Contribute to IP policy

It’s that time of the year when the Law Society of England and Wales advertises for new members of its policy committees.

The Intellectual Property Law Committee is looking for 3 new members. Have you considered making a contribution to the development of UK and international IP policy through membership of the IPLC? It can be rewarding, particularly when you see the results of diligent, thoughtful submissions to government, e.g.

  • the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill, which now awaits Royal Assent. The IPLC initiated a campaign to amend the law on IP threats in about 2006, and after a slow start the Law Commission was persuaded to review the subject and make recommendations which the government largely accepted.
  • David Cameron, when Prime Minister, negotiating to get the life science part of the central court of the Unitary Patent system to be located in London. (There are currently issues around how long the UK will be able to remain a member of the system, in view of Brexit, but the deal about the London court was struck prior to the Brexit referendum.)

Details of the current membership of the IPLC and its terms of reference can be found on the Law Society website here. The members are usually solicitors qualified in England and Wales, and are a mixture of private practice and in-house practitioners.

Inevitably, Brexit is taking up a lot of our time at present, as we identify the issues that will arise, particularly in relation to EU IP rights, and make recommendations on how to deal with these issues. IP Draughts recently attended a meeting with the IP minister, Jo Johnson MP (younger brother of Boris) and others to discuss some of the headline issues.

Ideally, we probably want one patent specialist, one copyright specialist and one trade mark and designs specialist, to complement the existing membership.

Details of all the Law Society vacancies and how to apply can be found here. Expenses are paid (subject to navigating the policy and procedures!) and a small honorarium is also paid. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 10 April 2017.



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