14 October 2022
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Partner Robert Watson was elected President of FICPI’s Study and Work Committee (Commission d'Etude et Travail or "CET") at the recent meeting of the Executive Committee in Cannes, France.

FICPI is the only international Non-Governmental Organisation whose membership consists entirely of IP attorneys in private practice. As a result, the FICPI community is driven by a shared interest among like-minded people to promote common solutions and advocacy for private IP practitioners, and their clients.

The Study and Work Committee is the largest of FICPI’s committees and drives FICPI’s work on IP laws and practice before the IP Offices globally. It has over 200 members split into 7 groups which deal with:

  • Trade marks
  • Designs
  • International patent matters
  • European and other regional patent matters
  • Tech-related patent issues
  • Pharma and biotech patents
  • Litigation and enforcement

In his new role, Robert heads up the small executive team who manage the work of the committee and its groups. This involves setting the direction of the studies the committee carries out, observing all Bureau meetings, suggesting attendees to represent FICPI at IP Offices, helping craft resolutions for consideration by the Executive Committee, and proposing agendas for FICPI’s regular meetings with IP Offices and other organisations (such as the European Commission). In addition, the CET will aim to work with other IP membership organisations to achieve useful changes to the IP system.

Robert was Vice-President of the CET for the last seven years, and before that served for six years as chair of the Designs study group. He was also President of FICPI-UK from 2011 to 2015, and is a member of FICPI’s Communication and DEIA committees.

When asked about his new role, Robert commented:

“I am excited to be asked to lead such a talented group of IP attorneys from across the world to help shape the IP system. Whether considering complex projects like Substantive Patent Law Harmonisation (SPLH) or more practical topics, such as Colour Drawings for Patent Applications, working with colleagues in the IP profession and the IP Offices is extremely rewarding. Bringing the views of our clients, be they start-ups, SMEs, universities, or large corporations, to the IP Offices and legislators is vital in ensuring that the IP system serves all its users.”

Commenting on Robert’s appointment Richard Clegg, Managing Partner said:

“We’re delighted that Robert’s been elected President of FICPI's Study & Work Committee, we're sure he'll do a great job. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation and helping shape our industry and Robert plays a key part in this through his excellent work with FICPI.”

Maria is the firm’s Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer and a member of the Management Board. She is responsible for all marketing and business development at the firm. Maria is also heavily involved in the Forward Community Programme at the firm. She was previously Group Marketing Director at an international IP firm and before that Marketing Director for a full service European law firm. Other roles have included Head of Marketing at the world’s largest IP services provider and Account Director for a full service marketing agency.
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