open menu

In Brief

Straight Talk at IP Summit

Ropes & Gray, BC Law partner to explore global intellectual property issues.

Photograph by Lee Pellegrini

Boston College Law School, in partnership with Boston-based law firm Ropes & Gray LLP, coordinated a two-day conference focused on the complex global intellectual property issues facing US businesses operating in Europe and the United Kingdom.

The October European IP Summit drew more than 100 experts to each day’s panels. Speakers included the attaché to the US from the European Patent Office, a former federal appellate judge, a former international trade commissioner, and the director of IP enforcement and Her Majesty’s Consul General to New England.

The event was the first of the academic year for BC Law’s Program on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE), which builds bridges between the school and outside innovation and entrepreneurship communities.

“The IP Summit brought together a remarkable combination of government officials, members of industry, attorneys, and academics,” said Edward J. Kelly ’93, a partner in the IP practice at Ropes & Gray.

“It also provided a relaxed but serious-minded environment that allowed the audience to explore facts, opinions, and predictions about Europe’s evolving legal and political IP landscape.”

The conference panels kicked off with the thorny topic of the UK’s exit from the European Union, and its impact on IP rights across all sectors and industries.

“The discussion showed the extreme uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its consequences, given the unsettled political landscape in Britain, and the changing EU leadership,” said BC Law Professor David Olson, the PIE faculty director. “While Britain remains open for business, successfully navigating the shifting relationships between Britain, the EU, and the world is a top challenge for global businesses.”

The content-rich panels addressed topics such as managing risk in cross-border technology and life science transactions; best practices for General Data Protection Regulation compliance and responses to cyberattacks; data protection; the interaction between competition law and European IP rights; and issues and challenges related to the proposed twenty-five-country Unified Patent Court.

Photo caption: From left, Giuseppe Mazziotti, Ros Lynch, and Allie Renison

The original of this abridged article first appeared in BC News.