A Letter from the Co-Chairs for the August 2021 Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee eBulletin

Gregor Bühler and Özge Atilgan KarakulakThursday 12 August 2021

Dear members,

As Co-Chairs of one of the largest and most influential IBA Committees, we are pleased to address our more than 1,000 members in this first Committee publication of 2021. Our Committee is dedicated to providing resources, opportunities and knowledge to intellectual property practitioners across the world and continues to promote global IP best practices by working with a number of stakeholders.

With the Covid-19 pandemic presenting numerous challenges for IP professionals, we have launched a new means for contacting and getting in touch with our members: webinars. Last year, following our annual Officers meeting in October and the very first virtual IBA Annual Conference in November, our Committee began to plan webinar topics for the first half of 2021.

Our first Committee webinar, ‘Online intellectual property threats and best practices amid Covid-19 in the Asia Pacific region’, was held on 24 February. The second, ‘Best practices in intellectual property licensing agreements', took place on 13 May. A third, on the topic of ‘Mediation of IP disputes’ was held in June. All three were well attended and received excellent feedback from participants. You, as members of the IBA, can access the webinar recordings free of charge from the IBA website.

A handful of countries coming out in support of an IP waiver for Covid-19 vaccines was perhaps one of the most critical moments this year for our committee. The increasing push for patent waivers seems to be a primarily political move, seeing as it does not speed up the provision of vaccines and will definitely harm innovation. Our Committee was happy to contribute to the IBA’s press release last May on President Biden’s support for waiving Covid-19 vaccine patent rights. Our objective was to remind readers of the importance of IP in the research and development of available vaccines and to lead the discussion on some real solutions, such as resolving manufacturing barriers, limiting export bans and contributions to the COVAX scheme.

During the past six months, the leadership and Officers of our committee, as well as the Chairs of the Committees from the Intellectual Property, Communications and Technology Section, held a number of fruitful video conferences about ongoing work and plans for this year. We have agreed to hold a Section-wide in-person meeting in Q4 of 2021. The current plan is to host the meeting on 11–12 October in London or Berlin.

In principle, the IBA has approved this conference and, together with the other committees, we have therefore commenced preparations. While final confirmation from the IBA is still outstanding, we would very much appreciate if you could mark these dates in your diaries, as we will also evaluate hybrid attendance options for those who will not be able to travel.

Finally, we would like to thank our Publications Officer Eileen O'Gorman for bringing together so many topical articles in this publication.

We wish you, dear members, all the best for the upcoming summer (or winter for those of you in the south hemisphere) and look forward to meeting you again soon.

Best regards,

Gregor Bühler
Co-Chair, IBA Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee

Özge Atilgan Karakulak
Co-Chair, IBA Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee