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The world’s largest-ever meeting of intellectual property lawyers was held this week in Boston, with the centrepiece being a battle over a hamburger.
Some 2,000 lawyers from around the world came together at the Boston Conference and Exhibition Centre for the first meeting on US soil since the 1970s of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI).
Phil Swain, a partner in the IP department at Boston law firm Foley Hoag chaired the conference organising committee.
“The main purpose of the conference is to discuss the harmonisation of national patent laws and cooperation between countries with respect to IP rights,” said Swain.
One of the ways the AIPPI illustrated this central theme was via a mock trial programme that staged patent trials under the rules of five countries (China, England, Germany, Japan and the USA).
The trials all featured genuine trial judges and patent experts from each of those countries, and all used the same fake patent, a hamburger with a hole in the middle for condiments.
The AIPPI’s idea was to see if the same patent dispute resulted in a different result simply because of a change in jurisdiction.
The English law trial was presided over by Mr Justice Christopher Floyd of the London Patent Court. The opposing barristers were Henry Carr QC of Gray’s Inn and Ashley Roughton of Hogarth Chambers, with the session moderated by Michael Edenborough of Serle Court Chambers.