Professor Ray Friel presented two papers at the only World Intellectual Property Organization Summer Institute held in North America in 2017. Speaking in New England at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, Friel presented on the lost opportunity for the EU to reform copyright laws in general as instead it turned the focus onto portability of digital rights to create the single digital market. In addition he separately presented the EU’s rules on national designations of origin and national geographic indicators, which contrast sharply with the protections available in the US.
The well attended Institute was almost exclusively from outside the US and included many key players in the international IP sphere. Among the attendees was an IP judge from South Korea, which operates one of the key international IP Academies supported by WIPO.
As was to be expected, Friel was asked a number of questions on the impact of Brexit in the sphere of IP protection and management in an international context and set out a number of challenges both for UK commercial enterprises seeking to protect their IP rights as well as the risks for EU companies operating in the UK.