"Please keep your head still"
From an initial scan, this year’s UK New Year Honours List appears to include very few people from the world of intellectual property – fewer than usual. IP Draughts congratulates the following people, whose breadth of expertise has brought them into contact with IP contracts, but whose central focus and distinction lie elsewhere:
- Professor Mark Pepys FRS, of University College London, who has been knighted. Among his many other distinctions, Sir Mark is the founder of Pentraxin Therapeutics Limited, which holds the intellectual property of his research group and which has a major contract with GlaxoSmithKline.
- Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, who has also been knighted.
- Nigel Eastaway, a tax partner at giant accountancy firm BDO, who has received an OBE (Order of the British Empire). Nigel Eastaway’s connection with IP is that he is one of the authors of the leading UK textbook on the taxation of IP, Intellectual Property Law and Taxation, which is now in its 7th edition.
Have we missed anyone?
First, we should record our thanks to Brian Rogers, a US attorney, whose blog theContractsGuy has provided a very kind critique of IP Draughts’ postings during 2011. Quite apart from this welcome review, you should certainly check out Brian’s blog if you are interested in lively commentary on contract and business law issues from a US perspective.
Brian’s article provided a boost to yesterday’s readership of IP Draughts, increasing the number of hits on our site by about 150-200. Similar increases have occurred when other friendly blogs have mentioned us, particularly IPKat and Ken Adam’s blog at Koncision. Our thanks (and respect) to all of them.
Here are some of the things that we plan to do during 2012:
- More of the same. We plan to continue writing blog articles on contract drafting, intellectual property and business law issues. As theContractsGuy has highlighted, IP Draughts is a team effort, with articles by Stephen, Victor and Paul attracting public attention, and Mark hopes that his colleagues will be encouraged to write more frequently during 2012. For instance, our readership in Australia was boosted by two articles, one by Stephen and one in response by Paul, on the subject of universities offering “easy access IP”.
- Training courses. As this recent article mentioned, we will be running a series of contract drafting courses during 2012. This is in addition to talks we are giving for other organisations. In January, Mark will be running seminars in London on R&D agreements and on technology licensing, respectively, for Management Forum, and later in the month will be travelling to Leuven, Belgium, to help ASTP to run two training courses for university technology transfer managers.
- Postgraduate diploma in IP transactions. As we have previously mentioned, we hope to put our experience of running short courses, writing textbooks, and practising law in the field of IP transactions to good use, by setting up and running a more in-depth, university course on IP transactions. We are continuing to have very positive discussions with a leading UK law faculty about this proposal, but formal progress is slower than Mark would have liked. We hope that all the people who have generously indicated an interest in teaching on the course will not be put off by the lack of progress. As soon as we have a more concrete plan of action (and timetable!), we hope to organise a meeting of interested people to discuss how best to structure and deliver the course. Please bear with us.
- Free review of template agreements. Anderson Law LLP will be offering a limited number of free reviews of organisations’ template agreements during 2012. This will be targeted at universities and high-tech companies based in the UK, although we may extend the service to overseas clients. Details will follow in the next few weeks.
- New editions of our books. We are currently working on new editions of several of our publications, including:
Mark has also written a chapter on patent licensing in a forthcoming, multi-author, international work, A Research Handbook on Intellectual Property Licensing (edited by Professor Jacques de Werra of the University of Geneva, and to be published soon (?) by Edward Elgar Publishing).