Category Archives: &Law Updates

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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Execution of Documents – third edition now available

drafting confidentiality agreementsEarly in 2003, IP Draughts and his colleague, Victor Warner, were chatting with the publishing manager of the Law Society of England and Wales. We were in the final stages of completing our first book with them, Drafting Confidentiality Agreements, which is now in its third edition.*



The conversation turned to an old-fashioned book that the Law Society then published, on the subject of oaths and affidavits. This could be done so much better, commented IP Draughts, and he explained how he thought it should be done, and how the subject should be broadened to cover other types of documents that a solicitor is called upon to draft and execute.

IP Draughts is more guarded nowadays, in his conversations with publishing managers.

Untitled-1Twelve-and-a-half years later, the third edition of Execution of Documents has just been published. The book now runs to more than 400 pages. It includes material that is relevant to IP Draughts’ legal practice, including how to execute contracts as deeds, how to execute powers of attorney, and the law on electronic signatures. Other parts are more relevant to litigators, including chapters on statements of truth, statutory declarations and affidavits. As a solicitor and notary, Victor was well-qualified to write the chapter on notarisation.

The broad, ‘general practice’ coverage of the book is perhaps what led the two leading UK journals for general-practice solicitors to review it. Reviewing an earlier edition, Solicitors Journal commented:

It is written in clear, plain language and in ample detail for its intended audience. This is a useful and practical reference book for practitioners containing many precedents, both traditional and modern. It is a first class ‘dipper’.

New Law Journal, the chief rival to Solicitors Journal, preferred the following comments:

This is, for a highly technical law book, a riveting read. Keep it on your shelves and you’ll be confident that you will have the answer to most issues about how to make a legal document work.

A book of this kind will never generate enough royalties to cover the costs of writing it. The market is far too small. But we get satisfaction from doing a job well, providing useful practice notes for ourselves and other solicitors, and seeing complimentary reviews.


*The first and second editions were written jointly by IP Draughts and his colleague Simon Keevey-Kothari, who now works at Carpmaels and Ransford.

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Tripping over 1,000 subscribers

1000IP Draughts is delighted to announce that this blog now officially has 1,000 subscribers, in addition to readers who are informed of postings via LinkedIn and some other sites.

Here are some more, useless statistics:

  • the blog has been running for a little over 4 years
  • there is no paid advertising
  • the site is within a gnat’s crotchet of 300,000 “hits” (page views)
  • it contains just under 400 articles
  • it has nearly 600 published comments
  • traffic is currently running at around 10,000 page views per month
  • in 2012 we won an American Bar Association award, as a member of its Blawg100 (the only site outside North America to receive this award)
  • the most popular article on the blog is about damages not being an adequate remedy in confidentiality agreements. This article has been viewed nearly 18,000 times and continues to be very popular.
  • sockThe countries with the most readers are the US and the UK; these countries have very similar numbers of page views. Next, but some way behind, come Australia, Canada, India and Singapore, and then a selection of European countries.

As ever, we are keen to hear from readers. Please tell us what you like and don’t like about the site.

Thank you for your continued support.


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Rankings for IP lawyers 2015

top dogRegular readers of this blog may recall that IP Draughts has strong views on the value of publications that rank lawyers. Most are a version of vanity publishing, where you pay the publication for an entry and in return are given a grandiloquent title, such as European Plant Varieties Lawyer of the Decade. Sometimes, the publication plays a dance of the seven veils, in which they tell you have been shortlisted or that you have won an award, but they are coy about what the award is, and invite you to pay for an entry in their publication. The award tends to evaporate if you don’t play ball.

In recent months, IP Draughts has received numerous awards or would-be awards from publications that he has not heard of (or has heard of only because they contacted him in earlier years). Emails from these publications tend to be quickly deleted.

It is tempting to damn all legal rankings as useless and self-serving. But that would be wrong. Some are very useful, and IP Draughts has used them to help him find lawyers in other jurisdictions or in other disciplines. As with restaurant reviews, the trick is to distinguish between the useful ones and the mere puffs.

Within the UK and Europe, and within the intellectual property field, he rates only three: Chambers Directory, Legal 500 and IAM Patent 1000. He has used all of these to find lawyers that he has subsequently instructed.

IP Draughts’ firm is still relatively small, though we have grown in recent years. So far we have taken the view that we don’t have a large enough client base to make submissions to all three of these directories. Making submissions involves naming client referees, who are often contacted by the publication in question. We prefer not to try the patience of key clients by asking them to act as referees for 3 publications. To date, we have omitted Legal 500 from our submissions.

iam 1000IAM Patent 1000 has just released its rankings for 2015. The paper copy of the 2015 edition arrived in the post today. At the time of writing the IAM website is still showing the 2014 rankings.

We are delighted to be ranked for UK patent transactions again. Mark Anderson and Stephen Brett receive individual recommendations. The editorial commentary on our firm for 2015 includes the following text:

 Now a decade old [actually two decades] and home to nine professionals [ten now, and eleven from August], Anderson Law has reaped the benefits of its carefully developed blueprint. It is one of the few UK outfits to specialise exclusively in transactions, serving a specific clientele composed of universities, research bodies and SMEs [and the occasional large, multi-national]. A nuanced understanding of the lifecycle of a startup ensures that its advice is on the money from inception to exit. Government bodies are another key source of instructions; in 2014 it drafted a suite of template agreements and guidelines for Enterprise Ireland…

“Everyone at the firm is knowledgeable, flexible, personable, and able to deliver a quality outcome on time and to budget.” [Thank you – that sums up what we want to do!]



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