Summit VIII – Agenda

Summit 2023: an overview of the agenda, and a few words about the community time at the event.

Summit VIII – Agenda

Liebe Freunde,

The 8th edition of Games Industry Law Summit is just around the corner, and just an hour ago we finally published the agenda. Thanks for the patience!

Some conferences have their programs laid out months ahead of the event, and they work as a USP. On contrast, we're closer to Steam Dev Days, when you buy the ticket because you know that Valve are all smart people, and whatever they will organise, will not be boring (like Tim Sweeney's keynote). I stll remember the shock when on the morning of the 2nd day of the event, some sessions got moved around: technically, why not? Most teams are too conservative to do this on the fly, but Valve was true to themselves, updating the platform, the games – and the conference about how they update the platform and the games.

Now, about this year's Summit: this time, we have a total of 16 sessions with 56 speakers (the number of speakers will probably increase even some more). If you need a proof of just how collaborative this community is, then this is it. In your attendee bags (yes, no more boxes!), you will find the Speaker Book with the individual profiles of each expert, plus the list of all the attendees.

Speaking of attendees: we have a total of 322 attendees this year (among them: 10 finalists of Legal Chalenge 2023). In terms of focus, 52% are in-house and 48% work for law firms. Altogether, 200+ companies from 50 countries – an absolute record.

Moving on, a few words about the program outside of the sessions:

More Community Time in 2023

A common theme in the feedback from the Summit 2022 (and from On Tour 2023 in Warsaw as well) has been that many felt torn between the appeal of the sessions on stage, and the appeal of catching up with peers and clients over a coffee.

It took some time to realise that while the program is crucial, so is the community time and the space to connect to others. Hence this time around, we have 14 hours 30 minutes of presentations as well as 6 hours of coffee & lunch breaks, and 12 hours of dinner time. We also install more seating spaces in the Art Museum venue, which will be separated from the tent and the stage – and we're moving the Coffee Corner and the Tea Bar further away from the stage, so that whoever's listening to a session, will not have to listen to a flat white getting steamed.

Registration & Reception Dinner

This year, the registration and the Reception Dinner kick off on September 6 at 16:00 at Hotel PACAI. Please come as early as you can! This is a valuable social occasion. The venue is outdoors, under the tent – so make sure you bring a jacket (or drink an extra vodka).

Speaking of drinks, everyone's favorite champagne (🇫🇷 Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve) is back, the red has changed (but comes from the same producer, 🇪🇸 Cune Gran Reserva) and the white remains as previously (🇮🇹 Marco Felluga Russiz Superiore Sauvignon).

We had some challenges finding a beer that would make everyone happy, though, but in the end settled on a combination from Málaga and Vilnius (🇪🇸 Victoria / 🇱🇹 Sakiškės; please don't tell Konni, Leonie and Adrian that one of the beers on offer is actually labeled as "Kölsch", even though it's been brewed far, far away from Cologne; will there be a cease & desist order following the Summit?).

0% Alcool. Façon Champagne.

One of the interestying developments from 2022's Summit has been a high level of interest in the non-alcoholic drinks, which we aim to satify with a vengeance this year.

My own take is that we cannot go fully 0% because the alcohol serves as the social glue (in may countries non-drinkers live longer than heavy drinkers, but shorter than moderates; the current theory is that drinking moderately creates the opportunities for more social connections, which is healthier than being lonely). At the same time, nobody ever wished to have drank more alcohol the night before at any professional conference, and thus we aim to make it easier to enjoy the event with less C2H5OH in your bloodstream.

Thus, in addition to 1.000 bottles of different kombuchas available throughout the event, and the 600 bottles of 0.0% Victoria Sin (probaby the best non-acoholic beer I've tried this year), we will also serve 🇫🇷 Sparkteez Brut White & Darjeeling 0%, 🇫🇷 Pierre Chavin's Le Petit Etoile Chardonnay Bio 0%, 🇫🇷 Pierre Chavin's Florentina Spritz 0%, as well as 🇫🇷 Vendôme Mademoisell's Merlot 0% and Chardonnay 0%.

But also, Wódka !

If you attended in 2022, you may remember the Polish vodka from the micro-distillery in Warsaw. This time around, we imported a few boxes as well – just because it's still the best vodka in the world, incredibly hard to find outside of its region.

However, we will offer only the shots (come on, we are refined people!). Rather, we created a Summit-inspired long drink made with this vodka (🇵🇱 Microgorzelnia) and the cranberry juice of direct extraction (produced in our neighbourly 🇱🇻 Latvia). This Red Wolf drink will be available in a 12% version, as well as a 0.0% option (I'm telling you, we take the commitment to zero alcohol very seriously!).


