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Public Lectures 2015

Our public lecture series on topical issues of intellectual property law and policy is open to anyone to attend, but space is limited. Please email Mandy Lenihan to reserve a place on one or all of the lectures. The events will take place at the Executive Business Centre, close to Bournemouth train station.

Paul Torremans (University of Nottingham): “The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court: a private international law perspective”

Thursday 19 February, from 6 pm in EB306

The introduction of the unitary patent will leave the European patent in place and will in any case not apply to Italy, Spain and, probably, Poland. And the courts in those countries, and those in all other Member States during the transition period, will share competence over patent cases with the Unified Patent Court. This gives rise to issues of private international law and the Brussels I Regulation was hastily amended to deal with the matter. The talk will consider the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court from a private international law perspective in order to analyse whether adequate solutions are now in place that will make the system predictable and transparent, or even efficient.

Paul Torremans is Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Nottingham.

Jennifer Davis (University of Cambridge): “The problem with the average consumer in European trade mark law”

Thursday 19 March, from 6 pm in EB306

The talk will consider the problem of identifying the average consumer in EU trade mark law.  It will suggest that his or her position in case law relating to both distinctiveness and confusion is increasingly uncertain and that explanations for this uncertainty might lie in changes to economic orthodoxy, retailing strategies and the expansion of the EU itself.  It will then consider whether the concept of the average consumer might be replaced by a more evidence based approach to assessing distinctiveness and confusion.

Jennifer Davis is Newton Trust Lecturer in Intellectual Property at the University of Cambridge, where she is also Fellow of Wolfson College and Member of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL).

Stavroula Karapapa (University of Reading): “Introducing the ‘new public’ into copyright infringement”

Thursday 23 April, from 6 pm in EB306

This talk will discuss what amounts to an actionable communication of copyright works to the public. Recent rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union uphold that infringement takes place not only where an unauthorised communication reaches the public but also where a communication is addressed to a «new public», i.e. a public that copyright holders had not taken into account when authorising the initial communication of the work. This newly developed doctrine does not refer to a public or a private circle in a copyright sense, but develops a sui generis legal fiction that fundamentally changes the communication right; it both restricts and expands its scope in ways that were not foreseen when the right was first introduced in international law, European copyright and the national laws of Member States. In its unnecessary complexity and complicated logic that challenges the credibility of copyright, the concept of the “new public” indicates that the extremely broad scope of the communication right is unworkable and counterproductive, and invites a principle-based approach in examinations of infringement.

Stavroula Karapapa is Associate Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Reading School of Law and the co-Director of the Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation at the University of Reading.

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