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:
via Improve your contract drafting. Step 1: read MSCD, 3rd edn
Ken Adams recently published the 4th edition of his great work, Manual of Style of Contract Drafting. It seems timely to repost IP Draughts’ review of the 3rd edition, from 5 years ago. IP Draughts views on the 4th edition are largely the same as for the 3rd, except that the new edition reflects another few years of thought on the part of the author, and expansion and refinement of the text.
After some recent overseas trips (to rural Ireland, a small town near Barcelona, and central Geneva), IP Draughts is looking forward to a period of relative stability. One of his major tasks in the next few weeks is to organise this year’s outing of the UCL IP Transactions course, which runs from 16-20 April. There are still places on the course, so please do book if it is of interest, and encourage your colleagues to do so! The application form is in the brochure, which can be found here.
You or your colleagues may also be interested in the one-day courses that IP Draughts is running at UCL in the coming weeks and months. Next week it is Advanced IP Licensing, the following week IP Terms in Research Contracts, and we also have a session on Legal Terms in Commercial Contracts booked. Details of these and other courses can be found on the UCL Laws website here. Alternatively, we can run these and other courses for you in-house for a fixed fee – please contact email@example.com for further information.
While on the subject, you may be interested in a conference that IP Draughts is helping the American Bar Association to organise, in Copenhagen in June, on the subject of life sciences. Conference brochure here.
Another golden oldie that is getting an airing. Investors often propose terms that, in another environment, would be perceived as aggressively one-sided, but which seem to be regarded as conventional in the investment world.
We continue our series highlighting IP Draughts’ “favourite” one-sided provisions in contracts. These provisions are often found in contracts where there is an imbalance of power between the parties, and where the party with the power (let us call him the “Patron”) seeks to reduce a sometimes theoretical risk by imposing it on the other party (the “Supplicant”).
Today’s one-sided term is:
Clause X does not prevent the Patron from taking proceedings relating to a Dispute (“Proceedings”) in any other court or tribunal with jurisdiction. To the extent allowed by law, the Patron may take concurrent Proceedings in any number of jurisdictions.
Typically, Clause X states that the agreement is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of a named court.
Thus the Patron is “having his cake and eating it”. The Supplicant is forced to litigate in the court named in Clause X. The Patron can litigate in that court if…
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