FICPI’s 2018 Congress will be held in Toronto, Canada starting with an opening reception on Tuesday 5 June and ending with optional excursions on Saturday 9 June, and will be accompanied by an Executive Committee meeting commencing with an opening reception on Sunday 3 June and concluding on Friday 8 June. You can find an overview of the schedule here

As usual, the World Congress is open to FICPI members only. The program, which is described in detail on the following pages, will follow up on the themes developed at the 2015 Congress in Cape Town, focusing on the changes that IP practitioners in private practice will have to make to survive in a rapidly changing world. Many of these changes are driven by rapid changes in technology, including the continuing development and application of artificial intelligence.

Technology continues to change our lives. This change is irresistible. The Night Watch, whether painted by Rembrandt or commanded by Jon Snow, could not keep the forces of change outside the Wall. How will the changes we are experiencing today change your practice?

For decades, we have relied on high volumes of routine work to pay the bills and keep our offices running. Machine translations, the Global Dossier and automated filings are challenging that model. Our practices will inevitably change.

“Experts” predict that in only a few years, many of the functions that our firms do now will be done by machines operated, perhaps by our competitors, with artificial intelligence replacing many of our employees.

Hear a panel of our own experts discuss the effect that AI may have on patent searching, patentability and FTO opinions, and even on decision making in IP disputes. Discuss how AI can be used to revise claims to respond to asserted prior art. Explore with our panelists how the use of AI will affect inventorship and ownership of inventions.

Other panelists will discuss the possibilities of expanding our practices to compensate for the loss of work that may result from the implementation of new technologies, how we should manage our practices in times of change, and other IP rights, like trade secrets, that may be used to protect these new technologies.

With changes in technologies, IP values will change, and you will hear how you can assist your clients in determining the value of its IP rights.

It’s not just technology that’s changing our practices. International trade agreements affect national and international IP laws, and the rights of your clients. Be part of a discussion on how the trade-related aspects of IP will affect you and your clients.

These changes may require changes in how we practice. Our highly qualified panelists will discuss the virtualization of IP firms, and how the outsourcing of services that we have traditionally performed ourselves may be leveraged to allow us to offer services at competitive rates while maintaining the profitability of our firms.

Trends in the law will be discussed, including developments under US section 101, updates on the protection of GUIs, icons and motion designs, and the desirability of consistency in international trade mark protection.

The working program will feature plenary sessions with top-quality speakers, with concurrent streams devoted to the latest IP and practice-related considerations that will encourage and allow your direct participation in discussions of the most current IP topics.

To download a copy of the Congress and ExCo brochure, click here. To start planning for your trip to Toronto for the Congress, please click here for information about the city.

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All reasonable endeavours will be made to hold the FICPI World Congress and to present the program as contained in the Congress brochure and on this website in a manner to assure the comfort and safety of the attendees. However, neither FICPI, nor the organisers nor any of FICPI’s or the organisers’ representatives or agents shall have any liability to any person as a result of cancellation of all or part of the meeting or any of the arrangements, programs, or plans connected therewith or any loss, injury, damage or inconvenience which may be suffered by any person while travelling to or from the meeting, or during such person’s presence in Canada in connection with the meeting. Participants are strongly advised to procure their own insurance against any such occurrences.