AIPLA Mid-Winter greetings from San Diego


IP in health, sports and wellness, and women in IP

I participated with my colleague Linda Norrgård in the AIPLA 2023 Mid-Winter Institute Meeting at the beginning of February in sunny San Diego. This was my second Mid-Winter meeting and as before, I enjoyed this insightful conference.

The meeting was a balanced combination of interesting academic presentations, casual socializing, and discussions with new colleagues and old friends. Altogether over 300 IP practitioners from all over the world attended the meeting.

IP through the lens of health, sports and wellness

The main topic of this year’s meeting was extremely interesting and unique – “IP through the lens of Health, Sports and Wellness”. The main message was that we have questioned our lifestyles and sought new ways of working out, staying healthy, and taking care of ourselves.

In step with these changes, innovation has exploded in the health, sports, and wellness sectors. Mindfulness and stress management are now top of mind with new apps and other technology available to help us focus on self-improvement. Not surprisingly, this raises many new and old IP challenges and opportunities.

These new apps and technology tools are subject to patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. We heard about how the tools capture our personal data and send it to the ephemeral “cloud.” We also learned that the tools integrate seamlessly and transparently with our cell phones and computers and, often unknown by the user, pierce privacy veils. The line between protecting privacy and collecting and utilizing data seems to be blurred.

In line with the topic, the meeting included wellness sessions with meditation, stretching and yoga lessons during the days. It was also possible to try virtual training, attend nutrition talk or just learn how proper breathing helps you to avoid stress; something quite unique at an IP practitioners’ meeting, but at the same time very relaxing and empowering.

And what a closure of the event – “3K Fun Run” – running, walking, chatting, cheering and getting to know new people in a very sporty way followed by a closing dinner!

Women in IP Law

However, the most interesting discussions were held at the Women in IP Law breakfast session where experiences about diversity, equity and inclusion were shared from different countries.  We acknowledged that there are still many differences in implementing diversity, equity and inclusion between countries, companies and even authorities. Some already have very detailed programs and instructions for diversity, while some are only at the beginning of this important work.

In any case, we all agreed that the topic is important, something to fight for. For example, we learned that in the US, only very few women apply to the patent field, because “nerdy women are not popular dating partners and good math, physics, and chemistry skills make you a nerd.”  For that reason, many women still choose dating over preferred studies or a career, which is a bit sad. No one should be criticized or left aside because of their choices and dreams.

Women well represented in Papula-Nevinpat

I am very happy to be able to say that at Papula-Nevinpat, IP women are very well represented. Currently, 40% of our board members are women, and the percentage of women in leadership roles is 59%.

We value gender equality and take it into consideration in salary determination and other working conditions. We respect everyone for who they are, and this is something I’m very proud of.