Gain unique access to UK IPO examiners, hearing officers and tribunal staff to get high-level best practice tips and your questions answered during a packed day curated with your development in mind.

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Your day will be designed to answer key questions about accessing and working with some of the UK IPO’s key services, as well as gaining new insight and analysis on important cases and legal updates.

You will be able to engage, converse and get to know examiners, hearing officers and tribunal staff during small roundtable sessions - they will share best practice tips unlocking new insight into how the system works. You'll also hear directly about the challenges they face, and you'll get to ask the questions you want answers to.

Senior UK IPO colleagues will also give you their insight on accessing the Company Names Tribunal and handling non-traditional marks. You'll also find out what ‘biscuits’, ‘Robinsons squash’ and ‘lawnmowers’ have in common in relation to the latter. 

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While we are dedicating half of the day to learning from the UK IPO, we are excited to also:

  • Take a deep dive on Lidl vs Tesco
  • Gain new perspective on brand protection and takedowns
  • Hear a barrister’s perspective on design and copyright
  • Understand key updates on UK case law

This year we are bringing our conference to Bristol, a city brimming with culture and history, and one that will be sure to give you a warm welcome.

Explore the programme

Time Title Speaker
9:00am Registration with light refreshments  
10:00am Introduction and welcome Keven Bader,
Kelly Saliger, CITMA

UK case law update

Get the inside track on the latest cases that matter. 

Chris Morris, Haseltine Lake Kempner

Design and copyright: a 2024 update

Nicole will give you a Barrister's perspective on the significant cases relating to design and copyright. She'll take you through the important legal aspects of judgments which have been handed down this year.

Nicole Bollard, 3PB Barristers
11:30am Tea and coffee break  

Unpacking the Lidl v Tesco decision

Reflect on the lessons learnt from this landmark case. You'll get Emily's perspective on the criteria for trade mark infringement - specifically similarity, reputation, and unfair advantage and the outer boundaries of such claims. We'll also understand when a trade mark may be deemed to have been filed in bad faith, and explore passing off as an alternative cause of action. 

Emily Roberts, Burges Salmon

Brand protection and takedowns

We'll give you more information on this session soon. 

1:10pm Lunch  

Accessing and using the Company Names Tribunal

The UK IPO will broaden your understanding of the Company Names Tribunal, including how it functions and the remedies it provides to users. They'll share specifics on the relevant areas of law, supported by examples of typical disputes that demonstrate how the Tribunal works in practice. They'll also cover the Tribunal’s history, its relationship with Companies House, and the impact of recent legislative changes.

Nathan Abraham, UK IPO

Non-traditional marks

Oliver will look at filing directions, including how unconventional marks can be represented, and the distinctiveness of such marks. He will discuss current examination practice in relation to non-traditional marks and they will explore what ‘biscuits’, ‘Robinsons’ squash’ and ‘lawnmowers’ have in common. With a focus on UK law and assimilated EU case law, we will highlight decisions of the Appointed Persons and what principles we apply to the examination of unconventional/non-traditional marks.

Oliver Morris, UK IPO
3:20pm Tea and coffee break  

UK IPO examiners and tribunal staff

Small roundtable session part 1

These informal roundtables will give you an opportunity to engage, converse and get to know: a group of UK IPO examiners (including an examiner and a hearing officer) and, separately, a group of UK IPO Tribunal staff (including a case worker and hearing officer).

You will gain an insight into the role of these IPO colleagues, and the challenges they face.

You will be able to hear about the do’s and don’ts from the respective areas.

You will have the change to ask about practices you wish to know more about.


UK IPO examiners and tribunal staff

UK IPO examiners and tribunal staff

Small roundtable session part 2

The examiners and tribunal staff will swap groups, and you'll get the unique perspective from the service you have not spoken to yet. 

UK IPO examiners and tribunal staff
5:00pm Close  
5:05pm Drinks reception  

Please note that the programme is subject to change.

