Posts Tagged ‘APAA’
November 11, 2012 by IPAlchemist
On the excursion day at APAA, I was accompanied by the excellent Mr Shinji Okayama, a Japanese patent attorney who has taken the courageous decision to move from his native Japan to Denmark to work at Plougmann & Vingtoft. I had major camera envy, and the results testify to both his superior equipment and his superior skill. Shinji has kindly sent me some pictures, and permitted me to reproduce them on my blog, so here you are. Thank you Shinji.
November 1, 2012 by IPAlchemist
It is now Thursday afternoon, and my last few posts have all been pictures, so I think it is time to return to my familiar (and preferred) medium of language.
My photos were not that great, some taken just with iphone with challenging illumination conditions. They then needed downloading onto my laptop, followed by an attempt to indentify ones that even merited posting. Then there was quite a time-consuming and error-prone uploading process because of the rather limited bandwidth of the WiFi connection here. So apologies for the lack of real-time illustrations.
The excursion day was lovely, as I hope the piccies show. I had great travelling companions, even if our guide was a little shrill and over-enthusiastic. The elephant centre was much more fun than I had imagined, and I was quite surprised to find myself really looking forward to the elephant ride. I don’t know how humane it really is, but it was a wonderful experience.
The temple is apparently the oldest in northern Thailand, and was very moving. The main hall was being renovated, but the smaller halls were still interesting, and the main central pagoda, of copper (it seemed) with gold overlay, was magnificent – this is what is in the picture I posted.
Mercifully, I then had time for a shower before heading to a lovely reception hosted by the pan-Asian firm of Axis. We were treated to some wonderful hospitality.
So what then of the title of this post, the final day?
Well, firstly it was the only day where I went to any business session of the conference (I don’t count the opening ceremony). Most of the delegates in fact largely disregard the official programme, and indeed significant portions are reserved for members of APAA, or sometimes even only for council members. I was struck by how, in contrast to the open informality of the rest of the proceedings, the formal programme was very – well – formal.
I luckily joined the session in time to learn that the special topic of the Design standing committee for next year will be mobile communication devices. As I am chairing a session on this very topic at a conference to be held by and at OHIM next April (to celebrate 10 years of the Community Registered Design) I was very interested to see this. I hope that we can collaborate and compare notes.
During the rest of the day I had some scheduled and unscheduled meetings, and was, for this one day only, also able to find some time during the day to catch up with some work from back home.
Then it was off to the Royal Park Rajapruek for the closing banquet. This had apparently been intended to held al fresco, but torrential rain earlier in the day had scuppered this plan. So we were divided into two halls, one for those who had pre-reserved tables, and one for the rest of us. Our hall had the disadvantage of hearing the fantastic live music only via relay, with the concomitant advantage of being completely unable to hear, and therefore able cheerfully to ignore, the speeches.
On entering, there was a parade of ladies dressed in the national costumes of, it seemed, all of the APAA recognized countries, which was quite a sight. Indeed delegates were invited to wear national dress, and, while most like me stuck to suit, many people were wearing the most fabulous and stunning outfits. I elected to interpose myself next to the Japanese-dressed lady for the entry photo.
The meal was completely western, the only time so far that this happened, but, like all the other food during the conference, completely delicious.
By the end of all of this, I was utterly done in. So even though I really wanted to get to the hospitality suite, which I had not really experienced properly the whole conference (thereby missing the legendary and apparently inimitable APAA band), I elected to stay on the bus and go back to my hotel.
You might have thought that this was the end. But not a bit of it. The firm of Tilleke & Gibbins decided that we had not yet had enough of networking and stuffing our faces, and so they kindly organized an after-event brunch on the Thursday morning. This was a truly delightful affair, much more relaxed in the way that only an after-event can be, which gave us a chance to re-connect with some of those who we had met over the previous four days, and even meet a few additional people. Moreover, significant numbers of people were actually NOT WEARING SUITS! In astonishing contrast to the first day, where the “smart casual” dress code was interpreted by most delegates and meaning “suit and tie”. The setting was also stunning, while the food and drink was fabulous (as, to be fair, it had been all through the conference). I would like to thank Tilleke & Gibbins for a great closing event.
So now it really is the end of #APAA2012, and my holiday can begin. Or, if you like, we can turn our thoughts to Hanoi and #APAA2013!
November 1, 2012 by IPAlchemist
I received this photo of me travelling with my new friend and elephant-back companion Veronika Liapunova taken by our friend Valentina Sergeyeva on the Excursion Day on Tuesday. Clearly, I didn’t take it myself!
November 1, 2012 by IPAlchemist
I already posted my favourite photo of the APAA elephant from the reception on the second night – the Kad Mua Market Extravaganza at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Here are just a couple more, of the mock Thai boxing that I mentioned.
Again, floodlight night scenes, and rapid movement, proved a but much for my poor little iPhone. But hopefully it catches some of the flavour.
October 31, 2012 by IPAlchemist
Finally I got round to reviewing the photos. Many did not turn out as well as I hoped, but here are a few. My limited photography skill and unsophisticated equipment did not cope well with artificially lit nighttime scenes… But you get the idea.
October 30, 2012 by IPAlchemist
Main news – we have discovered a new tweeter – welcome to @antonblijlevens.
Today was excursion day – Elephants (the Elephant Conservation Centre) and Temple (the Pagoda of the Wat Phrathad Lampang Luang). So I attach one photo of each.
A picture tells a thousand words, so I shall leave it at that.
October 29, 2012 by IPAlchemist
OK, I could not wait. Here is the APAA elephant. With me. Looking hot and flustered and British. Because I am British and I don’t deal with the heat very well. Sorry.
