On Wednesday 7th June we were delighted to host the latest instalment of our Unscripted roundtable event at the Kempinski Hotel in Munich. After early evening drinks, the discussion began and was led by Julian Adamson, Partner and leader of our German practice. Julian was joined by our four esteemed panellists representing a variety of perspectives and industries:
Anton Silber – Head of Patents, Clariant
Sven Wehser – General Counsel, Leica Microsystems
Jörk Zwicker – Partner, ZSP
Christof Wolpert – Head of Patents, Adidas
We were joined by over fifty IP professionals across Europe, who contributed to an in-depth discussion spanning topics as pressing and wide-ranging as employee inventor law and remuneration policy, coordinating multi-jurisdictional prosecution, and the outsourcing of patent attorney work.
Few disputed the difficulties that current inventor law can give rise to, with IP issues often influencing the fate of much broader corporate transactions. A consensus was also clear on the need for reform accordingly, but views on how to standardise such processes and consistently determine remuneration revealed greater policy disagreements.
The topic of prosecution strategy produced an equally lively debate, with panellists and audience members alike proposing competing considerations concerning where to file first. It was clear that scarce resources can often offer significant constraints, but even companies with deep pockets must weigh up whether they seek, for instance, quick and enforceable patents or long-term licensing prospects. The discussion also touched on the topic of patents prepared with global prosecution in mind, and to what extent an internationally-sensitive drafting style exists.
Greater agreement arrived again on what drives the selection of outside counsel, with cost receiving far less emphasis than depth of technical expertise. Conflict of interest considerations were also covered and debated, in addition to the complexity of transferring portfolios between outside counsels.
As the roundtable discussion wrapped up, the audience subsequently retired for further drinks and canapés over conversations that lasted late into the evening.
We thank both our panellists and our guests for joining us at our inaugural Munich event and making the evening such a success. As we continue to increase our activity in the German market, we look forward to hosting a further event in the coming months. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss the market and any needs you may have.