Category Archives: News

Congratulations to IP winners

Twice a year, the UK state recognises outstanding contributions to society through national awards. Known as the New Year’s Honours, and the Queen’s Birthday Honours, these awards come in different ranks and classes. There are civil lists and military lists, home and overseas, and a personal list for loyal servants of the Queen.

There are the most important honours, such as the Order of Merit (limited to 24 individuals), Companion of Honour (limited to 65 individuals) and knighthoods of various kinds. Most award recipients receive one of the different classes of the Order of the British Empire – the name now seems quaint. In order of rank, you might be made a GBE, KBE/DBE, CBE, OBE, MBE or BEM. In this traditional, hierarchical world, concepts such as egalitarianism and flat organisations have yet to make their presence felt.

Today’s Birthday Honours List includes several people from the world of IP and commercialisation.

Professor Ruth Annand has been awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to intellectual property. Professor Annand is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bristol and is, or was, an “Appointed Person” – a judge who hears trade mark appeals. She was also, for many years, the host of the IP Diploma course that was run at the University of Bristol until her retirement, and is now run at the University of Oxford.

Colin Adams is a recently-retired Director of Commercialisation at the University of Edinburgh. He has been awarded a CBE for services to innovation and entrepreneurship.

And last, but certainly not least, is Andrea Brewster, former President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, prime mover behind the IP Inclusive initiative, and author of the only bit of the CIPA Journal that IP Draughts reads carefully – the humorous Secret Diary. Andrea has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to intellectual property.

Congratulations to all of you!



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Leading UK licensing lawyers 2017

leaguesFor several years, this blog has produced a table of leading IP licensing lawyers, created by the simple but imperfect method of identifying all the lawyers who are recommended in both of the following directories for that year:

(a) the IAM Patent 1000 list of leading UK patent licensing lawyers; and

(b) the Chambers Directory list of leading UK transactional lawyers in the field of life sciences.

The latter list  was published earlier today; the IAM list was published some months ago.

So, who is on the IP Draughts list for 2017? Drum roll…

Laura Anderson  Bristows LLP
Mark Anderson  Anderson Law LLP
Malcolm Bates  Taylor Wessing LLP
Alison Dennis  Fieldfisher LLP
Patrick Duxbury  Gowling WLG
Jim Ford  Allen & Overy LLP
Michael Gavey  Simmons & Simmons LLP
Mark A Lubbock  Ashurst LLP
Nicola Maguire  Cooley LLP
Lucinda Osborne  Covington & Burling LLP
Daniel Pavin  Covington & Burling LLP
Stephen Reese  Olswang LLP
Chris Shelley  Penningtons Manches LLP
Sally Shorthose  Bird & Bird LLP
John Wilkinson  Cooley LLP


Most of the names on this list have been on the list for several years. A few names have dropped off but there are no new names. As a result, there are 15 names on the above list compared to 20 last year.

vennAn advantage of this list over the Chambers Directory list is that this list omits some individuals who are really corporate lawyers rather than IP lawyers. A disadvantage of this list is that it omits some fine IP lawyers who are not particularly focused on life science work, eg Matthew Warren of Bristows, or who are up-and-coming (eg IP Draughts’ partner Lisa Allebone, who has been named in the IP section of Chambers Directory for the first time).

Despite these defects, the list continues to be a fairly good indicator of the leading technology licensing lawyers in England and Wales.

Congratulation to all who appear!

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IP threats in the House of Lords

hl-committeeThis weekend, IP Draughts has a note from the school doctor: he is excused long runs, contact sports or blogging. He has to prepare for what may be a once-in-a-lifetime event, namely appearing as a witness before a House of Lords committee next Monday afternoon.

The committee is known as a Public Bill Committee, and has been convened as part of the passage of the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill through Parliament. It is chaired by Lord Saville, a retired Supreme Court justice. Previous witnesses to have appeared before this committee include Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the IP Minister, Sir Robin Jacob and Sir Colin Birss.

The committee hearing, which will be taking place on Monday 24 October at about 3.30 pm, is recorded on camera, live-streamed and saved on the UK Parliament website, so if you are a glutton for legal minutiae feel free to stop by. Details of the hearing can be found on the Parliament website here. IP Draughts believes the streaming will be accessible here.

IP Draughts will be giving oral evidence as chairman of the Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee. Also giving evidence will be fellow IPLC member, Matthew Harris, and Vicki Salmon, representing the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.

Now IP Draughts has to do some homework, and prepare for some difficult questions from Baroness Bowles, who is a member of the committee and a patent attorney, possibly the only patent attorney in Parliament.


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Save the date: UCL debate on dysfunction in drafting

David Dimbleby will not be chairing this debate

David Dimbleby will not be chairing this debate

If you care about contract drafting, you will be interested in a unique debate that University College London will be holding this Autumn, in London. It is free of charge, and you will have an opportunity to submit questions to a panel of experts, as well as hear their different views on this controversial subject.

Dysfunction in Contract Drafting: Are the Courts, Law Firms, and Company Law Departments Stuck in a Rut? will be held on Tuesday 8 November 2016, 18:00 – 19:30 at the UCL Events Pavillion, Main Quad, Gower Street, London WC1.

The four panel members bring impressive credentials to the discussion, including senior-level experience of contracts in the courts, in private practice and in-house. They comprise:

  1. Ken Adams

    Ken Adams

    Ken Adams, US-based contract drafting guru, and author of A Manual of Style of Contract Drafting (American Bar Association, 3rd edition).

  2. Sir Julian Flaux

    Sir Julian Flaux

    The Honourable Mr Justice Flaux, an English High Court judge who until recently was Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court, in London.

  3. Kate Gibbons and friend

    Kate Gibbons and Olly

    Kate Gibbons, a senior banking lawyer at Clifford Chance, and the firm’s Global Knowledge Partner.

  4. Kristin McFetridge

    Kristin McFetridge

    Kristin McFetridge, Chief Counsel at British Telecommunications plc, and currently in charge of a programme to redraft BT’s standard contracts.

IP Draughts will be the compere moderator of the panel discussion. Learning, laughter and linguistics guaranteed! Book your tickets at the link above.


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