It's good to have friends, and even better – to have friends in the wine-producing regions of the world. Luckily for all of us, this year the team at Chrysostomides over in Cyprus sent over three boxes of the rare and precious 12-year old 🇨🇾 Melusine Commandaria from Zambartas, which will be served at the sit-down dinner on September 7 – thanks, George, Alexandros and Evelina! ❤️

Extended Lunches &  Breaks

Timewise, this is the community time outside of the program and dinners:

September 7

08:00-09:00 Morning Tea
‌‌12:30-14:00 Lunch‌
‌16:00-16:45 Coffee & Beers

September 8

08:00-09:30 Morning Tea‌‌
12:30-14:00 Lunch‌‌
16:00-16:45 Coffee & Beers

We urge you to make the most of the morning tea, where we serve not only tea and coffee, but also a bit of food (freshly baked pastries and frshly made smørrebrød). That's 60 minutes on Sep 7, and 90 minutes on Sep 8.

The lunches, served at Hotel PACAI, happen at the same time on each of the days: from 12:30 through 14:00. That's 90 minutes more to catch up, half an hour more than previously. There's plenty of seating at both venues, where you can have a bit of privacy – if you need.

Finally, the coffee & beer breaks also start at the same time: 16:00 through 16:45. That's 45 minutes, 15 minutes longer than before.

Outdoors = be prepared !

Fourth year into the pandemics, we're still at it: building custom outdoor venues to provide more safety through fresh air. Earlier, we've been blessed with great weather. But these days, you never know.

If you attend for the first time, please note: all the breaks, lunches and dinners (!) happen outdoors. Who's your best friend? A warm jacket just in case the northern wind begins to blow, that's who!

The Summit's Hall of Fame

For a few years now, I've been itching to create some sort of a recognition badge for the wonderful counsels who are the net contributors of this community: these are the people who care and who share, and who represent the values that we aspire to have.

During the opening ceremony this year, the Summit's Hall of Fame will receive its first 6 inductees (yay!). We asked around for who's considered to be the pillar of the community, among the law firms and the in-house folks, then took the top 3 names from each of the lists (needless to say, there's many more deserving candidates; just that we have to start somewhere).

And now, let's talk about the program a little:

Agenda 2023

Where the On Tour events deal with the fundamentals (closing a deal, preparing to take investment, releasing a product, and so on), the Summit is dedicated to the discussions that are either unque in terms of depth and breadth.


The first group of sessions are the deep dives:

AI Deconstructed

🇺🇸 Karin Pagnanelli (MSK), 🇺🇸 Marc Mayer (MSK), 🇩🇪 Dr. Gregor Schmid (Taylor Wessing) and 🇺🇸 Dan Nabel (Riot Games) will look into the intersection of generative AI and IP from the US and EU perspectives, including pending litigation, fair use issues, risks in the use of AI-generated content and the state of law on the ownership and protection of AI-generated works.

Unveiling the Shadows

🇩🇪 Konni Ewald (Osborne Clarke) and 🇩🇪 Leonie Schneider (Osborne Clarke)  will take us for a deep dive on dark patterns and the Digital Services Act.

Dealing with Trade Restrictions 2.0

🇩🇪 Leonard von Rummel (Blomstein), 🇺🇸 Greg Pilarowski 刘思道 (Pillar Legal) and 🇵🇹 Arseny Seidov (Melling, Voitishkin & Partners) [subject to availability], with the assistance of 2 studio counsels, will look at the current trade restrictions that affect the industry and discuss enforcement, plus the risks of over-compliance.

Patents 2.0

🇺🇸 Christine Morgan (Reed Smith) and 🇫🇷 Florence Houisse (Kern & Weyl) with the assistance of 🇬🇧 Eric Grouse (Sony Interactive Entertainment), 🇯🇵 Matthew Datum (Bandai Namco) and 🇩🇪🇨🇳 Dr. Thomas Pattloch (Taylor Wessing) will discuss the UPC, patents in China and in Japan, the influence of litigation finance on the industry, and the place of patents in the IP strategy of studios.


The second group is sessions that offer a unique set of perspectives, thanks to the expertise and experience of the panelists:

Raising Money

🇬🇧 Mike Turner (Latham & Watkins) and 🇺🇸 Greg Roussel (Latham & Watkins) with 🇬🇧 Brian Chadwick (Devolver Digital), 🇵🇱 Karolina Dunin-Wilczyńska (People Can Fly), 🇸🇬 Kurt Pakendorf (ESL FACEIT Group) and 🇬🇧 Kartik Prabhakara (Aream & Co.) will explore the different ways in which a studio can raise money: whether it's debt, sale of equity, JV or an IPO.

Making Associations Work

🇩🇪 Dr. Henner Hentsch (game) and 🇺🇸 Canon Pence (Epic Games), with 🇪🇺 Ann Becker (Video Games Europe), 🇺🇸 Gina Vetere (ESA), 🇷🇸 Nikola Čavić (SGA) and 🇸🇪 Per Strömbäck (Swedish Games Industry) will explore the role of industry associations, and how to make them make a measurable impact.

