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Exclusively for Everyone: Oxymorons ‘R’ Us

Last week’s golden oldie seemed to be popular, so here is another article from this blog’s archive. This time on exclusive, sole and non-exclusive licences.

IP Draughts

In 2000, the UK department store, Marks & Spencer, unveiled a new strapline, Exclusively for Everyone, that was to feature in their advertisements for nighties for most of the Noughties.  Well, for all their products, really, but IP Draughts is susceptible to a finely-turned alliteration.

Every time he saw this strapline, the pedant in IP Draughts thought: you can’t be exclusively for everyone.  It is a self-contradictory statement.

Another phrase that induces this reaction in IP Draughts is sole and exclusive licence.  You can’t have a sole and exclusive licence.  It can be sole or it can be exclusive.  It can’t be both at the same time.

Usually, when the phrase appears in a licence agreement, the drafter intends to grant (or be granted) an exclusive licence.  IP Draughts has never encountered a drafter who argued to retain sole and exclusive when the potential contradiction was pointed out. …

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Academic inventors and investors: an eternal story

I thought this article deserved another outing; it is timeless.

IP Draughts

Click here to visit the home page of the KCL Institute of Telecommunications Click here to visit the home page of the KCL Institute of Telecommunications

W is a professor at King’s College London, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a prolific inventor.  He has developed a new telecommunications technology in collaboration with C, who is a businessman and former army officer.  W has demonstrated the effectiveness of his technology with a working installation that he has set up to transfer data between central London and a point approximately 20 miles to the West.  The installation proves conclusively both that it is possible to transfer data over this distance in a novel way and that there is a public appetite for the technology.

There is no reason why the technology could not be applied in a similar way over much longer distances.  The advantages over existing technologies are great, and there is a large, potential market.  W’s technology is well protected with…

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The burning issue for IP lawyers

ucl-lawsIP Draughts and his colleagues are putting together the final programme for this year’s outing of the week-long course, IP Transactions: Law and Practice, which will be held at University College London from 3-7 April 2017. This will the fifth year that the course has been run.

As part of a refresh of the course, we are replacing a few of the sessions, and revising some others. As a result we have a 30 minute slot at 4.30 pm on Wednesday 5 April, that has not yet been filled.

burning-bushReaders of IP Draughts are creative, thoughtful, intelligent people, with their fingers on the pulse of what is important and topical in the worlds of IP transactions. So, what would you suggest for this slot? Is there a burning issue that IP transactional lawyers should be familiar with? Assume that the rest of the course deals with conventional subjects like IP and contract laws, IP contract drafting, practice in different sectors, etc.

If no-one comes up with a better solution, IP Draughts may have to fall back on discussing the implications of Brexit, including the importance of not making politically naive comments in a public forum.

drafting-book-4th-ednThe provider of the best answer (either on this blog or provided privately), as judged by IP Draughts, will receive a free copy of our latest publication, Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Contracts (Anderson and Warner, 4th edition, December 2016, Bloomsbury Professional Publishing, 378 pages).


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2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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