thanks for the initiative. Please find listed bellow just a couple of the emerging issues that I see as relevant in the coming period and would, therefore, propose for studying at INTA programs. The issues are intentionally presented as top level topics and I believe that some more practical elements of those trends might then be distilled into the workshop topics. As you know, I do believe that it is important to look beyond horizon of everyday practice to stay relevant today and I fear that our profession lost some of its credibility by avoiding to do so during the last decade.
1) Moving beyond Paris and Berne Conventions. Pressures are felt all over the contemporary IP scene. Territoriality is fraying under the redefined sovereignty such as in the EU and under the ever more integrated global market dynamics. It will need to be reexamined for the sake of our economy. The traditional “boxes” for the protection of inventions, goodwill, shapes, artistic and scientific creativity etc. do not seem to fit ideally for the new forms of creativity, especially creativity in digital environment. Some countries apparently already explore how to best redefine the patent, trademark, copyright and design rights themselves and avoid too much boxing in the predefined legal categories. Ultimately, it is far from clear whether the proprietary nature of the rights is best suited for digital, networked societies and some thinkers are pointing to this issue. This needs to be explored proactively too.
2) Shifting role of Law. The immensity of the social change is not pushing for redefinition of the intellectual property rights only. The role of law in modern societies is itself shifting as a consequence too, and we are faced with the possibility that law will become less ubiquitous means of resolving disputes in modern societies. I am not suggesting we are moving beyond the “rule of law” entirely, as we can move beyond it only once the rule of law is achieved by all. However, it is certain that we need to look further then we are looking nowadays. It appears already that the most advanced participants of the market competition often favor interest based (negotiations and assisted negotiations including mediation) rather than position based (law) solutions and outcomes. The law itself is morphing from within as witnessed by the shrinking role of litigation in enforcement and ever increasing role of “automated” administrative border-measure type of enforcement. INTA needs to study these trends in order to maintain its leading position.
I have some others on my mind but think that the above two are all encompassing and can lead as a framework guidance for our further exploration. Should you feel I need to elaborate on any of the above please do let me know as it will be my pleasure to do so. In due course I am prepared to refine the top level topics to more operative level issues, together with the rest of the group. I am looking forward to our further discussions.
Best regards, Mladen