We seem to be in a lull between the Summer holidays and the start of Autumn. In a couple of weeks, IP Draughts restarts his teaching programme. Details of forthcoming courses can be found here.
Our flagship course, the one-week IP Transactions course, will be run at UCL from 8-12 November. Last year, the course was run entirely via Zoom. This year, it will be run as a hybrid – both in person and (for those that prefer it) online. This is subject to national developments in relation to Covid. Applications for this course are coming in fast; IP Draughts approved several applications this week.
IP Draughts is delighted to see that his fellow-speaker on the course, and long-time professional friend, Gina Bicknell, has recently joined Pinsent Mason as a partner. IP Draughts has known Gina for about 20 years, since she worked at UCL Business in a technology transfer role, and helped IP Draughts and his co-writer Victor Warner, with research for one of their publications.
For those who can’t take a week off work for a course, however good it might be, we have more bite-sized courses, including this IP Agreements course which is run as a series of one-hour talks over several weeks. This is different to the one-week course in its content and focus, and you only get one speaker – IP Draughts. If you are interested, have a look at the course details on the UCL Laws website.
There are slim pickings for IP lawyers in the English court reports at present. Most striking is a recent Court of Appeal decision on IP infringement, in which the court decided that Arnold LJ had got the law wrong, when deciding the case at High Court level. Ouch!
More interesting to IP Draughts is the High Court’s decision to keep Prince Philip’s will secret. It seems that it has long been the court’s practice to keep senior royals’ wills secret, but the justification for this was not widely known. This decision explains in detail the legal justification.
The judge cites Walter Bagehot’s 1867 book, The English Constitution, which IP Draughts read as an undergraduate. He still has his copy, 40 years later. Bagehot referred to the constitution needing two parts. As the judge puts it:
‘one to excite and preserve the reverence of the population’ and the other to ’employ that homage in the work of government’. The first Bagehot called ‘dignified’ and the second ‘efficient’. The monarch was the prime example of dignity in this sense.
To summarise the judge’s thinking, if you are going to have a monarchy, it needs to retain some privacy “in order to protect the dignity and standing of the public role of the Sovereign and other close members of Her family.”
IP Draughts suspects that the Daily Mail might not agree with this idea. Some members of the Royal Family might like this principle to be expanded into other aspects of royal life.
Finally, IP Draughts was intrigued to see that his 2015 blog article on the ownership of a Banksy art work (referring to a court decision by the aforementioned Arnold J) is having a spurt of popularity, at least if measured by the number of readers recently.