IP Draughts has just stumbled across some ancient treasure – articles and an interview transcript – from the around the time he started his firm in 1994. The most interesting, in his view, is an interview that he conducted with Lord Cockfield.
Arthur Cockfield, who died in 2007, was a British politician, who became Secretary of State for Trade in 1982. From 1984 to 1988 he was a European Commissioner, and he was a major driving force behind the creation of the Single European Market in 1992. Shortly before his interview with IP Draughts, he had published a book about the single market.
IP Draughts found Lord Cockfield a difficult person to interview. First, there was huge secrecy about the location of the interview, which turned out to be his London flat. Lord Cockfield insisted on having a list of questions in advance. When IP Draughts turned up for the interview, Lord Cockfield left him in no doubt as to who was going to control the interview. Some of it he insisted would be off the record (those bits are not in the transcript; they weren’t particularly interesting!) From memory, the interview wasn’t published.
Despite these shortcomings, the interview has some historical interest, particularly at a time when it appears that the UK is likely to leave the single market on Brexit. Lord Cockfield discusses the single market, divisions in the Conservative Party, how the European Commission goes about its business, and the UK’s relationship with the EU. IP Draughts kept trying to bring the conversation back to IP issues, but it is clear looking back that Lord Cockfield wasn’t interested in the subject and diverted to other examples to illustrate his themes. The unedited interview can be found here: interview with Lord Cockfield in about 1995.
Also uploaded here for their historical interest to IP Draughts, if no-one else, are:
- IP Draughts’ article on applying traditional property laws to IP transactions published in EIPR in about 1995
- An article on how not to license patents from about 1992, which refers to an English case from the 1960s about the interpretation of a patent licence, Fluflon.