I am happy to have the opportunity to attend both the ITechLaw and the INTA meeting. So if you are also attending one of theses meetings, we may meet there for a coffee and discuss topics of mutual interest. In this case, please drop me a line. In case you seek professional support in German or European IP issues, myself and my partners offer all kinds of IP services and would be happy to assist you at our Munich-based IP boutique firm k/s/n/h.
ITechLaw is an international technology and IT law organisation, whose IP law committee's mission is to identify, debate an provide solutions for complex cross border intellectual property issues important for technology-creating and using developed and developing economies.
The IP Committee's projects range from enforceability of open source licences over the use of trade marks in internet search engine advertising to reviewing the worldwide developments on the patentability of computer software. For the G 3/08 referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO (see resources here and here), for example, ITechLaw's IP Committee took in an amicus curiae brief the balancing position that the related uncertainty, which extends beyond just the EPO to the national courts dealing with European patents, needs to be clarified:
Irrespective of on which side of the debate one stands, there is a definite need for the issue of software patentability to be clarified and provide certainty for all stakeholders. At present, prospective patentees lack certainty as to whether their invention will be patentable and if granted, will the patent withstand any validity challenge. Conversely, other parties [...] face the risk of infringement and uncertainty of whether they can mount a validity challenge to the patent. Of course, the uncertainty affects others such as potential investors who may be discouraged from investing if there is a lack of clarity as to what can or cannot be protected.
INTA is one of the largest and leading trademark related NGOs and its committees are involved in all kinds of political developments in the IP field around the world, e.g. concerning the European Union trademark system, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), or the new generic top level domains.
For technology-savvy legal experts, INTA e.g. has an Internet Committee, whose work relates to domain name issues and use of trademarks and unfair competition on the Internet.
INTA is also a member of the OAMI Users' Group and closely follows relevant aspects of the Community trade mark and design systems as implemented by the EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), e.g. President Campinos' plans to transform the registration office into a 'true IP office' (see earlier posting here, here, and here).