It’s all go, in the IP world…

On the day after the night before – when the UK left the EU – there are too many distractions for IP Draughts to get maudlin. A small sign is the more than 50 work-related emails which came into his inbox yesterday.

  1. Technology Transfer, 4th edition: the final proofs of our ‘flagship’ book went off to the typesetters yesterday morning. It is now over 1,000 pages – a real tome. It is 10 years since the last edition, and much has changed in the law surrounding TT agreements. While you are waiting for it to be published, you could always read one of our other books.
  2. IP Transactions course: Or, you could book on our annual, 5-day course on IP transactions, which has its 8th outing at UCL Laws in April. Or, on one of our one-day courses at UCL, most of which can also be run as in-house courses.  Applications for the 5-day course are now coming in thick and fast – IP Draughts approved several applications yesterday.
  3. Consequences of Brexit for IP registrations. This is a huge subject, which we hope will be fully and appropriately addressed as part of the negotiations over the UK’s future relationship with the EU. One point of difficulty emerged last week – it seems that the European Plant Variety Office has a notice on their website, alerting organisations who have plant breeders’ rights that that they need to have a representative based in the EU, (i.e. not the UK) from the end of January 2020. Colleagues assure me that this is incorrect and that UK representatives are acceptable until the end of the transition period, i.e. the end of December 2020. Thanks to PraxisAuril for alerting IP Draughts to this issue.
  4. Model term sheet for spin-out transactions. While on the subject of PraxisAuril, IP Draughts is disappointed (to put it mildly) that certain members of the Board of PraxisAuril have delayed adoption of the model term sheet for university spin-out transactions that a working group of PraxisAuril finalised last year, after many months of work. The Board was consulted at various stages in the development of the term sheet, as were representatives of universities and the investment community. It is frustrating that there is an issue at this late stage in the process, but he hopes it can be resolved soon. Disclosure: IP Draughts and Paula Alessandro of QMUL co-chaired this working group.
  5. Mediation of IP agreements. Flushed with his success in passing the CEDR assessment to become an Accredited CEDR Mediator, IP Draughts has produced a Profile or flyer for his mediation services, and may in due course dedicate part of his firm’s website to ADR services. The Profile is available here: msa mediator profile 2020. Please consider naming IP Draughts as your chosen mediator in the dispute resolution clause of your contracts.
  6. Negotiation techniques – great book: IP Draughts is grateful to Gill Mansfield, whom he met when attending a mediation course at WIPO in Geneva several years ago, for her recommendation of the following book: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. The book is written by a former FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss. It is very readable, and IP Draughts thoroughly recommends it. Many of the techniques described in the book, such as active listening and asking open questions, overlap with the techniques that CEDR teaches on its mediation skills course. But the analogy shouldn’t be taken too far. Working as an outsider – mediator – to get two parties to agree is ultimately a different skill to working as a participant in a negotiation to get a good deal.

Finally, IP Draughts hopes that his friends and colleagues in the EU will continue to think of the UK as a reliable partner. More than half the population seems to want to be in the EU, and far more than half of business people and professionals do.


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