Introduction to Intellectual Property Law - 26 June 2013 16:00 - 18:00

Jane Lambert

Not long ago most commercial practitioners spent a lifetime in the law without ever having to advise on an intellectual property matter or coming anywhere near the Patents Court. It was a specialist field with its own court having its own rules, the judges and practitioners of which spoke an almost impenetrable argot. Most law schools ignored IP except as a specialist option with the result that many practitioners did not have a clue what it was all about. There were horror stories of solicitors receiving writs for writing the same sort of letter before action as they would write in any other case and it was all horribly expensive. Best left to specialist law firms like Bird & Bird and Bristows and the handful of specialist counsel who knew what they were doing.

The internet and programmes like Dragons' Den  have changed all that. Clients often with quite small businesses are now coming to you with questions about software licensing and domain names or with piles of ring binders from law firms demanding undertakings that will put them out of business before next Thursday or else.

Despite the best efforts of the judges and practitioners to bring down costs and align their practices with other types of work IP is still scary and expensive with plenty of pitfalls for the unwary. It has its own special Part of the Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Direction, special court guides for litigation in the Patents Court and the multitrack and small claims tracks of the Patents County Court. And there is still that special language with its counterintuitive pronunciations any slip of which is punished at best with howls of derision by those in the know and worse with cutting sarcasm or more. That is why my light hearted post "How to spot an IP blagger at 30 paces" 23 Feb 2009 IP North West went viral.

If you or any of your colleagues are IP newbies or even if you do have some experience of IP and have picked up some basic knowledge but want to systematize it we can help you. We can also help if you are an IP specialist but have just recruited a bright young man or woman to your team whom you need to train up quickly. I am presenting a course "Introduction to IP" at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square on Wednesday, 26 June 2013. We will give you CPD points and it's all free.

"Baby stuff" I hear you say, "Boring!" "We've heard it all before." "I can get a book"   Well no, It's not actually. It is an introduction and overview but I shall put IP law into context.  I will explain why our statutes have to conform to TRIPS, intellectual property treaties and EU directives. I will introduce you to the institutions that administer IP law like our own Intellectual Property Office in Newport, the European Patent Office in Munich, OHIM in Alicante and WIPO in Geneva. I will tell you how our law protects investment in branding, design, technology and works of art and literature. I will even explain how you can get a patent and how you construe it.  And, above all, I will have you speaking patent-talk like a pro.

All that in 90 minutes? Won't it all be terribly superficial.? How will you ever remember it? Well I will work you hard. I will work you as hard as my dance teacher, Fiona, makes me work in ballet class.  Everyone who attends this course will get a complete manual either digitally or in hard copy with hypertext links and URLs to the treaties, directives, statutes, statutory instruments, cases and other materials to which I refer. With any luck, GeniusIP, a web 2.0 application that I am helping to develop will be ready by the 26 June but even if it is not you will get free access to those materials and more through that tool so long as you attend my course.

If you do attend the course you will also get to meet me and my team and perhaps even my clerks Steve and George over a cup of tea or perhaps a class of wine. You can make up your own minds as to whether we can cut the mustard and deliver on our promises. Perhaps just as important you can meet your fellow litigators and commercial practitioners. Helps to break the ice when you are negotiating that licence or agreeing case management directions..

You can register for the course through Eventrbrite or the announcement in London IP. You can call Steve or George on 020 7404 5252 for more information or fill out their contact form.  You can tweet us through twitter, poke me through Facebook or message me through G+, Linkedin or Xing.

Now although this course is free we should be overjoyed if you would donate to the Jane Tomlinson appeal and Northern Ballet's Sponsor a Dancer Campaign. Indeed, we'd be happy if you would make a gift even if you are not coming to my talk. Jane Tomlinson was a remarkable athlete who raised £1.85 million for charity while suffering from terminal cancer. She is a national hero who came from Yorkshire where we are all very proud of her here. Northern Ballet, one of our great cultural institutions which is also from Yorkshire, recently took London by storm with Great Gatsby (see my review "Life Follows Art" 8 March 2013 in Terpsichore). Now there is a very convenient way in which you can support both causes and that is by sponsoring my teacher, Fiona, in the 10 kilometre "fun" (sic) run for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and Northern Ballet in Leeds on 14 July 2013. Either that or you take part in the run yourselves.

See you on 26 June in 4-5 Gray's Inn at 16:00. Looking forward to meeting you all.


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