Category Archives: courses and training

Book on our IP transactions course, 20-24 April

ip_transactionsThere are still a few places left on our 5-day course, Intellectual Property Transactions: Law and Practice, which is held each year at University College London’s Faculty of Laws.

This will be the third, annual outing of the course, which has won two awards:

  1. A UCL Provost’s Teaching Award – the first CPD course to win this prestigious award; and
  2. A Law Society Excellence Award (Highly Commended) in the Learning and Development category.

The course covers a range of industry and market sectors, including M&A, IT, life sciences, media and universities, and a range of transaction types. Most topics are covered with a mixture of legal lecture, practice discussion and practical workshop.

The course is taught by approximately 25 experienced IP and commercial lawyers. Students on the course are a mixture of UK and overseas IP lawyers, patent and trade mark attorneys, and research/licensing managers. Lawyers on the course come from a variety of backgrounds including mainly:

  • major City of London and international law firms
  • specialist IP law firms
  • legal departments of companies

An application form for the course can be found at the back of the course brochure here.

Please make your application as soon as possible, as we are making final arrangements for this year’s course. If you have any questions, please contact

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Official recognition for IP Draughts: certified by the IPO

ipocertificateIP Draughts is delighted to announce that he has successfully completed a training programme in IP law that has recently been established by the UK Intellectual Property Office.

A copy of IP Draughts’ certificate, signed personally by Rosa Wilkinson, Director of Innovation at the IPO, is shown left.

The UK’s IP Minister, Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, announced the creation of the course in a speech earlier this week. It is part of the IPO’s drive to increase understanding of IP in universities and schools.

The online programme is intended to take 40 minutes to complete, and covers all of the main types of intellectual property: trade marks, patents, designs and copyright, as well as trade secrets.

The course is lively and reasonably entertaining. Money has been spent on making it look professional. The video interviews of people describing how they chose and applied for different types of IP protection are particularly engaging. An interactive flow-chart, showing how an inventor has choices to make – does he talk to an angel investor, get him to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), apply for a patent or keep his idea secret, etc – is thought-provoking and illustrates that there is more than one way to commercialise IP. The flow-chart can be reset and replayed, enabling you to go down a different route and come out with a different end result.

As a “taster” for undergraduate students, introducing them to IP, it has much to commend it. It is much more impressive, in IP Draughts’ view, than the guides for SMEs that the IPO produced some years ago (some of them with IP Draughts’ help as a member of an advisory committee). There is greater ambition in this new training programme, and much more money has been spent, and spent well, to make a dry subject interesting.

lunchA huge amount of legal and commercial content has been packed into a 40 minute show. Probably too much, and probably some of it will be a turn-off, eg the summaries of the different periods of protection for copyright works. Yet it may be no bad thing to make students aware that the subject contains a lot of complex detail that cannot be learnt in a lunch-break.

As a picky lawyer, there were times when IP Draughts’ winced at the over-simplification, or at a few schoolboy errors in the legal explanations. To take some examples:

Wrong information: The course is right when it says that you don’t need to get your patent lawyer to sign an NDA, but that is because they are bound by professional duties of confidentiality, not (as the course stated) because they are “subject to legal privilege”.

Unhelpful information: It is not  helpful to have a comment appear when you hover over the words “legally binding [contract]” that says simply “the contract has been entered into consciously and all parties know what is expected of them”. As every law student should know, there is more to making a contract legally-binding than that. In this case, the explanation should have been omitted.

Partial information: When the course mentions crowdfunding, it rightly refers to the need to investigate “IP considerations” before inviting crowdfunders. But because of its narrow focus on IP, the course fails to alert the reader to what may be a more important and immediate legal consideration – the need to avoid breaking the law on marketing investment opportunities.

IP Draughts is happy to be corrected, but he suspects some of these deficiencies have arisen because the IPO has taken expert advice from patent and trade mark attorneys, but not from IP lawyers. See this announcement from the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys that mentions the involvement of patent and trade mark attorneys in the development of the course. Protecting and commercialising IP requires an understanding of commercial, financial and corporate law, as well the important but narrow subject of how to generate the IP in the first place.

IP Draughts doesn’t under-estimate how difficult it is to translate complex legal content into a simple and entertaining 40 minute introductory course for non-law students. Generally, he is impressed with the content. However, his instinct would have been to remove some of the legal explanations, and perhaps save them for a more detailed course where there may be more space and time to get them right.

It is a worthwhile exercise, developing a training programme in IP for non-law, university students. The visual appeal of this course is good, and most of the content is good. It just needs a bit more editing. This is not a big surprise; IP Draughts’ courses have tended to improve over time as the content has been tweaked. He has even been known to edit blog posts after they have been published!

IP Draughts hopes that the IPO will get feedback from students who take the course, and will fine-tune the content in response to their comments. He also hopes there will be a decent budget for producing revised editions.









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Training from IP Draughts in 2015

bandwagonImpressed by the reception to Ken Adams’ recent seminar at the UCL Faculty of Laws, Drafting Clearer Contracts, IP Draughts has decided to jump on the bandwagon and offer four one-day training courses via UCL Faculty of Laws. These courses are in addition to (and complementary to) the 5-day course Intellectual Property Transactions: Law and Practice, which will be running for the third time at UCL from 20-24 April 2015.

Each of the one-day courses will be held in London and will provide 6 hours of CPD.

The first of these, Drafting IP Terms in Research Contracts, will be held on Thursday 26 March 2015. The course is pitched at an intermediate level, for contracts managers and lawyers who have had some exposure to negotiating research contracts but are still at a relatively early stage in dealing with them. Brochure and booking details can be found here.

Further one-day courses will be held at UCL on the following dates. Details will be posted on the UCL Faculty of Laws website in due course [update: now posted, see here], but for your diaries…

  1. Introduction to Contracts – CPD for legal support staff. Tuesday 12 May 2015. This course is designed for beginners who don’t have much experience of working with contracts and would like to understand them better. Previous attenders have included project managers, administrators, legal secretaries and paralegals.
  2. Drafting Legal Clauses in Commercial Contracts. 2 June 2015. This course is designed for lawyers and commercial managers who have at least 2 years’ experience of drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, and who wish to increase their understanding of the “legal” clauses in contracts, including warranties, indemniabsentties, limitation of liability and boilerplate clauses.
  3. IP Licensing – An Advanced Level Drafting Workshop. 16 June 2015. This course looks in detail at the main terms in an IP licence agreement, including grant, payments, performance, warranties, and law and jurisdiction. It is designed for lawyers and commercial managers who have at least 2 years’ experience of drafting and negotiating IP licence agreements.




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IP Transactions course brochure 2015

ip_transactionsThe brochure for the 2015 outing of our annual course, Intellectual Property Transactions: Law and Practice, is now available. This time, the course is being run slightly later in the year, from 20-24 April.

Run by the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law at University College London, and delivered by approximately 25 experienced practitioners, this course has won two awards: (1) an English Law Society Excellence Award (Highly Commended), in the learning and development category, and (2) a UCL Provost’s Teaching Award, in the CPD course category.

The course provides 29 CPD points and is designed for newly-qualified IP lawyers. It also attracts lawyers, patent attorneys and licensing executives from the UK and overseas. Past attenders have included lawyers from South America, North America, Europe, Japan and Australasia. The course seems to be unique in providing in-depth analysis and discussion of different types of IP transaction, and in combining rigorous legal content with very practical and practice-based training. The course is followed by a voluntary exam. People who pass the exam receive a Certificate in IP Transactions.

An application form for the course can be found at the end of the brochure.

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