On Wednesday I jetted off to Prague, the City of Magic, to attend the annual conference of the ECTA organisation, a conference for those working in the field of Trade Marks.  Taking inspiration from the host city, the conference took the theme ‘Exploring IP Magic’ and what a magical conference it was.

The tone of the conference was relaxed and friendly, while opportunities for in-depth and meaningful contact with other attendees from across the world were plentiful. In addition, the content of the programme of discussions gave much food for thought.

It was great to hear seminars with titles as diverse as “A Magic Carpet Ride Through the Online World”, ‘Illuminating the Design Reform’, ‘Anti-counterfeiting Tricks and Spells’, Non-agri GIs: Alchemy?’ and the seminar with the least magical title ‘ Geographical Names as Trade Marks: Road to Nowhere?’.  Although with those titles you may be forgiven for thinking I was spending some time at Hogwarts.

In particular, the perspectives provided on online counterfeiting were enlightening, while the discussion on the principles of accepted morality was interesting as an advertising executive as well as trade mark professionals from the US and EU provided their differing viewpoints.  It proved to be a stimulating and interesting talk and I walked away with the conclusion that while we may be able to prevent the registration of some questionable trade marks, thus depriving them of what may appear to be tacit official approval, ultimately the consumers will decide what is acceptable or not.

In between catching up with the latest views and news in the Trade Mark World, there was the opportunity to meet up with colleagues, some of whom may previously have only been e-mail correspondents, as well as making the acquaintance of previously unknown Attorneys from across the globe, thus expanding our network of Associates.  With evenings spent with fellow attendees at locations such as the Zofin Palace and the Red Stag beer restaurant, how could I not have enjoyed my first time attending this magical conference?

The gala dinner which took place at the National Gallery of the Trade Fair Palace was a highlight of the conference.  A drinks reception followed by a stunning four-course meal, while being entertained by the Czech National Philharmonic Orchestra, and surrounded by new friends created a truly extraordinary and unforgettable night.

What a sacrifice we at MacLachlan & Donaldson make to keep up to date with the most recent law and practice in our field and to grow our network, thus better serving our clients!  😊