It has been an eventful year for IP Draughts. There were some exceptional office administration issues last Autumn, now thankfully resolved. In February, IP Draughts’ mother died. Leaving aside the emotional aspects, dealing with the family home, and acting as executor, has been time-consuming. Those tasks are nearly complete.
In March we moved the office out of IP Draughts’ home to the excellent Howbery Park, three miles away. This year, we have acquired two excellent trainees and a paralegal, and recently an experienced corporate lawyer to help us with spin-out transactions. There are now 15 of us, which makes for a very different firm from the one IP Draughts started 25 years ago. He is grateful for the many messages of support and “likes” that appeared on LinkedIn in response to his previous blog posting about that anniversary.
Today, he has been de-cluttering his home office, which has been rather neglected recently. He still can’t bear to throw away his spiral-bound photocopy of the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Contract Terms Act, and Supply of Goods and Services Act, which his secretary at Bristows copied for him in 1987. It is still occasionally useful. Among more recent documents, paper copies of the GDPR and the United Planet v Huawei case reports also survived the cull.
It’s time to focus on the future.
IP Draughts has had some very interesting client work recently, including helping to facilitate the negotiation and signature of several agreements that relate to a multi-party, £200M research project. The government press releases about this project include commentary from the UK Prime Minister. UKRI press release here. He would like more of this kind of work, as well as advisory work.
A highlight of this Autumn will be attending the annual conference of LIDC – the International League of Competition Law – in Paris in November. IP Draughts was asked to be the “international reporter” for a research project on how various jurisdictions deal with IP threats. In response to questions that IP Draughts set, he has received national reports from several countries, and has prepared a first draft of an international report that synthesises the national contributions and makes recommendations to national governments. Most of the civil law jurisdictions seem to rely on very similar laws in the field of unfair competition, which provide a remedy to someone who is on the receiving end of abusive litigation. The national reports and international report are due to be published as a book, after the conference.