Saturday, 25 April 2015
Rushing around the CAPITAL
12 March 2015
I invite myself to the Informals’ Committee meeting, to let them know that Big CIPA still cares about them. They politely overlook the fact that I am Old and Outdated, and they very kindly buy me a drink and offer to send me some minutes afterwards. I listen to them talking about the training and social events they are organising up and down the country, and I feel very humble because at Big CIPA we sometimes struggle to organise a plate of biscuits.
Then I rush across London to a posh dinner with a group called UNION-IP. No-one at UNION-IP is able to tell me exactly what the group is about and who it is for, much less why it writes its name in CAPITALS so much of the time, but I see it has a website and a Wikipedia entry so I think they are perhaps not trying hard enough. Anyway, because I arrive late due to being an Old Person guest at the Informals’ meeting, I end up being served my starter, main course and pudding all at the same time. I eventually catch up but I’m not convinced it was a particularly elegant affair.
UNION-IP is known for having influential speakers at its dinners, like judges and senior patent office people. Tonight’s speaker is from the IPO and he is telling us about patent harmonisation. Lots of countries want global patent harmonisation, he says, but every country has its own version of Harmony and usually this looks pretty much like its own current patent system. Also every country would like to be able to opt out of the bits of Harmony it doesn’t like. And to provide more Harmony for its own nationals than for foreigners. Then there are the regional offices, who would also like to be in charge of Harmony but on a bigger scale, although clearly in the case of the EPO it may be difficult to find harmony of any kind right now, particularly among its workforce.
The PRESIDENT of UNION-IP points out that if there is HARMONY then we will all be out of a JOB. No worries. There will be a few jobs spare at the EPO by then.