How do you handle highly acrimonious parties in IP arbitrations? When it comes to cross-jurisdictional Intellectual Property disputes - is arbitration preferable or are the courts? These were some of the questions posed at DVC's standing-room only event on 22 November with the HKU entitled "Charting the New Waters of 21st Century IP Dispute Resolution" generously supported by the HKIAC.
Winnie Tam SC of DVC moderated an eminent panel of speakers made up of experts in the intellectual property domain including keynote speaker, The Rt Hon. Sir Robin Jacob, Former Lord Justice of Appeal, England & Wales, Governor of the Expert Witness Institute, Matthew Laight, Head of IP Group in APAC, Bird & Bird, Prof Dr Colin Ong QC, Arbitrator and QC, St. Philip's Stone Chambers (London), Dr Haochen Sun, Associate Professor of Law, Director of Law & Technology Center, University of Hong Kong, Douglas Clark, Barrister-at- Law, Arbitrator, Charmaine Koo, Co-Head of IP, Deacons and Dr Susan Qian Xu, General Counsel BGI Economics Co Ltd.
Before an audience of almost 100 guests, (DVC's largest event this year) the Rt Hon Sir Robin Jacob deliberated on issues that ranged from where to mediate to the problems associated with the US System in a keynote speech he delivered to a brimming audience.
Douglas Clark and Dr Haochen Sun discussed the importance of having a robust IP system, and examined the findings of a Survey they conducted on IP Dispute Resolution. Suggestions on how to revamp the IP courts followed from the thought-provoking discussion moderated by Matthew Laight. In the second session Charmaine Koo shared actionable tips on how to draft IP Arbitration clauses and Prof Dr Colin Ong QC noted that the new amendments to the IP Arbitration Bill (clarifying that disputes over IP rights are arbitrable and allowing third party funding) were game changers for Hong Kong. Dr Susan Qian Qu wrapped up the day's session by looking at the varying motives behind IP litigation from the client's point of view.
The final Panel Discussion and Q&A session was moderated by Winnie Tam SC, with The Rt Hon Sir Robin Jacob contributing as a commentator. Likening telex messages to modern day tweets, and reminiscing about the halcyon Lego Days, Sir Robin deftly engaged the audience, with one of our guests remarking upon "how enjoyable the camaraderie was between the panelists," and how "informative and practical" the day's presentation was.