But shout out to Bruno Nunes, my new friend and fellow tweeter from Macao, for taking the picture.
If there are any other tweeters out there, let us know, as Bruno and I are feeling lonely.
October 29, 2012 by IPAlchemist
So, the beginning of Day 2.
I am ignoring the official programme (so shoot me – I was in very good company). Had to catch up with blogging, and the home emails which didn’t stop just because I was in Thailand, unfortunately…
…and of course I had to meet lots of delegates.
I have been really struck by how friendly this conference is. While I am not particularly experienced at big international IP conferences, I am experienced about rooms full of patent attorneys, and they (we) are generally a shy bunch, and rather reserved. Here, I have been astonished by how freely people will come up to you and introduce themselves, whether at the social events in the evenings, or just during the day in the lobby. This has led to meeting many interesting people in addition to the ones I had planned to meet.
So now I am at the end of Day Two.
The evening reception in the grounds of the Mandarin Oriental has been amazing. Strewn everywhere were little stalls where people were making delicious pieces of gorgeousness to eat, so we just wandered round and had a little of each. Meanwhile, more fantastic performances with amazing costumes of all varieties, including men performing comic mock Thai boxing (at least that is what I think it was).
And there was an elephant. A real live elephant, bedecked in the APAA emblem. How many international conferences get to have their own elephant mascot? Our hosts here in Thailand have done us proud with a most wonderful show of hospitality.
I have some pictures again, but many have not come out well due to the difficulties of shooting in the dark a floodlit stage.
Dear readers will have to wait a little longer for the snaps, but I will post them I promise. But for now I have to call it a night, as I have an early start for a visit to an elephant sanctuary tomorrow.
October 29, 2012 by IPAlchemist
Well, the first day has been as amazing as I imagined. When you get to the conference hotel, two floors of lobby area teeming with patent attorneys from all round the world. Quite an astonishing sight. All with our distinctive name signs hanging round our necks on turquoise lanyards.
Of course there is a goody bag. It contains a baseball cap and a polo shirt (the latter expected, as you had to give your chest size when registering), but both of questionable taste, at least to a fussy brit. For us, of course, poor taste is a sin almost on a par with queue-jumping. But the conference bag also contained hand sanitizer and insect repellant. Hand sanitizer? What are they trying to tell us?
There then followed a series of productive meetings over which I will draw a veil of discretion, except to note that EVERYONE seemed, like me, to be meeting someone on the hour, every hour, at the Lobby/Concierge desk of the main conference hotel, which therefore resembled a sea of bemused faces. Astonishingly, everyone, including me, did actually seem to eventually find who they were looking for, although sometimes it took a few minutes and a few false “Are you…???” [finally gets to read name badge] “Oh no sorry”.
We all have name badges, huge ones, dangling, as I said, with our names and country, as well as status (“Observer” for me), but not our firm’s name. But sometimes the jacket covers them, or they get turned round. But it does assist generally in avoiding the more terrible embarrassing faux pas. (What is the plural of “faux pas”?)
Although all of the events on the Sunday were marked as “smart casual” dress code, most people wore suits. I opted for open shirt and dark trousers, leaving the suit for Monday. Even then, I was warm enough!
Chairs and tables at which to sit were at a premium. Old hands, with multiple delegates per firm (not observers then, who are restricted to one observer per firm) left one member to guard the table while others went to look for the next meeting candidates. I didn’t, but generally found those I was meeting had, so it all worked out well in the end, and we always managed to find somewhere decent to chat.
Then at 5pm it was time to be off to the “New Participants Welcome”. I thought this would be some kind of lecture. But actually it was a party, with minimal speeches at the beginning, and lots of food (which although it looked lovely was not so appealing so soon after lunch). Everyone was very keen to meet new people and very friendly.
No sooner than that was over then it was time for the main opening ceremony. Some spectacular Thai drumming opened it, of which I was unfortunately unable to get a good photo. Then the obligatory speeches. Francis Gurry, Director of WIPO, who was unable to attend in person, gave speech by video link.
Then immediately on to the Welcome Reception. This was a vast affair – I understand there were about 2000 participants, and it certainly felt like it. Food was laid out in huge arrays around the hotel grounds. Thai dancers stood in gently moving tableaux. But it was outside, so no air conditioning, so even in shirt without jacket or tie I was sweltering (as, it has to be said, most of the North European participants seemed to be). There were period performances – more Thai dancing, fire dancing, all going on intermingled with the crowds, culminating in a farewell performance at the end. In among this, people managed to continue to eat, meet, polish off the vast amount of food, and not fall into the pool. (I did get some snaps of the dancing, which I will download and post later).
Although the Hospitality Suite was open, and the inimitable APAA band was getting ready to perform, I decided to call it a night. Too jetlagged even to finish this blog post (which I am posting the next morning), I took the coach back to my hotel and fell into bed.
October 27, 2012 by IPAlchemist
Just a holding post today.
Uneventful trip – BA to Bangkok and then Thai Airways for Chiang Mai. All passed without a hitch.
Have run into patent attorneys already – shout out to David Musker who I saw on the plane that I came on to Chiang Mai, so I hope we might get some designs discussions going on, what with the tablet wars being so topical.
I saw two dear Japanese patent attorney acquaintances, one from a long time ago and one from more recently, also on the same flight as me to Chiang Mai, who I shall not be so indelicate as to name here. But from the conversations going on in the departure gate, there were many many of us on that flight.
So tonight is just about getting myself settled in and ready for tomorrow when the real fun begins.
Clothes – ready; business cards – ready; schedule – ready; smartphone (for tweeting) – ready. So I am all set.
Watch out for tweets and a blog again tomorrow.