Over 100 people from across Ireland’s business community met at William Fry’s offices in Dublin for the only official World Intellectual Property Day event.
Celebrating the theme, “Visionary Innovators – individuals whose ingenuity and artistry have broken moulds, opened new horizons and made a lasting impact”, speakers at the event heard how Ireland’s existing intellectual property regime is helping drive inward investment, particularly for companies in the pharmaceutical and technology sectors where intellectual property (patents, trade marks etc.) is a significant factor in how their businesses can grow and perform.
Introducing the topic, David Cullen, Partner and Head of Technology & Commercial Contracts at William Fry outlined how Ireland punches well above its weight in areas like Foreign Direct Investment, rating first in the world for value of investment projects and second for inward investment per capita. The intellectual property regime here plays a major role in that.
Guest speaker at the event was Dragon's Den's Sean O’Sullivan, co-coiner of the expression "cloud computing" and also founder of leading technology companies MapInfo, Avego and Managing Director of SOSventures. Sean said that whilst Ireland’s intellectual property regime was to be commended in creating a business-friendly environment, there are other areas that are still restricting our economic growth. Through the ‘Open Ireland’ campaign, O’Sullivan believes that there are measures that can be taken to drive greater growth in Ireland’s technology sector.
"We have great talent in Ireland," says O'Sullivan. "The current problem is that it is too difficult to expand our high-tech businesses in Ireland given that we have a limited pool of engineering graduates, and we cannot fill thousands of open jobs because of this shortage".
“Here in Ireland we have nearly all of the world's leading technology companies, yet we only have a 4.4m population trying to produce software and high-tech products for a worldwide population of 7bn people. Obviously that's impossible to do unless we get the right talent pool. Why not free up our growth, and have Ireland be the world's first English-speaking country to have open borders for the world's best and brightest English-speaking tech talent?"
Pictured from L - R: David Cullen, Carol Plunkett and Sean O'Sullivan
William Fry has Ireland’s only dedicated Intellectual Property Group, led by Carol Plunkett and David Cullen. Their work includes both contentious and non-contentious cases such as patents, trade marks, copyright, confidentiality agreements, licensing and royalty agreements, designs and databases. Earlier this year, William Fry was again ranked "Tier 1" as a leading intellectual property law firm in Ireland for contentious patent lawsuits by Managing Intellectual Property Patent Survey 2012.