International News from Jonathan H. Spadt – RatnerPrestia President & CEO

As RatnerPrestia continues to grow its professional IP relationships with European companies in all tech areas, and as a sign of its continuing commitment to its transatlantic partnerships, Jonathan H. Spadt travels to Germany this month for client meetings and business development efforts. On May 15, Spadt attended the EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Conference at the Reichstag (Berlin, Germany) as a member of the German-American Business Council which is based in Washington, D.C.

“There has been an increasing dialogue about a transatlantic free trade agreement, now known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), with a strong blend of both private and public sector interest,” noted Spadt, speaking to the firm from the steps of the Reichstag at the conclusion of the meeting. Both President Obama and Chancellor Merkel have openly endorsed the establishment of the TTIP, and it is increasingly on the radar of large multinationals, in the U.S. and in Germany. Speakers at the conference in addition to German political leaders, included Mr. Martin Jäger (Daimler Corporation, Head Corporate Representative, Stuttgart and Berlin) and Ms. Laura Lane (UPS, President of Global Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.).

On the conference topics, Spadt noted, “the intent of the TTIP is to open trade between the EU and the U.S. by reducing regulatory barriers, providing mutual recognition of standards, and overall just assisting with the support of a freer market.” From an intellectual property standpoint, he remarks that there are a number of IP-related issues that will form a part of these negotiations:

  1. Regulation of standards-setting processes, along with resultant patent pools and antitrust issues related thereto, including licensing guidelines standardization;
  2. Further improvements to the America Invents Act to more effectively achieve the objectives initially intended by the legislation through better harmonization; and
  3. Improvements to the enforcement systems for IP, including both as to litigation in courts and the respective patent offices. Representatives at the conference from companies including Boeing, Continental, UPS, Daimler and others all agreed that IP issues, and specifically enforcement, will most definitely play a role in any negotiations for an effective TTIP.

Spadt is committed to following the progress of discussions on both sides of the Atlantic as they relate to a possible TTIP, and to insuring IP issues play a part in any such final agreement. Although uncertain of the success of reaching a final agreement, Spadt did note, “I am certain that the TTIP will become increasingly a topic of conversation in political, economic, and judicial circles. I look forward to seeing its progress and to a dialogue which will continue to benefit the relationship the U.S. has with Europe.

For more information on this topic and international business advice, please contact Jonathan H. Spadt at jhspadt@ratnerprestia.com.

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