For the second time in a row, Heuking Patent Summer School was held in Düsseldorf in August 2019. Attendees from Japan, Italy, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Germany participated in the program at the Düsseldorf office for four weeks.
The young lawyers and engineers started out Summer School with a L@w event organized by ELSA Düsseldorf that offered participants the opportunity to exchange ideas with lawyers and staff from the Patent Law department led by Dr. Anton Horn, as well as with the students.
In the course of the first week, our lawyers presented cases from their practice, including the recently successfully concluded nullity proceedings against the German part of the teff patent.
The different procedural principles in patent disputes in the attendees’ countries of origin represented another important and practical aspect. Lively exchange between Patent Summer School attendees and Heuking lawyers enabled both sides to gain new insights and to define new approaches.
The exchange was complemented by expert lectures on antitrust law, unfair competition law, the law of trade and business secrets, and employee inventions, as well as artificial intelligence and legal tech.
Participants also acquired valuable experience during their trips to Brussels and Munich. In the Belgian capital, they gained an insight behind the scenes of European trade disputes at our Brussels office. Our Belgian partner firm ALTIUS then invited the group to attend a lecture on “Patent law in the light of EU regulations” in their offices and concluded the event with discussions and drinks. The following week offered the opportunity to visit the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in Munich to learn more about its working methods and awarding practices. Visits to the European Patent Office and the Board of Appeal in Haar were also part of the schedule.
The Summer School supporting program included excursions to Düsseldorf Media Harbor, the Old Town, and the traditional local Schmittmann distillery.
The international guests were invited to join the interns of the internship program to visit the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia. A member of parliament offered them a guided tour through Germany’s largest state parliament and then answered questions from the attendees.
Looking back on the events in August, Rebecca Kirtley, Summer School participant, said, “The in-depth experience in those four weeks offered enrichment both on a professional and private level. We have made international contacts that will certainly last beyond Patent Summer School and are looking forward to meeting the attendees soon again.”