the Unified Patent Court – and a session on the IP aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and how IP issues are developing in the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement.

Now a regular part of the programme, there were also two special lunch sessions, one a multinational panel of judges addressing expert evidence and the role of expert witnesses, and the other a keynote address from the President of the European Patent Office, Benoît Battistelli, entitled ‘The EPO – setting the pace for the 21st century’.

There was a distinguished line up of speakers including experts from industry, IP offices, the judiciary, governments, academia and private practice. A description of the Milan Congress panel sessions, speakers and nay presentations are available here.