Calling all newly-qualified IP lawyers: block out your diary for 17-21 Feb 2014

A flock of owls has been observed in the skies.  Pontifex Maximus has applied the jus auguralis and the omens are good.

A flock of owls was seen in the skies above Bentham House. Pontifex Maximus has applied the jus auguralis. The omens are good.

UCL’s Faculty of Laws has confirmed that the course, Intellectual Property Transactions: Law and Practice, will be repeated in 2014, during the week of 17-21 February.

IP Draughts is aware that law firms are starting to plan their training programmes and budgets for the next year. A brochure and registration details will be published in the coming months; meanwhile this posting will serve as a reminder of some key points for those who are considering sending people on the course, or who are considering attending the course.

The 2014 course will follow a similar format to the 2013 version, with some tweaks, mentioned below.  The 2013 brochure can be found here.  Some key points, with particular reference to the 2013 outing (detailed planning of the 2014 course has not yet occurred), follow:

  1. Location of course. The course is held at the UCL Faculty of Laws, Bentham House, in London, near Euston Station.  Accommodation can be arranged (at additional cost) for students who live outside London.
  2. Purpose of course. The course is designed to provide a grounding in the law and practice surrounding the main types of intellectual property (IP) transaction.  Each day of this 5-day course is devoted to a different industry or market sector, including IP aspects of M&A, IT contracts, media contracts, pharmaceutical licensing, and IP aspects of contracts with government and universities.
  3. Who is the course suitable for? We consider it is important to focus the teaching on a target audience, to avoid diluting its impact.  Our target audience is newly-qualified UK lawyers, who have between 0 and 2 years of qualification when they attend the course, but we will not turn away people who fall outside this category provided they appear to have the necessary abilities, training and practical experience to benefit from the course’s teaching (and provided the course is not full).  Students in 2013 were mostly in this category but there were also some more experienced lawyers who were moving into IP transactional work, as well as a few patent attorneys and technology transfer managers.
  4. Method of teaching.  The course consists of a mixture of classroom lectures, and practical workshops where the terms of agreements and other transactional issues (eg due diligence investigations) are discussed.  Woven through the course is instruction in the IP and commercial law aspects of of assignments, licences, options, IP terms in business sale agreements, and other IP instruments.  Ancillary legal topics that affect IP transactions, including competition law, tax, insolvency, and security over IP, are discussed.  The course is taught by approximately 25 volunteers speakers, who are all experienced lawyer practitioners who specialise in IP or one of the ancillary legal subjects.
  5. Materials.  Students are provided with approximately 80 documents (filling 5 ring binders), prepared by the speakers, which include papers on legal and practice subjects and examples of contract wording.
  6. Continuing education.  The course attracts 29 CPD points.
  7. Examination.  The course is followed by a voluntary, 2-hour exam.  In 2013, 17 people took the exam, resulting in 13 passes, and 4 passes with distinction.
  8. Price.  In 2013, the course cost £2,500 plus VAT, with a 15% discount for UCL graduates, for sponsors of the Institute of Brands and Innovation Law at UCL, and for firms that provided speakers for the course.  The price for the 2014 course has not yet been fixed, but is likely to be comparable.
  9. Student feedback.  At the end of the 2013 course, we asked students to assess the course under several headings.  The average scores for the course (out of a maximum of 5) were are follows:

feedbackQ1.         How did you find the administration of the course?  A1. Score: 4.67

Q2.         How did you find the quality of the legal content?  A2. Score: 4.6

Q3.         How did you find the quality of the practical content?  A3. Score: 4.53

Q4.         How did you find the quality of the speakers?  A4. Score: 4.6

Q5.         How did you find the quality of the course papers?  A5. Score: 4.6

Who has attended the course?

Students on the 2013 course included people from:

Major City of London law firms – eg Freshfields, Herbert Smith, Ashursts

London offices of major US law firms – eg Clearys, Covingtons, Lathams, MoFo

Specialist London firms – eg Bristows, Trowers & Hamlin

Multi-office UK law firms – eg Wragges, Shakespeares, Shoosmiths

In-house legal departments – eg Abbott, Synopsis, BP, Caterpillar

Public bodies, universities and charities – eg the Law Commission, Imperial College, UCL, Reading University, St George’s Hospital, Wellcome Trust

Tweaking the course in 2014

kaizenThe basic format of the course is likely to remain the same in 2014 as in 2013, but in a spirit of “continuous improvement” we are considering the following tweaks, among others:

  • streaming on one half-day or day of the course, so that students can choose between working on (1) university and pharmaceutical transactions, or (2) more specialist corporate transactions, eg securitisation of IP
  • running a negotiation session on the Friday afternoon, in place of classroom lectures

Please let us know if you would like any further information, or to make a provisional booking.  The number of students will probably be limited to 48 in 2014.

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