Professor Alan Durant giving his talkThe Third Intellectual Property Conversazione was held at St Catherine’s College, Oxford on Friday 18 March, in conjunction with the Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot.

Hosted by the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre, the IP Conversazione brought together a panel of three speakers to discuss aspects of the broad question “What’s in a Name?” in a panel chaired by Oxford’s Professor of Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law Graeme Dinwoodie.

Professor Alan Durant, Professor of Communication at Middlesex University Business School, wittily discussed the multivariate ways in which humans give names to themselves and the objects they observe and create.

The renowned brand expert Wally Olins CBE entertained and educated the audience with tales from his many years of experience advising multinational businesses on the naming of their products and services.

Geoffrey Hobbs QC gave a forceful presentation on the practical difficulties caused by the ever-expanding list of ways in which a registered trade mark can be infringed in the light of European jurisprudence. After the three presentations, our Reactor the Hon. Mr Justice Arnold gave his informed response to the panel.

We were then joined by His Honour Judge Colin Birss, recently appointed to the Patents County Court.

All participants retired to the St Catz JCR for a reception, before finding their randomly-assigned tables of six in Hall. During dinner, each table discussed issues arising from the talks and formulated a question pose to one of the speakers. Between courses, Professor Dinwoodie drew table numbers at random; a student representative from that table would then ask their table’s question.

We were particularly pleased that among the attendees were two panellists from past IP Conversazioni: Professor Rochelle Dreyfuss and Dr Andreas Rahmatian. Many thanks to all of the speakers, participants, and staff who contributed to the event.

The OIPRC and the Faculty of Law are grateful to Linklaters and 8 New Square for making this event possible.

Linklaters 8 New Square