Working with the UK IPO

On the day, you will come face-to-face with UK IPO examiners and tribunal staff to gain exclusive insight into the inner workings of the UK IPO and the challenges they face.

You will be able to hear about the dos and don’ts from the respective areas and will have the chance to ask about practices you wish to know more about.

This conference is unique, as it will also offer the UK IPO representatives the chance to learn from you.

By getting involved with the sessions and bringing your questions and concerns, you can inform the UK IPO’s understanding of your work.

Meet the speakers

Nathan Abraham, UK IPO

Nathan Abraham

Nathan is a Deputy Director in the IPO’s Tribunal Service, with responsibility for trade mark, registered design, and company name proceedings. He is responsible for a team of inter partes hearing officers, and is involved in wider leadership of the Tribunal including practice development and stakeholder engagement. Nathan has over twenty-five years’ experience at the IPO, including time spent in our digital transformation programme where he led a team creating the trade mark pre-apply service utilising machine learning and AI elements to provide automated search results, and also worked on preparations for EU exit and its impact on EU trade mark and design rights.

Nicole Bollard, 3PB


Nicole is a specialist IP barrister, highly recommended by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500. She frequently represents clients in cases before the High Court, IPEC, and the UK IPO. Nicole’s practice encompasses all areas of intellectual property law, including trade marks, designs, copyright, passing off, patents, and breach of confidence. She advises and acts for individuals and businesses across various sectors, including entertainment, sports, media, and consumer products, providing expert legal guidance tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities within these industries.

Chris Morris, HLK

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Chris is a Partner in the Trade Marks & Legal team at HLK.  He has over 20 years’ private practice experience providing advice to industry-leading clients across a broad range of sectors, including information technology, media & entertainment, retail, and food & drink. He focusses on trade mark clearance, registration and contentious proceedings and has particular expertise of overcoming inherent registrability objections.  Chris has devised overall IP strategies for large businesses, along with worldwide brand protection and enforcement strategies and values being an extension of the inhouse team.

Oliver Morris, UK IPO

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Oliver is the Divisional Director and Service Owner of the UK IPO’s Trade Marks and Designs service.

His area of responsibility covers trade mark & design examination, practice, and ex parte hearings.

He has over 30 years’ experience in various technical and leadership roles at the UK IPO, including many years as a Senior Hearing Officer.

Emily Roberts, Burges Salmon

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Emily is an IP specialist at Burges Salmon and has advised on a wide range of contentious matters including trade marks, passing off, copyright, database right, designs and breach of confidence. She also advises a number of leading brands on their global IP protection strategies. 

She is ranked as a leading individual in the World Trademark Review 1000 is and the co-chair of INTA’s cancellation action task force.

Welcome to Bristol

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© Shutterstock/ Robert Harding Video

Bristol is renowned for its vibrant arts scene, iconic suspension bridge, rich maritime history, and thriving culture of innovation, making it an ideal backdrop for our conference. 

Bristol Beacon, our venue, is a newly renovated, Grade II listed cultural hub in the city centre.

Following its reopening in Autumn last year, it offers a variety of lecture and performance spaces, along with areas for you to enjoy networking with your colleagues and community.

It is easily accessible from Bristol Temple Meads (1 mile by taxi or foot), and there is a large carpark a couple of minutes’ walk away.

We encourage travel by public transport, you can claim reduced rail fares to Bristol from eligible Great Western Railway stations including London Paddington and Reading. Standard return travel between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads is available at the reduced rate of £44 on any service, including peak trains.

Conference fares are only available at follow the link, select your destination, and complete the form.

In the 'To' box, please make sure Bristol Conference is selected as your destination, this will automatically add the discounted fare for you. Please note that the discounted rates are only available from certain GWR stations.

Drinks reception

Wrap up the day and solidify your new connections over a glass of bubbly following the afternoon sessions. You'll get a chance to connect with speakers and UK IPO staff in a more informal setting. 


Earlybird rates, saving £50, are available until 13th September.

Earlybird member: £300
Earlybird standard: £350

Meet the exhibitors

Photos from last year