Category Archives: &Law Updates

Point 5 million views for a blog about IP contracts

zoellaYou heard it here first: this blog has little in common with Zoella. It has neither the beauty tips nor the massive readership of that social media sensation. IP Draughts would be delighted to have 11 million subscribers and nearly a billion views, but sadly we must make do with more modest numbers. IP Draughts assumes, without evidence, that most of our blog’s readers are not teenage girls.

Today is, however, a milestone in our progress. As well as being a couple of weeks off the blog’s 6th birthday, and reaching 500 posts, we now have over half a million views. Monthly views have been in the region of 10,000 for the last year or more.

halfThis is steady but modest, even by the standards of IP blogs such as IPKat, which has had over 22 million views, or contract blogs such as Adams on Contract Drafting, which gets more than half a million views each year. In slight mitigation, both of these blogs have been running for much longer than IP Draughts.

Our subject-matter is a very specialist area of legal practice, at the intersection of IP and contract law. From comments that we have received, it seems that the blog is popular with its readers. But the readers are – how should we put this politely – a special group of people.

Please do let us know if you have suggestions for how we might expand the readership while not losing the main purpose of the blog. And thank you for your support over the last 6 years.






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Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Contracts 4th edn

drafting-book-4th-ednIP Draughts is delighted to see that the 4th edition of Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Contracts has now been published. A cardboard box full of copies arrived at Anderson Towers last week; a late, but welcome, Christmas present.

The 1st edition of this book was published in 1997, nearly 20 years ago. Then, the main body of the book comprised 149 pages. The 4th edition has 351 pages. Much of the work on recent editions has been done by IP Draughts’ co-author Victor Warner, who joined Anderson & Company, as it was then called, at around the time the 1st edition was published.

The preface to the 1st edition stated that book was conceived as “a practical guide for contract draftsmen. It discusses both legal issues (including issues of contract law which directly affect contract drafting, and how the courts approach the task of interpreting contract wording) and practical issues (including contract drafting techniques, and issues which commonly arise in contractual negotiations).”

And don't forget to buy this one as well...

And don’t forget to buy this one as well…

Twenty years on, the core purpose of the book remains unchanged. It has been expanded and updated, and now includes chapters on electronic signatures, consumer contracts, advanced drafting techniques, and practical subjects like checking documents prior to signature. The chapter on interpretation by the courts takes into account a flurry of recent decisions by the UK Supreme Court, including Arnold v Britton in 2015. There is an extensive glossary of terms used in contracts, including covenant and time is of the essence.

The book is intended to be suitable for both lawyers and non-lawyers. If you feel an overwhelming compulsion to buy a copy, you can do so here.

We are working on the 4th edition of its companion volume, A-Z Guide to Boilerplate and Commercial Clauses, which should be completed in the next 6 months.

“…not only essential reading for commercial lawyers and
contract managers, but also an excellent address for anyone
who wishes to negotiate or draft commercial contracts… this
book certainly is the indispensable work of reference for
everyone concerned with commercial contracts”
German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce, commenting on 3rd edition


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Rankings for patent professionals 2016


but very useful…

In yesterday’s post, IP Draughts received his copy of IAM 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 2016. He is delighted to see that his partner, Lisa Allebone, has been recommended for UK patent transactions for the first time. She joins 30 English lawyers who are recommended for this subject, including IP Draughts.

The guide’s write-up about our firm reads as follows:

Anderson Law LLP

The “extremely professional” ensemble at Anderson Law knows what it takes to get signatures on the bottom line of lucrative IP deals – as reflected by its colourful roster of NHS trusts, universities and cutting-edge concerns. It has lately been assisting DNA Electronics on several crucial matters, including a patent licence agreement relating to its exciting molecular diagnostic technology, and helping University College London to forge a partnership with Eisai to discover new ways of treating neurological diseases. Involved in both matters, Mark Anderson and Lisa Allebone make a fabulous partnership. Anderson is the current chairman of the IP Law Committee of the Law Society of England & Wales, while Allebone has a real flair for university spin-outs. “They can be relied on for excellent service – they have always provided a considered and prompt response to queries. Mark and Lisa think about not only the immediate legal issues, but also the commercial implications. They really provide clear information, ensuring clients make appropriate legal and business decisions.”

ip transactionsIP Draughts is also pleased to see that some of his friends and colleagues who teach on the annual IP Transactions course at UCL are named in this category, namely Nigel Jones, Mark Lubbock, Chris Shelley, Sally Shorthose, and Matthew Warren.

