This year, Bredenkamp Attorneys decided to explore unchartered territory for African law firms. Karel, the founder of Bredenkamp Attorneys, and Jinél, the head of the foreign filing department, attended the 3 and a half day conference of the Inter-American Association for Intellectual Property (ASIPI). This year, ASIPI was hosted in the beautiful city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

ASIPI is an annual conference that has been running since 1964 and aims to bring together professionals that work within the sphere of intellectual property. Attendees come from across the Americas – specifically from Latin America. Increasingly, participants from non-Latin American countries are attending ASIPI. As African and South American markets share many similarities, specifically with regards to the primary industries on these two continents, Bredenkamp Attorneys decided to become the first ever South African firm to be represented at ASIPI.

Karel and Jinél attended ASIPI in hopes of building up new professional relationships with IP firms from across the Americas. However, some old friendships were revived and many new ones created in their 5 day stay in Cartagena de Indias, too! Many meals (and cocktails) were shared with wonderful people from across the globe, and this enriched the ASIPI experience all the more.

Cartagena de Indias is truly a magnificent little coastal city, especially within the historic centre! Karel and Jinél thoroughly enjoyed the welcoming and friendly nature of everyone they encountered in Cartagena. As South Africans who are not exposed to the flavours of South America, it was a treat to be able to experience foods from across the continent; as every restaurant had Peruvian, Argentinian, Brazilian, Colombian or some other South American influence.

From having networking meetings on the beach, to sharing coconut milk lemonades at Casa San Agustin boutique hotel with two lovely ASIPI participants, to dancing the night away to Fonseca – a Colombian pop artist; Karel and Jinél have definitely made memories that shall not be forgotten! Bredenkamp Attorneys looks forward to keeping the ASIPI momentum going, as well as seeing all of the incredible people they met, at ASIPI 2016 in Buenos Aires!