M. Névant (FR)**, Editorial Committee
So, as promised, we are back!
We genuinely thought that an ecosystem – despite the fact that there does not seem to be a single definition of that term – is linked to ecology. We know for example of terrestrial, marine or else rainforest ecosystems where living organisms and non-living components (such as air or water) interact.
We were thus somehow taken aback when we read some time ago in the news section of the EPO website that the Office was about to host the 2018 IP Executive Week the aim of which was “to make the IP ecosystem more efficient and effective”.
Digging a bit further we realized that the word “ecosystem” is actually used in a broader sense and, shall we dare to say, a fashionable one, to describe a place where something HUGE is happening, notably a place where innovation hubs are located. It is for example common place to hear about the Silicon Valley ecosystem or the Boston ecosystem.
In this context having a reliable, efficient and global IP ecosystem makes sense so that patent protection can be smoothly secured for the steadily growing number of inventions made around the world. No matter what kind of challenges may lie ahead of us, our Institute is certainly willing to contribute to the development of a successful IP ecosystem, in collaboration with our long-standing partner, the EPO.
One interesting point about ecosystems is that they are dynamic entities which are subject to periodic disturbances. When a perturbation occurs, an ecosystem responds by moving away from its initial state. The tendency of an ecosystem to remain close to its equilibrium state, despite that disturbance, is termed its resistance. On the other hand, the speed with which it returns to its initial state after disturbance is called its resilience. No doubt that resistance and resilience are the bread and butter of European patent attorneys so we should be well prepared to embark on a journey where ecosystems will govern innovation.
** Just a reminder that France is now a two-star football team :-)