GR/Lobbying 1.0

🇪🇺 Luc Delany (Mobile Games Intelligence) and 🇩🇪 Dr. Henner Hentsch (game), 🇬🇧 Willy Duhen (Activision Blizzard), 🇮🇱 Ronit Bernstein-Avrahams (Playtika) and 🇰🇷 Brian Chung 정태현 (Kim & Chang) will introduce the field of GR and lobbying, including its various types, goals and a way to alignment it with business and legal.


The third group is what we call "war stories", i.e. tales of practical experience applicable across the regions:

Cross-Media Licensing

🇵🇱 Anna Kruszewska (Hasik, Rheims & Partners), 🇺🇸 Jennifer Stanley (Fenwick), 🇬🇧 Jonty Cowan (Wiggin), 🇯🇵 Arata Nomoto 野本新 (City-Yuwa/シティユーワ法律事務所), 🇨🇾 Darya Firsava (Wargaming) and 🇺🇸 Kathy Carpenter (Wizards of the Coast) will look at the successful – and not so successful – examples of cross-media licensing.

Weaponising Privacy

🇩🇪 Dr. Tobias Schelinski (Taylor Wessing), 🇸🇰 Lukáš Mrázik (Kinstellar), 🇵🇱 Przemysław Walasek (Taylor Wessing) and 🇰🇷 Brian Chung 정태현 (Kim & Chang) will talk about various ways in which privacy and data protection regulations may be abused against game studios.


The fourth group of sessions is focused on the regions, with China revisited and other countries introduced for the first time:

China: The Path to Success

🇨🇳 Jack Chen 陈潇侠 (Dentons Shanghai), 🇩🇪🇨🇳 Dr. Thomas Pattloch (Taylor Wessing) and 🇺🇸🇨🇳 Greg Pilarowski 刘思道 (Pillar Legal) will provide a snapshot of the Chinese games market and the recent regulation that’s relevant to the games industry, as well as talk about the path to success in this region.

Discovery: India

🇮🇳 Surbhi Kejriwal (Khaitan & Co) will introduce the legal landscape of India.

Discovery: Nigeria & Africa

🇳🇬 Adewumi Salami (Olajide Oyewole / DLA Piper Africa), assisted by 🇨🇦 Tyson Gratton (DLA Piper Canada), will introduce the legal landscape of Nigeria that has the most relevance for our industry, within the context of the African continent in general.

Discovery: Israel & Portugal

🇮🇱 Lee Noyek (Allen & Overy) and 🇵🇹 Ricardo Cardoso (Antas da Cunha ECIJA & Associados), assisted by 🇪🇸 Andy Ramos (Pérez-Llorca), will introduce the legal landscapes of Israel and Portugal, with Spain as the baseline comparison.

Discovery: Mexico & Argentina (bonus: Uruguay)

🇲🇽 Efraín Olmedo (Santamarina y Steta) and 🇦🇷🇺🇾 Cristian Elbert (ECIJA), assisted by 🇮🇹 Luca Guidobaldi (ADVANT Nctm), will introduce the legal landscapes of Mexico and Argentina, plus Uruguay ("the Switzerland of the South America"), with Italy as the baseline comparison.


Finally, the last group are the sessions that break new ground, offering a discussion of topics that may not be easy – but that are essential for community's present and future health:

Improving Diversity & Inclusion

🇺🇸 Jennifer Stanley (Fenwick) with the help of 🇱🇹 Sergei Klimov (Charlie Oscar), 🇨🇦 Ryan Black (DLA Piper Canada) and 🇨🇾 Roman Zanin (Wargaming) will start the conversaiton of what diversity and inclusion mean, for the legal teams as well as for the studios and firms at large, and how do we improve on both.

🇮🇪 Boğaç Erozan (Riot Games), 🇫🇷 Alexandre Rudoni (Allen & Overy), 🇵🇱 Rafal Kloczko (Epic Games) and 🇬🇧 Peter Lewin (Wiggin) will discuss the importance of defining the identify of the legal teams that work in-house, and the way of managing expectations when engageing with business and creatives units.

– and that's it, that's the 16 sessions that we have in store for you! The exact timing, and more detailed descriptions, are available on the website – HERE.

What's Next?

You will receive another issue of the newsletter next week, with more details on the logistics, and a description of this year's Social Game – the prizes started to arrive, and they are so good, I would keep them all for myself, if we didn't have to run it (an artbook of Japanese arcade machines is but one of the options!).

While I have your attention, a quick checklist:

  • have you responded to Alma on the Incelandic Dinner? if not, you're getting a vegetarian set, which is the default option
  • have you sent your flight details for the pick-up? if not, you will need to secure your own transportation (otherwise we'll have a driver picking you up)
  • is there any change in your travel schedule, which needs adjustment of the hotel? email us now, and the changes are free of charge (but soon the hotels will start charging their penalties, as we're too close for comfort)

Have a great rest of the week, and see you soon!

// Sergei @ Charlie Oscar

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Jamie Larson