FICPI World Congress 2015 in Cape Town


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Prestigious International Intellectual Property Conference held in Cape Town

The Bureau of the Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Intellectuelle (FICPI) is holding the FICPI World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa from 13 to 17 April 2015 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

FICPI was founded in 1906 as a Federation of national IP associations in Europe, but has grown, and continues to grow, over the century since its foundation to a truly global organisation with member associations and national sections in 40 countries, individual members in a further 50 countries and a total membership of more than 5000. For more information see

FICPI is the only international NGO whose membership consists exclusively of IP attorneys in private practice. FICPI is the representative body for the free profession at the international level and represents a key constituency of the international IP system as the vast majority of users of the IP system use an IP attorney in private practice. An aim of FICPI is enhancing international cooperation within the profession of IP attorneys in private practice, promoting the exchange of information and facilitating business relations between members.

FICPI hosts a World Congress every third year. This is the first time that this prestigious conference is being held on African soil. And the first time that an IP Conference of this importance is being hosted in South Africa.

Bastiaan Koster, a South African patent attorney and partner at Von Seidels, is the current president of FICPI. Koster explains that the theme of the Cape Town Congress is ‘Adapt to Advance’. A question currently being asked is whether IP is driving economic growth or whether economic growth is driving changes in the IP system. Promoting innovation has become the focus for many countries, but not all countries have been successful in this regard. The world is in need of economic growth after the global economic crisis experienced in 2008. In many countries there is still no or little recovery. Recent studies in the United States and Europe have found that IP intensive industries play a significant role in the USA and Europe. These reports also indicate that IP intensive industries, as a general rule, outperform businesses which are not IP intensive. All indications are that over the next five to ten years the IP environment will change for users, IP offices and for the IP profession.

The deliberations at the conference should provide an indication how Intellectual Property issues and in particular the patent system will develop over the next 10 to 20 years. At the same time the Congress attendees, who are all in private practice, should get a better idea how their own practices will have to adapt going forward in view of changes in the IP system.

The Congress will be attended by some 380 delegates from 58 countries. The Congress is only open to FICPI members and the attendees will be representing many of the leading IP firms across the world.

In addition a number of high-profile industry speakers will also attend the Congress.


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