Category Archives: courses and training

Mediating disputes over IP agreements


Last November, IP Draughts attended a 5-day course on mediation skills, run by CEDR – the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. CEDR is the leading provider of mediation services in the UK. The final two days of the course were an assessment of all the students in role-plays, where we took it in turns to be the assessed mediator, or a representative of the parties in dispute. IP Draughts particularly enjoyed playing the role of a grumpy elder brother in a dispute over a will.

Today, as promised by our teachers, we received our assessments. IP Draughts is delighted (and more than a little relieved) to discover that he passed, and he can now call himself a CEDR Accredited Mediator.

This follows his attendence, nearly 10 years ago, at the 2-day mediation course run by WIPO – the World Intellectual Property Organisation – in Geneva. There was no formal assessment at that course, but WIPO were prepared to add IP Draughts to their list of mediators, which he took as a sign that he hadn’t entirely disgraced himself.

A fair proportion of the agreements that IP Draughts encounters include an obligation on the parties to consider (or perhaps even go to) mediation before adopting a final dispute resolution process. The final dispute resolution process is typically either litigation in the courts of a named jurisdiction, or arbitration. Where there is a reference to mediation, the clause often also names a mediation body that will oversee the mediation and perhaps choose the mediator. CEDR is often named as the mediation body, at least in agreements drafted in the UK. CEDR’s model mediation clauses and mediation agreements can be found here.

It is not, strictly, necessary to name a mediation body, but doing so ensures that the process is a “known quantity”. Although the mediation process may vary in an individual case, a typical CEDR mediation is a one-day event and might cost in the region of £5,000, which allows for one day of preparation by the mediator, as well as attending the day of the hearing. The costs would typically be shared equally by the parties. The parties would, of course, also have to bear their own costs of preparing for and attending the mediation, eg the costs of their legal team.

If you simply refer to CEDR mediation without naming a mediator, IP Draughts understands that you will be allocated someone on their panel, though he needs to check whether parties can choose someone not on their panel. The panel is not the same as their (much larger) list of accredited mediators, and is in effect an inner circle of trusted mediators.

IP Draughts intends to build up a mediation practice, in addition to his other roles including practising as a lawyer in his firm Anderson Law LLP. He hopes you will consider naming him as the chosen mediator in agreements concerned with technology or IP, provided he has no conflict of interest such as regularly advising your organisation.


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UCL IP Transactions course 2020 – bookings open

From 20-24 April 2020, we will be running the 8th annual outing of the popular, one-week course, Intellectual Property Transactions: Law and Practice, at University College London’s Faculty of Laws.

Several hundred people have attended the course in recent years – mostly junior IP lawyers but also patent and trade mark attorneys, licensing managers, and lawyers moving into a transactional IP role. Past attenders have been from many countries of the world, eg Japan and Colombia, as well as places closer to home. The course has a practitioner focus and combines formal teaching with practice-based sessions and workshops.

We are now getting a steady stream of applications for this year’s course. If you would like to attend, please complete the application form (which forms part of the course brochure – see link at foot of page here) together with a CV and personal statement to Lisa Penfold at UCL Laws.

While in sales mode, IP Draughts would like to remind you that the 4th edition of his book, Technology Transfer (Bloomsbury Publishing) will be published in the next 2-3 months. In the last few days we approved the final text, and just have to write the preface before the work is sent off the printers. The first edition was written two and a half decades ago.

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Legal training courses this Autumn

Eight or nine years ago, when IP Draughts first persuaded Professor Sir Robin Jacob to host a one-week course on IP transactions at UCL’s Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL), he (IP Draughts) struck lucky on several fronts. UCL’s Faculty of Laws is a leading law faculty, which now has excellent facilities after a multi-million-pound refurbishment. Prof Jacob continues to be very supportive. And even more important on a day-to-day basis, the law faculty has an excellent manager of professional courses in the person of Lisa Penfold. The icing on the cake was when the one-week course won two awards shortly after it started: a UCL Provost’s Teaching Award, and a Law Society Excellence Award (Highly Commended).

After 7 years of working with, or for, Lisa, we have developed a routine that works very well for both the annual, one-week course – due to run again next April – and various one-day courses that IP Draughts runs there.

We are now operating a system of having at least 2 dates to offer people for each of the one-day courses. We have a batch starting in October, and another batch starting in late January. Details can be found on the events page of UCL Laws here, or on the Eventbrite IBIL page here.

Courses are typically run in a meeting room at the law faculty, or if the numbers are large, we sometimes use the Moot Court – a rather grand room with wood panelling and plush leather chairs that started life as the council chamber of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers. UCL purchased the building from the union in the 1960s.

The courses being run in the next few months have the following titles:

  1. Introduction to Contracts
  2. Drafting Legal Clauses in Commercial Contracts
  3. Contract Drafting: Skills Workshop
  4. IP Licensing
  5. IP Terms in Research Contracts
  6. Contracts with Universities

IP Draughts also regularly runs in-house versions of his courses for a fixed fee. These can be adapted to be suitable for lawyers or commercial managers, and for complete beginners or more experienced people. Please contact him for further details at

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IP Transactions 2020: bookings now open!

In case you missed it, bookings are now open for next year’s outing of the one-week UCL course on IP Transactions. It will run from 20-24 April 2020. A brochure and application form can be found here.

This will be the eighth year of the course. It continues to get very good feedback from students. Quotes from last year’s feedback forms can be found in the brochure linked above.

IP Draughts is grateful to the many (around 30) experienced IP lawyers and others who teach on the course and make it such a success. Each year, he is reminded of how much talent and goodwill there is among experienced IP practitioners, and willingness to pass on their skills to the next generations.

Above all, though, IP Draughts is grateful to Professor Sir Robin Jacob of UCL for seeing the merits in this course when IP Draughts brought the idea to him about 10 years ago. Alone among IP professors in the leading UK law faculties that IP Draughts approached, Sir Robin was enthusiastic and helped to make the course happen.

IP Draughts puts this down partly to Sir Robin’s background in legal practice, unlike most IP law professors, or academics generally. It is such a shame that leading law faculties mostly don’t get the importance of embracing legal practice. Not as a replacement for their existing activities, but as an important additional area, that could help to raise the standards, relevance and impact of law faculties in so many ways.

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