Category Archives: &Law Updates

Ancient treasure from IP Draughts

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:

Happy reading!


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IP-related events in 2018

Everyone at Anderson Towers is currently flat-out busy, helping clients with the pre-Christmas rush of projects.

But that doesn’t stop the planning for conferences and events in 2018. Below are a few that will involve IP Draughts as speaker and/or organiser.

  1. ASTP-Proton’s training course on technology licensing, to be held in Sitges (near Barcelona) from 24-26 January 2018. IP Draughts will give his session on the nuts and bolts of licence agreements, and help Jeff Skinner to run a licensing case study.
  2. University of Geneva and LES conference on technology transactions, to be held in Geneva on 8 February 2018. IP Draughts will give a paper on patent licensing, in which he will suggest that some international standards for licence agreements should be developed, perhaps via UNCITRAL.
  3. The 6th, annual outing of University College London’s 5-day course on IP transactions, to be held in London from 16-20 April 2018. IP Draughts created this course and is its convenor, as well as being one of approximately 30 speakers, who are mostly experienced IP lawyers. The course is designed for newly-qualified IP lawyers, but we also attract patent and trade mark attorneys and licensing managers, from the UK and overseas.
  4. American Bar Association conference on life sciences, to be held in Copenhagen from 10-12 June 2018. IP Draughts is part of the planning committee for this conference (at the request of the Law Society of England and Wales) and will be moderating a session on patient data.

In addition, IP Draughts will be running some one-day courses at UCL in the coming months. Details will follow once dates are set.

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Trainee wanted

Anderson Law is looking to recruit its 9th trainee. Do you know of anyone who would like to make a career in commercial IP law? Details of the vacancy and how to apply can be found here.

So far, we have trained 8 solicitors. This number omits people who sat in IP Draughts’ room at Bristows as part of their training contract or pupillage during the early 1990s: Helen Cline, Fiona Dickson, Ashley Roughton, and Simon Stokes, take a bow!

Of the 8 previous Anderson Law trainees, 3 are now partners or associate partners, one is a consultant and 2 are associates with our firm. Only 2 have escaped and are now in-house lawyers: Julie Hutson at Wellcome Trust in London, and Chris Beck at Philips in Eindhoven.

We are looking for exceptionally able, diligent, personable individuals. Our people are not all the same, but what they have in common is a commitment to high standards and service levels, and an appreciation of the benefits of working as a specialist lawyer in a small firm.

If you know anyone who might fit the bill, please encourage them to apply. As an inducement, IP Draughts is offering a copy of the latest edition of one of our books to the first person who contacts us having met the following criteria. They must introduce a candidate to us who completes a valid application to join us (including answering our questions). You can choose whether that book is A-Z Guide to Boilerplate and Commercial Clauses, or Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Contracts. A photo of our stocks of these books, sitting on a table in IP Draughts’ room, appears below.

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Would you like to train as a transactional IP lawyer?

In case you have missed it, our firm advertised a training contract earlier this week. Details can be found on the Anderson Law website here.

In the last 20 years, IP Draughts has provided training contracts to 8 talented lawyers. Of the 8, 6 continue to work at Anderson Law: two are partners (and recommended in Chambers Directory), one is an associate partner, one is a consultant, and two are associates. The other two have moved on to other pastures, one as an in-house IP lawyer with Wellcome Trust in London, and one as an in-house IP lawyer with Philips in the Netherlands.

We provide an intensive training in IP and contracts. IP Draughts’ view is that, on qualification, our trainees are at an equivalent level to a two-year associate in many commercial law firms.

Our staff are encouraged to take part-time, postgraduate qualifications. Presently, one is doing a part-time LLM, one is doing the Oxford IP diploma course, and others have gone through these and other courses, including IP Draughts’ IP transactions course at UCL.

Advanced technical skills provide a secure foundation for legal advice, but they are only the foundations. Our lawyers also need to be astute, engaging, and skilled in the practical arts of a legal adviser, including drafting, negotiation, tailoring advice to client needs, and helping our clients to achieve their commercial objectives. We all need to keep practising these skills and learning throughout our careers. There is no such thing as a perfect lawyer.

If you have the right mix of technical ability, personality, and ambition to improve, we would love to hear from you. And if you are already qualified and would like to work with us, please let IP Draughts know. Although we don’t have a formal vacancy for a qualified lawyer, we are always interested to hear from people who might add something to our team.

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