I am back from my duties at the Annual Convention of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, which took place October 11 through 13 in Niagara Falls. I have always indicated that what is happening in the profession is reflected in the topics dealt with at the conference. The following topics were addressed at the conference, listed by title and followed with a brief explanation:
IP and Innovation – A fireside Chat with Innovation Science and Economic Development Parliamentary Secretary David Lametti
This session discussed the Liberal Government’s Innovation Strategy
The College and Professional Ethics: What it means for IP Professionals.
This session discussed the creation of the equivalent of the Law Society for the IP Profession, in order to maintain high standards.
The Law of Utility in Canada – Where are we now and where are we going?
This session discussed the recent Supreme Court of Canada AstraZeneca Canada Inc. v. Apotex Inc. decision which discredited a previous line of cases that invalidated patents for useful inventions that did not deliver everything “promised”.
Post-Final Practice – Understanding your options at the end of the line.
This session discussed options when a patent application is met with a “Final” rejection.
Who’s Offended? – A review of the Laws on Obscene, Scandalous, and Immoral Marks in Canada, the U.S. and the EU.
This session discussed the balance between the protection of the public, freedom of commercial speech and property rights, in light of recent U.S. developments with the Slants Case and the Washington Redskins Case.
Sounds, Scents, Flavours, – an Update on Non-Traditional Marks in Canada, the US and EU.
This session discussed new ways in which businesses are distinguishing their products in the market place.
Updating Your Toolkit for Fighting Obviousness Issues Post-Sanofi
This session discussed ways of countering a rejection by a Patent Examiner that an invention is “obvious”.
Use it or Lose it: Non-Use Cancellation Proceedings
This session discussed ways of removing from the Register Trademarks that are no longer in use and the evidence that must be filed to retain a Trademark on the Register when a notice to prove continuing use is received.
Trademarks, Copyright and VQA: Branding and Marketing Issues for Wineries in Canada
The Niagara region has a number of significant wineries. This session provided an opportunity to place industry representatives on a panel for an in-depth discussion of the Intellectual Property Issues faced by wineries.
Women in IP Networking Group Reception
This reception was intended as a networking session for women involve in Intellectual Property, men were invited.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office Update
An address with a question and answer session was presented by the Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trademarks and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Johanne Belisle.
Keep it or Share it: Confidential and Proprietary Information in Joint Ventures
This session discussed the area of trade secrets, and issues around divulging trade secrets in commercial negotiations.
Canada’s Innovation Strategy
This session dealt in much greater depth with the Government’s Innovation Strategy and the public consultations that were held to get public input on the Innovation Strategy.
Copyright: Fair Dealing and Technological Protection Measures
This session discussed fair dealing as an exception to copyright infringement and the prohibition against circumventing technological protection measures.
Updates from the Patent Branch
This was an address with a question and answer session by Agnes Lajoie, the Director General of the Patent Branch and Assistant Commissioner of Patents.
Updates from the Trademarks Branch
This was an address with a question and answer session by Mesmin Pierre, the Director General of the Trademark Branch. The profession was updated on a number of changes that are scheduled to take effect in 2019.
Talking to Your Client – The New Conversation
Corporate executives who hire Intellectual Property Professionals gave their views on how the IP profession can communicate better with their clients.
Top Intellectual Property Cases of the Year
This session dealt with the 10 top cases in each of the areas of Patents, Trademarks and Copyright/Design.