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.