Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Name Game

A rather obscure title for a rather obscure blog entry on something that is going to have a huge impact on our daily working lives as IP professionals in France. Today, is the day, when the members of the CNCPI, or National Guild of Industrial Property Counsel, meet at their AGM and decide on whether we should all just stay as we are, i.e. insignificant, unheard of and drowning in our own narcism, or instead throw ourselves into the gaping mouth (Ed : shouldn't that be "welcoming arms" ?) of the tentacular bar association mothersquid (Ed : all similarities to any existing ET films starring Sigourney Weaver are purely coincidental).

Yes, if the vote goes in favour of the resolution, we shall all become "Avocats - Conseils en Propriété Intellectuelle" - oooooh, I hear the crowd cry in wonderment. "Errrr, I'm sorry, what' s one of them ?", says someone at the back, like a comment out of another animated movie starring a plasticine dog and his dolt master. So, come on smartass, what is it ?

"Well", I say, my pointy fangs glinting in the dark (Ed - you're frightening the kids, you know that?), "its a lawyer, specialising in intellectual property". Shock horror, faints, swoons, cries from the children, and consternation. But don't worry, we're still going to carry on what we were doing before, we're just getting a new name because we think that it'll make us more familiar to the public (a child gawps at me in fear), (Ed - no, its coz you're 6'4" and you look mean and ugly). No seriously, we are going to be harmoniously integrated into the great bosom of the French legal system, and all will be well (Ed - you're fired, too sarcastic by half).

"I'll be back, vengeance will be mine, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah", I say, grinning menacingly and cackling like all madmen in B-rate movies tend to do.

So there it is. Will I become a Avocat or not ? Whilst those of you with limited knowledge of French might be inclined to chide "he's obviously nuts if he thinks he's going to become a green fleshy fruit that you turn in guacamole", then let me put you straight about what this means for us as a profession :

- we cease to exist in an independent form (much like green fleshy fruit turned into guacomole); no great loss as far as I'm concerned, nobody in the general public knew what we did anyway, other than having a ludicrously pompous title. My son's school administration changed my professional title to "Estate Agent" in their database, which just goes to show how insignificant we are (sob, sob, nobody loves me);

- we get to be called Avocat - isn't that great, sounds so cool, yeah, "Avocat, Avocat, Avocat" (perhaps I really do need a holiday);

- we get to plead in French and European courts (if we ever get a European IP tribunal that is, rage, rage), instead of being relegated to haggling like fishmongers with the INPI, EPO or the OHMI - yay, go Avocat, go !!

- we get to snub our noses back at our European and US counterparts in true French arrogant fashion (Ed - oooh, that was low);

- errrm, did I mention that we get to be called Avocat (Ed - that'll do, lad) ?

Believe it or not, I'm actually in favour of the change. It won't stop me from doing what I do at the moment. It might even open up opportunities elsewhere. For once, our profession is actually doing something about its future, instead of looking over its shoulder to its past. Good luck to the committee, I've already given it a big thumbs up !!

However, all is not rosy and plain sailing in the Guild. There are opponents, who have themselves sharpened their knives and ground their axes. The Dark Side is moving to counter the Light, and the light sabres are drawn. If the resolution fails to get the majority vote, then the central committee will undoubtedly be thrown into disarray, and their may be calls for the current president to resign. It might end in an almost civil war-like stance within the profession, and perhaps we'll get a Chancellor Palpatine instead. Oh, the grippiness of it all, I'm on the edge of my seat in anticipation (Ed - no you're not, you're eating your lunch).

Stay tuned for another thrilling episode in "IP - what's the game ?", coming to your screens soon (Ed - you're still fired, and don't come back).

No comments: