UCL Faculty of Laws


Professor Sir Robin Jacob gives the keynote speech at the JIPLP-GRUR Conference 2019

13 December 2019

Professor Sir Robin Jacob delivered the keynote speech at the start of the 2019 JIPLP-GRUR Conference.

Professor Sir Robin Jacob

Professor Sir Robin Jacob, Sir Hugh Laddie Chair of Intellectual Property Law at UCL Laws, gave the welcoming keynote speech to delegates attending an annual IP conference hosted by the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) and German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR) in London on 10 December 2019.

The focus of this year’s conference was ‘The Future of IP in a Changing World’ and Professor Sir Robin Jacob’s keynote address asked simply:  ‘Is IP Out of Control?’ His paper, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of JIPLP, traced the root of many of IP law’s current problems to a transition, starting around 50 years ago. This marked the period when new IP legislation ceased to be drafted ‘thoughtfully and carefully’ but was produced instead as a ‘knee-jerk reaction to noisy lobbyist.’ This trend was illustrated with examples such as the unintended consequences of the Design Copyright Act of 1968 (the result of lobbying by the jewellers of Birmingham) and the ill-thought through lengthening of copyright protection within the EU in 1992 (following litigation by Phil Collins and Cliff Richard).   

The rest of the conference programme featured IP industry representatives, practitioners and academics from a number of European countries, who highlighted key issues in the future of patent, copyright, trade mark and IP enforcement. It also included an address by Ros Lynch, Copyright and IP Enforcement Director at the UK Intellectual Property Office, entitled ‘UK Copyright at a Time of Change.

Find out more details about the event here.

Photo: by Eleonora Rosati