Candidates For EPO President On Campaign Trail At WIPO Conference21/09/2009 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.A recent two-day conference of the World Intellectual Property Organization on IP infrastructure also served as a campaign platform of sorts for several candidates vying to be the next head of the European Patent Office in Munich starting in mid-2010. A well-timed announcement of the four candidates in consideration at the EPO was made on the first day of the Geneva conference (IPW, European Policy, 17 September 2009).The “WIPO Global Symposium of Intellectual Property Authorities – Developing Global Intellectual Property Infrastructure for Promoting Science, New Technologies and Innovation Worldwide” was held on 17-18 September.There were possible signs of campaigning. Roland Grossenbacher, director general of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, bounced back from a rumour of absence given out in the morning of his speech to give a managerially focused presentation on “IP authority or service company? The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property as an example.” On his panel on financial models, Grossenbacher was flanked by two former fairly high-profile candidates for the WIPO director general position (won by Francis Gurry) in last year’s election, from Mexico and Kenya.Susanne Ǻs Sivborg, director general of the Swedish Patent and Registration Office, was given a seat on the industrial design panel, but she battled her way out of the topic’s comparative obscurity, saying she does not agree with the view that “design is the poor cousin” of patents, and that, “We all have a task to raise awareness about IP generally but also about design.”Jesper Kongstad, director general of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, might have been said to have been almost grandstanding compared to his Scandinavian neighbour. Kongstad began his presentation on new technologies for patent information search and evaluation with a windy story about the start of his career years ago, followed by a story about sitting near Gurry at the previous night’s dinner.Sidestepping the potential technical detail of his panel, he pitched himself as a big picture person, saying, “What can a director general say? We are not experts in these new technologies … we are rather the general managers.” Other notable remarks included that patent information dissemination “is obviously something but not everything,” and that if there is a problem, “the market will solve it unless there is a market failure.” He also stridently called for patent harmonisation as “it would be better if we had a one-stop shop.”It was this last point that the next panellist, consultant Stephen Adams, director of Magister, used as a launching point into a substantive analysis of patent information. He opened by disagreeing with Kongstad on the one-stop shop database, as Adams’ experience has shown different databases are needed for different searches.The fourth EPO candidate, Benoît Battistelli, director general of the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle in France, appeared to be absent from the WIPO conference.The annual WIPO General Assemblies will be held from 22 September to 1 October.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."Candidates For EPO President On Campaign Trail At WIPO Conference" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.