Partner Jeffrey Lindenbaum attended the Consulegis Annual Conference in Dublin, Ireland, and participated in discussions with international law firms on the latest updates regarding Brexit and the EU’s GDRP (data privacy law), as well as differences between introducing evidence in trademark counterfeit lawsuits in the U.S., France, the UK, Germany, and Switzerland. The members of the conference also discussed Ireland’s recent emergence as a growing market for technology companies from around the world.
The update on Brexit is that there remains still a good amount of uncertainty. Certain regulations have been drafted, but approval is still pending. The expectation is that the regulations will likely address the issue of maintaining priority for trademark applications that were filed in the European Union, with the UK recognizing such filing dates as controlling. Some companies are nonetheless still taking a cautious approach with separate filings of trademark applications in the EU and in the UK.
The IP Specialist Group also discussed the latest status of the different country’s court systems with regard to electronic filing. Among the represented countries, it seems that the United States has progressed the furthest with universal adoption of an electronic court filing system. The members also discussed some of the challenges of introducing evidence in France, which may only be submitted through the government Bailiff, and cannot simply be introduced through attorney or witness affidavit (which is the acceptable means in most other jurisdictions).
The participants further discussed the recent filing of many lawsuits against companies that have failed to modify their websites so that they are accessible to the disabled. There is software that allows websites to be converted to audio text for users that are visually impaired. However, the websites must be constructed in certain ways so as to not block or interfere with this software.
Guest speakers at the conference included Niamh Bushnell, Dublin’s first Commissioner for Startups, and Martin D. Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland. IDA is Ireland’s inward investment promotion agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign investment in Ireland.
The conference was attended by member firms from: Lisbon Portugal, Basel and Zurich Switzerland, Barcelona and Madrid Spain, Hamburg Bonn Cologne Munich and Hanau Germany, Pargue Czech Republic, London and Cheltenham UK, Los Angeles, California, New York, New York, Santiago Chile, Johannesburg South Africa, Utrech Netherlands, Shanghai and Hong Kong China, Toulouse and Paris France, Milan Italy, Vienna Austria, Sydney and Melbourne Australia, Jakarta Indonesia, Mechelen Belgium, and Osaka Japan.