What is the collective noun for a group of trade mark attorneys?  A posse? A tribe? A company? A troupe? I don’t know either, but around 200 trade mark attorneys from all over the United Kingdom and further afield were gathered in The Library of Birmingham at the CITMA Autumn Conference.  I was in the midst of them, catching up with old friends, making new contacts and being updated on the latest happenings in the wonderful world of trade marks.

We started the day with an update on UK case law followed by a round-up of the post Brexit UK Trade Mark.  After the first break of the day, we heard from a panel of speakers in a session with the ominous heading ‘Collaboration: Will AI replace the humans?’

After lunch, we looked at the work of the IPO and PIPCU concerning counterfeit goods and the harm they bring to IP owners, the consumer and, due to the links to organised crime, to wider society.  PIPCU has seized over 41.6 million pounds of counterfeit goods over the last decade.  A talk on money laundering regulations followed.

The last talks of the day looked at greenwashing, a term I’d never come across but which I now know refers to companies making green claims in advertising to make themselves appear greener than they may be and a comparison of Appeals to the Appointed Person and the High Court.

We ended the day with a drink reception, allowing us to relax at the end of a mentally taxing day before making our way home.

All in all, it was an event worth attending, (even if I had to get up at 4 am to attend) not only for earning those much-needed CPD points but for gaining needed knowledge that can be used to guide our clients more effectively and to strengthen our links with our colleagues in the UK further afield.

Cherrie Stewart  – Chartered Trade Mark Attorney