The Show Will Go On: IPWatchdog CON2020 Unlikely to Be Affected by Coronavirus

By Gene Quinn
March 3, 2020

“Unlike the several other major conferences canceled in the U.S., approximately 98% of those registered for IPWatchdog CON2020 are coming from within the Continental United States. With over 300 people expected in Dallas for the event we will proceed as scheduled.” are in the final preparations for IPWatchdog CON2020, which is scheduled for March 15-18 in Dallas, Texas. We have been receiving inquiries regarding the latest coronavirus (named SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes (named “coronavirus disease 2019” abbreviated COVID-19).  These questions and concerns are understandable given that many events around the world have been canceled, and several major events inside the United States have been recently canceled as well.

We have been following news of the virus, both in the popular press and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have also been very closely monitoring how others, such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and other sports leagues, are handling gatherings. We also note that SXSW, which is expected to bring over 417,000 people into Austin, TX, is proceeding as planned and the Austin Public Health Department has not requested SXSW be canceled.

“There is a lot about COVID-19 that is still unknown, but what we do know is that personal hygiene is of critical importance,” said the Austin Public Health Department when speaking about SXSW. “We hope that people follow the science, implement the recommendations of public health agencies, and continue to participate in the activities that make our world connected.”

What we also know is that every night in America many hundreds of thousands of people gather in many hundreds of stadiums across the country, sitting in very close proximity to each other as they watch professional basketball, college basketball, hockey, boxing or wrestling. There has been no suggestion by the government or CDC that these sporting events should be canceled, postponed or proceed in empty arenas.

“At this time, however, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. This virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States,” the CDC explains on its coronavirus webpage (emphasis in the original).

While some major U.S. companies have taken the extraordinary and quite public step of forbidding employees from all domestic travel within the United States, these domestic travel bans go well beyond anything recommend by the CDC or any public health organization.

As many are undoubtedly aware, the U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps to suspend entry of foreign nationals who have been in China and Iran within the past 14 days due to the outbreak of this virus. The CDC has also issued travel guidance recommending the avoidance of nonessential travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, enhanced precautions if traveling to Japan and usual flu precautions if traveling to Hong Kong.

Unlike the several other major conferences canceled in the U.S., approximately 98% of those registered for IPWatchdog CON2020 are coming from within the Continental United States. We did have some early registrants from Asia, who were in communication with us as the virus was developing and decided it was unlikely they would be able to attend. We do suspect the virus is responsible for so few international registrations, but with over 300 people expected in Dallas for the event we will proceed as scheduled.

While we understand concern over the virus, given everything we know about SARS-CoV-2, the recommended best practices remain to follow recommendations to avoid the flu (i.e., washing your hands frequently and vigorously for 20 seconds; covering your mouth when coughing; etc.).

Finally, with the International Trademark Association (INTA) having canceled its planned Annual Meeting in Singapore in May, and other large-scale IP conferences likely to be affected, IPWatchdog CON2020 represents a smaller-scale and safe opportunity to network with IP stakeholders in the first half of this year.

We will continue to monitor the situation, and should the CDC or U.S. government ban domestic travel, we will reevaluate as required.

Image Source: Deposit Photos
Image ID: 39864439
Copyright: maxkabakov 

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 3 Comments comments.

  1. angry dude March 3, 2020 2:52 pm

    Makes sense..

    Other countries like China or Germany have functioning patent systems while countries like Somalia don’t need patents at all
    So no interest from outside of the US

    Only US desperately needs functioning patent system to survive and does not have it… because you know.. pecunia non olet

    Next thing Chinese master comes with a big whip as I (and Elon Musk btw) predicted

    Get your ar$e$ ready

    Chinese (not Russians – nope…no such luck for you) are coming !

  2. Pro Say March 3, 2020 3:29 pm

    Good, logical, reasonable call Gene.

    This near hysteria among many — driven in part by the even-greater-than-usual exaggeration and fear-mongering of the large majority of the attention-craving media (gotta sell those ads) — is scientifically unsupported and unjustified.

    No one’s raising an alarm about the flu, which kills some 40,000+ Americans (and more than 1,000,000 people around the world) year after year.

    Corona virus? Just the latest “new and shiny (fear) toy” syndrome in full bloom.

  3. MaxDrei March 5, 2020 3:29 am

    When preparing for a Big Event, it makes sense to conduct dress rehearsals. Those who invent and make new weapons or new drugs do like to try them out, if given the opportunity. Public Health Authorities should practise how to deal with a new viral mutation which is more virulent than anything we have experienced up to now. Tell me, Pro Say, on the basis of their success in containing COVID-19, how do you think those health authorities around the world are doing?