Darren Olivier has written an interesting post about exchange controls and South African law, on the IP Finance blog (today).
This is a familiar subject to the drafter (or draughter) of IP licence agreements. Below is a typical example of a clause that might be found in a detailed licence agreement:
“Exchange controls. If at any time during the continuation of this Agreement the Licensee is prohibited from making any of the payments required hereunder by a governmental authority in any country then the Licensee shall within the prescribed period for making the said payments in the appropriate manner use its best endeavours to secure from the proper authority in the relevant country permission to make the said payments and shall make them within 7 days of receiving such permission. If such permission is not received within 30 days of the Licensee making a request for such permission then, at the option of the IP Company, the Licensee shall make the royalty payments due in the currency of the relevant country either to a bank account designated by the IP Company within such country or to an associated company of the IP Company designated by the IP Company and having offices in the relevant country designated by the IP Company.”
In our experience, exchange controls have mainly been an issue when dealing with licensees based in certain Far Eastern countries. Typically, the licensee must seek permission from a Government department before making the payment to a licensor based in another country.
We are not aware of exchange controls still existing in EU countries. In the UK, for example, they were abolished in 1979. This blogger remembers a family holiday in Majorca in 1968, when the limit on exporting UK currency was £35 per person (the amount was written in our passports for some reason), and the weekly hotel cost (full board) at the Santa Ana hotel in Majorca was £28.
Last week, Mark gave one of his talks on technology licensing – an all-day “masterclass” for university TT managers. It was run by ASTP and held in Amsterdam (at the airport, in fact). Attendees came from Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and probably other countries.
During the session on EU competition law, several attendees were more interested in discussing the effect of State Aid rules on licensing by universities. This was slightly unfortunate, as Mark didn’t have any slides on this important subject. Perhaps surprisingly, this subject has not been raised by previous attendees, but is now clearly a hot topic.
These rules may prohibit, for example, the acquisition of State assets (eg IP) at less than market value. Most universities are public bodies and therefore are subject to the State Aid rules. However, there are certain exceptions to the rules, including exceptions for core activities of the university. Some interesting slides on this subject, written by a representative of UK Government’s State Aid team and presented at an AURIL conference, can be found here. We will write something on this subject in the coming weeks (and update Mark’s slides!)
The submissions to the Hargreaves Review have now been loaded on to the IPO website. Mark was involved in writing the section on SMEs in the joint submission by the Law Society of England and Wales, the Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Association and the City of London Law Society. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the submissions offer a very wide range of views. We were pleasantly surprised to see a submission by the English IP judges, who recommended (among other things) a comprehensive review and re-writing of the UK copyright legislation. Some other contributors made more specific recommendations for new exceptions to copyright in relation to digital copyright works.
Surely ripe for abolition in the current Government spending cuts is a body called Consumer Focus, who produced an unbelievably long (94 page) submission to the Review. (In fact, their website says they are due to be abolished – hurray!)
This blog is mainly about intellectual property (IP) contracts. We wanted to find a name for the blog that was distinctive yet not too silly or misleading. IPContracts seemed a bit dull. GossIP was a candidate, but was rejected, partly because of the number of gossip-related blogs, as were quIP (or e-quIP), drIPfeed, and various other names that seemed good at first.
IP Draughts is original, distinctive (we think) and has some relevance to our intended subject-matter. Draught (also spelt “draft”) has multiple meanings, most of which relate in some way to drawing, including:
- contract drafting (okay, this is the more usual spelling, even in UK English)
- draughtsman, eg someone who does technical drawing
- draught beer, better than that keg stuff
- the game of draughts (also known as checkers); less taxing on the brain than chess (by the way, we will continue to put detailed commentary on legal subjects on the Anderson & Company website)
- draught horses, used to pulling heavy loads
- draughts, ie currents of air
Some or all of these meanings could be relevant, but the acid test is “does the name work for you?” Please let us know via comments.