IP in Retail Conference 2017

September 2017

London & Leeds

IP in Retail 2017 - HGF's fifth annual conference will be held in September in Leeds and London. The conference addresses topical IP issues for retailers. 

Thursday 21st September - Leeds

HGF Leeds, 1 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9DX

Thursday 28th September - London

Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA

8.30am - 4.30pm


A number of factors are making 2017 an "interesting" time for retailers. Reducing real disposable income, a weakening pound, inflation, fluctuating consumer confidence - these and other "unknowns" are playing out against the background of Brexit, leading to uncertainties about the road ahead. 

In IP in Retail , 2017 - HGF's fifth annual conference addressing topical IP issues for retailers - we aim to deliver a little more certainty, as well as positivity and creativity for the year ahead. 

The conference will attract 6 CPD hours and there is no charge for attending. 

To register please contact Liz Renn or call +44(0) 113 233 0189. 



To view the full programme please click here


Case winners or the arguments of last resort? Passing off & unfair competition in Europe - Alexander Hagen and Antony Gold

 A series of recent unsuccessful passing off claims by retailers has led many to believe that cases based on passing off or unfair competition (often its counterpart in mainland Europe) offer a less sound basis for a claim than a claim based on registered trade mark rights. However the inherent flexibility of actions based on unregistered rights means that they can be deployed to provide creative solutions.

Looking at both the UK and European perspective we will explore the boundaries of this type of action and discover how they can be deployed by retailers. 


Pushing the boundaries on designs - Katie Goulding

How far can designers take “inspiration” from others’ designs/products before they risk infringement?  The line between the permissible and the actionable can be very fine. What should you do by way of due diligence to ensure that “following a trend” won’t result in you receiving a claim letter. We look at recent cases in the fields of retail and fashion and discuss where is the point of “this far, but no further”?

We also look at what can be protected and how each element might be best protected graphically.


Data in Europe: are retailers GDPR ready? - Michelle Davies

Described as the biggest thing for data protection in decades, the new General Data Protection Directive will take effect on 25 May 2018. The handling and processing of personal data will be an integral part of your retail business and with provisions covering mobile data, the cloud, internet sales and social media, the Directive brings data protection back up to date with our current world.  Even if you already have a good grasp of the subject, the Directive is vast and introduces some more onerous obligations and with potential fines of up to 20m Euros – it is worth taking the time to make sure you get it right.  


Leaving the EU and looking out to the World - the impact of Brexit on a global brand protection strategy - David Potter

One of the perceived advantages of leaving the EU is the potential freedom it gives the UK to explore other global markets.

What are these new markets for retailers? What impact will the re-focussing of priority markets have on a brand protection strategy?  How well can their protection and enforcement regimes be relied on? How will budgets be effected and what are the best timeframes for protection?


A bad influence? How to construct a compliant influencer based campaign - Tom Nener

The influencer market is a multi-million-pound market which is utilised across a number of different social media platforms. Influencer based adverts rarely involve a single post or advert and are often at the core of a retailer’s strategy to boost the profile of its products and ultimately boost sales. This talk will discuss how to construct a compliant influencer based marketing campaign and provide our top tips for what to include with any agreements with influencers.


Feeling the pinch – interactive session to discuss budgeting issues - Marie McMorrow

Different brands have different priorities when it comes to spending their budget on IP. However whether you are facing budget cuts or just want to ensure best value we can learn from each other different thoughts and strategies for managing IP budgets. We will facilitate a discussion on keeping budgets under control whilst managing competing demands for expenditure. 


The impact of AI on trade mark law - Lee Curtis and Rachel Cockin

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already impacted on the retail market, but will it bring about a fundamental re-formulation of the basis of trade mark law going forward?

Who is the infringer when AI is in play in purchasing decisions? What is confusion or a likelihood of confusion when the human consumer is not making the purchasing decisions? Some guidelines for dealing with automated processes have already evolved in trade mark law, such as the Google Adword cases and Amazon marketplace cases. Do these cases form a new basis for assessing confusion and liability in retail trade mark disputes when AI is involved or do we need a new thought process and possibly new guidelines?


Isn't it ironic: parody trade marks: an international comparison - Lee Curtis

With the LOUIS VUITTON/MY OTHER BAG trade mark parody case potentially going to the US Supreme Court, the issue of the use of parody trade marks is at the forefront of trade mark law.

What is a parody trade mark? Should they be considered parasitic, trading off a brands repute or simply a joke?  Recent decisions has suggested that the US and Japanese courts take radically different views with regards the issue of the use of trade marks in parody brands, than the much more restrictive UK and EU courts.

The issue of parody trade marks will be of interest to reputable and well-known brands which may well become the ‘victim’ of such usage and of interest to others who may wish to use parody and parodies to ‘spice up’ advertising and marketing campaigns or their branding strategy.  We will discuss how parody brands are treated differently across the globe, with particular emphasis on the UK, US, European and Japanese case law and hopefully you will get the joke.


Which way is the wind blowing? Trends in UK IPO decisions 2016/17 relevant to retailers - Adjoa Anim

Whilst higher court decisions set precedents and enjoy most of the legal press attention, what often matters on a daily basis is whether the UKIPO will allow your application or find in your favour in opposition proceedings.

We take a broad look at trends in UKIPO decision making in the last 12 months in areas such as likelihood of confusion and distinctiveness. We will look to see how the UKIPO are interpreting trade mark law on a daily basis at Registry level and what can be learnt from these trends. 


To register please contact Liz Renn or call +44(0) 113 233 0189. 

To view the full programme please click here 


About HGF's Retail Team

HGF has a specialist retail IP team which handles the full range of retail-related intellectual property work, both in the UK and internationally.

In addition to core areas such as new trade mark and design filing programs we cover fields such as social media and internet advice, patent and design searching and filing for wearables, e-market monitoring and enforcement, comparative advertising advice and many other key IP services for retailers.

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