For the first time, this guide now separates its firm rankings for patent transactions into “highly recommended” and “recommended”. It is great to see that we are one of only 4 firms to have been placed in the highly recommended category, along with Bristows, Gowling and Simmons & Simmons.

Although our firm doesn’t do patent litigation, it is interesting to see how IP Draughts’ former colleagues are doing in this field. Colleagues from his days at Bristows who are recommended for UK patent litigation include:

Still at Bristows

Sally Field, Alan Johnson, Edward Nodder, Philip Westmacott

No longer at Bristows

Simon Ayrton, Michael Burdon, Adam Cooke, Ralph Cox, Neil Coulson, Mike Gilbert, Penny Gilbert, Paul Harris, David Knight, Alastair McCulloch, Tim Powell, Justin Watts

An extraordinary number of ex-Bristows people, including some not named above who didn’t overlap with IP Draughts’ time there, are now leaders in the field of patent litigation. This is a testament to Philip Westmacott and others who recruited very good people to work at Bristows in the late 1980s and 1990s and then gave them very good training.

biolawFinally, we should congratulate our colleagues in BioLaw Europe who appear in overseas chapters of this year’s IAM guide, including Denis Schertenleib of France and Stefan Kohler of Switzerland.


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5 years a blogger

fdr1Quinquennial. IP Draughts has always wanted to find a use for that word, which is encountered in the academic community. This posting is our quinquennial review. 5 years ago, IP Draughts’ colleague, AnnMarie, set up this handsome-looking blog. The first article appeared on 10 March 2011; the image on the left was the first to appear in that article.

What have we learnt over the last 5 years? IP Draughts thinks his writing has improved, after producing more than 400 articles. Sentences. Are. Shorter. Opinions expressed plainly can be stronger and more persuasive than those that come with rhetorical flourishes.

IP Draughts has learnt the importance of a good headline, and that announcements about courses and publications are read less than other subject-matter. He is less concerned about pre-publication polishing of the text. Corrections can be made after the “publish” button is pressed.

voiceWith your own blog, it is possible to have an author’s voice. Whether this is a good or a bad thing may be a matter of taste. The voice is often edited out in articles that IP Draughts writes for other publications.

The readership of this blog is spread across the world, but is dominated by the leading common law jurisdictions (USA, UK, Australia, Canada, India, Singapore) followed by other leading EU jurisdictions (Germany, France, Netherlands). Ireland nestles between Germany and France in the pecking order, and could be put into either of these categories.

Over the last 12 months, page-viewings have been running at about 10,000 per month. In the same period, readers in 60 countries viewed pages of the blog more than 100 times. Within the next 12 months, we are very likely to exceed 500,000 page-views in total.

Nunc pro tunc, ratio decidendi!

Nunc pro tunc, ratio decidendi!

Are these good figures or bad? IP Draughts thinks they are good, for a blog on a very specialist subject, but would like them to be better. IPKat has a broader subject range; its annual readership runs into the millions.

The most popular article on this blog, on the subject of injunction clauses in confidentiality agreements, has been viewed, at the time of writing, 27,782 times. As part of a conventional, paper publication, it is highly unlikely that the article would have been read so many times. Perhaps, if it had been included as an annex to a Harry Potter book, it might have been read more frequently. Ah, has IP Draughts hit upon a new distribution method?

IP Draughts and his colleagues have received many positive comments about the blog from people they encounter professionally. This is very reassuring. We get hardly any feedback about books and articles in magazines. What is different about the blog, that provokes these comments? Perhaps it is the fact that we are able to express opinions and inject some humour, and other human qualities, into the writing? Why are these qualities not seen in traditional publications? No idea.

Thank you for your support. Some blogs fizzle out. This one is unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future.






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