|The AmeriKat's favorite painter acted as a backdrop|
of AIPPI's 2016 Congress Opening Ceremony
However, before we get to that, there is the question of the Opening Ceremony. Unlike Rio last year where the audience was impressed and invigorated (some very much so....) at the array of dancing and dancers at the opening event, the Milan opening started a bit more serene. The walls of the cavernous hall melted into images of Italian landscape scenes, before Felipe Caro (President of AIPPI) officially opened the Congress. Felipe declared that the next few years will see a number of changes in AIPPI, changes that will continue the cycle of innovative and energetic discussion and work towards converging IP law.
|Francis Gurry addressing the Congress|
Gurry went on to identify some difficult challenges that needed to be addressed in IP, with the help of AIPPI. These were as follows:
- Clearing the registered IP application backlog. There is demand for IP protection by the sheer number of applications pending (e.g. 2.7 million patent applications). However, the system is struggling to keep up with the demand. How are we going to address this?
- Policy harmonization between patent offices has greatly increased by the sharing of platforms and infrastructure between IP offices. This should continue.
- Copyright will continue to present challenges. A recent survey found that revenue from the creative industries exceeded those of telecoms and the entire GDP of USA ($1,900 billion), but copyright law is under pressure. It is a real challenge to identify exactly where value resides given the new business models and value chains. There is significant on-going work on these issues currently undertaken by the Commission (see recent Kat posts here) to ensure that copyright is fulfilling its function in the new economy and is continuing to provide a mechanism to finance culture.
- The tension between globalization and diversity will continue and there is no easy fix. Globalization requires a certain amount of functionality to be standardized. We all want our phones to work as soon as we land in whichever country. These standards are created by international rules. However, in wanting international standardization, we also have to be mindful of national rules that preserve and promote diversity of products to encourage economic growth at a state level.
After Gurry's presentation, the audience was treated to a spectacular performance of Italian music, acrobatics and visual imagery of Italian innovators and creators, followed by copious amounts of Italian cuisine. The AmeriKat, having expelled the virtues of cacio e pepe on some unwitting UK Group friends, slinked back to her hotel in an uncharacteristic example of an early night. But in her defence, did she mention that this year's AIPPI Congress is jammed-packed?