Griffith Hack’s Aaron LePoidevin and Georgina Higinbotham joined IP practitioners from around the globe at the recent 2023 IPO Annual Meeting in Boston, MA. Following a busy three days of sessions, meetings and networking, Aaron and Georgina provided their insights and key takeaways from the event.
IPO provided a timely reminder of the importance of incentivising and protecting innovation, and supporting entrepreneurship and creativity. In an era that is being defined by rapid developments in advanced technologies, these are important tenets to embrace and to act on. As I reflect on the conference, three themes stood out to me:
In a world where innovation and progress knows no borders, international collaboration is more critical than ever. IPO provided a unique opportunity to connect with clients and colleagues from around the world – and the shared focus on improving how we work together was outstanding. I am a big believer that this approach will be instrumental in achieving success and improving outcomes for all clients, inventors and entrepreneurs.
As we grapple with the complexities of intellectual property protection in the digital age, these partnerships will become our greatest assets. Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success” and this sentiment echoed loudly at IPO.
Artificial intelligence, especially generative AI, was a hot topic at IPO and there were some interesting discussions about both the challenges and opportunities it presents for the IP sector. I’ve written about this subject before and it’s something that I’m watching closely.
IPO reminded us that every major technological advancement in history has presented similar dilemmas. From the industrial revolution to the rise of the internet, society has faced questions about ethics, regulations, and the impact on employment. With AI, the questions may be more profound and touch on the nature of consciousness and creativity itself – however, history teaches us that with careful consideration, we can navigate these challenges successfully.
Taking the time to understand the practical and legal implications of AI is paramount. We must foster a collaborative atmosphere among technologists, IP and legal experts, and policymakers to ensure responsible and ethical development. This will prevent unnecessary panic and facilitate a smoother transition into this new era.
IPO 2023 brought together 800+ IP practitioners and business leaders from around the world
Arthur C. Clarke’s famous assertion that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” has never resonated more. Groundbreaking developments that seemed like science fiction only a few short years ago are now present in our lives and ready to be harnessed.
An example of this is the convergence of biotechnology and artificial intelligence in drug discovery, which was discussed in-depth during a great session at IPO. We find ourselves at an intersection of biology and technology, where the boundaries of what can be achieved are expanding into areas we thought impossible. The rapid progress in this industry – that was outlined in fascinating detail by the panel – highlights the importance of incentivising further innovation and obtaining IP protection.
IPO provided an incredible opportunity to discuss and examine IP industry trends at a global level, and to also hear first-hand about the challenges and opportunities that IP practitioners face at a domestic level. After returning to Sydney and having an opportunity to reflect, the topics and themes from IPO that stood out to me were:
The value of connecting with IP colleagues
The opportunity to connect with firms and attorneys from across the globe – many who we’ve worked closely with for years – was invaluable. These interactions provided a platform to better understand individual needs, address concerns, build trust and loyalty, and to establish friendships. It also provided an opportunity to hear about the challenges and opportunities within the IP landscapes of other jurisdictions – and conversely, for me to share insights about the Australian IP landscape. It was a good reminder that in today’s digital age, genuine connections made at conferences remain a powerful tool for expanding networks.
Georgina at the 2023 IPO Annual Meeting in Boston, MA
Diversity in the IP sector
It was fantastic to see increased diversity among IP practitioners internationally. To know that the sector is embracing individuals from a wide array of backgrounds and genders is heartening and will ultimately benefit the industry as a whole. Increased representation will bring with it unique experiences and cultural insights that will inevitably provide enriched perspectives and solutions for clients and communities.
The importance of promoting equal opportunities and dismantling barriers cannot be underestimated and will produce an IP community that better reflects the diverse world it serves.
Insights on claim language and patent disclosure
IPO featured a number of fascinating sessions that discussed patent case law and legislative updates in various jurisdictions – I will be passing on many of the insights shared to my team at Griffith Hack. I found the panel session that provided an update on claim language and patent disclosure in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Amgen v Sanofi particularly useful. Wonderfully moderated and with insightful contributions from the panel, it was extremely valuable to hear practical advice on the use of various claiming conventions to protect against ever-changing case law.
Georgina and Aaron would like to thank the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association for staging an outstanding event. They would also like to thank all the firms, attorneys and clients that they met with at the conference, and during their extended trip in the United States.