Monday, 13 October 2008

CPD Training: IP Foundation Course, Liverpool 23 Oct 2008, 14:00 - 17:00

This half-day course is intended primarily for solicitors and counsel with general, commercial, civil or commercial litigation practices who do not regard themselves as IP specialists but who nevertheless find themselves advising start-ups and other small businesses on how best to protect their investment in brands, design, technology and the creative worksHowever, it should also be useful to practitioners who intend to specialize in IP and technology law but who have not yet done much IP or technology work. And even for experts it would be useful revision. When we ran the course in Bradford, delegates ranged from a very experienced specialist practitioner to trainees and all of them seemed to benefit.  We have  aimed to make the course the best possible introduction to IP law on the market and priced at £25 + VAT we do not believe that anyone could offer better value except perhaps as a loss leader.   

What will the Course Cover?
Essentially everything that can conveniently be fitted into 3 hours allowing for breaks and discussion. The course will be divided into 3 sessions:
  • an overview on IP covering terminology, mine and  various other people's definitions of IP, legislative and judicial policy, the IP system (TRIPS, the treaties, WIPO and institutions), sources of law, legislation, national and regional IP offices and the courts;
  • obtaining intellectual property rights and exploiting them:contrasting IPR that arise automatically such as copyrights and design rights with registrable rights such as patents, trade marks and designs, the patent, trade mark and design registration processes, the cost of patenting and its advantages and disadvantages compared to trade secrets and design rights and the need for IP insurance, licensing and joint ventures and top tips for clients; and
  • enforcing IP rights: how IPR are infringed, the methods of enforcement, remedies, CPR Part 63, PD63 and the Patents Court Guide, threats actions, costs of litigation and methods of funding and alternatives to litigation such as the UDRP for domain names and advisory opinions on validity and infringement from the UK-IPO.
There will of course be tea and comfort breaks and time for questions and discussion.

What about Handouts?
This is where we score over the competition. We don't just give delegates copies of PowerPoint slides. Every delegate receives a 22 page resource pack containing the following materials:
  • a table showing how each type of intellectual asset (i.e. brands, design, inventions etc)  is protected in the UK and elsewhere;
  • extracts from relevant statutes and cases on subsistence and infirngement of IP rights;
  • a table of UK, European and international institutions governing particular types of IP right;
  • a table showing relative costs of enforcement in the UK and other industrial countries
  • a discussion on the Protocol on Interpretation of Art 69 of the European Convention and the changes brought about by the insertion of a new art 2;
  • comparisons with the US doctrine of equivalents;
  • extracts from The Code of Practice for pre-action conduct in intellectual property dispute
  • s.74A and s.74B of the Patents Act 1977, and 
  • overview of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
In addition there will be a 4 page glossary covering everything from the Berne Convention to the WTO Agreement and a lost of Internet addresses for the main treaties, directives, statutes, practice directions and other materials such as the Code of Practice to the Chancery and Patent Court guides..

To facilitate comprehension there will be plenty of questions for discussion such as
"If a client came to you with a domain name dispute, in what circumstances would you advise him not to use the UDRP or similar scheme"
and

"Would you always advise a start-up to apply for a patent and if so why?"

Who will present the Course?
I will. Many of you are aware already that I know my stuff because you have instructed me. Those of you who don't know me, 
  • take a look at my profile above 
  • look around my website, 
  • read my articles on the IP/IT Update blog and website, in print and elsewhere; 
  • look up my reported cases in the Fleet Street and other reports and on the Internet; and
  • my decisions as a domain name panellist on the WIPO website.
Gower Ashgate are about to publish my practical guide on enforcing IPR for small businesses and creative and innovative individuals.

How will this Course benefit you?
A half-day course will not make you into an IP expert but it will give you a really good start. It should be a lot easier to understand the text books, statutes and cases when you have to look up the law in a hurry. You should be able to appreciate correspondence from patent agents and solicitors on the other side a lot better. You will be able to instruct specialist counsel more effectively and make better use of their advice.   It will qualify you for slightly more advanced courses such as our introductions to patents, copyrights, trade mark and design registration which we shall present later in the year as well as advanced courses on licensing, IP litigation and other topics.   All of these courses function as building blocks for a qualification which we shall ask a university to accredit.

CPD Accreditation
I can award  2 1/2 hours CPD credits for solicitors and barristers.

Venue
The course will take place in the conference room near the Humanities Collection of Liverpool Central Library which you can see in the picture above. You will find the library at
William George Street, 
Liverpool, 
It is very close to Lime Street and there are several pay and display car parks within easy reach.   

Reviews
After we ran this course in Bradford on 2 October 2008 we got some really good unsolicited reviews.   "Thank you very much for the course yesterday" said one delegate, "a fairly broad and very informative overview of the issues surrounding IP, which is just what I was looking for!".   Another said "Thanks for the course yesterday, it was particularly informative and provided a good basis of information."   All feedback was good.

How to Book
Space is limited to 12 including me so if you want to come you had better book soon.   You can apply for a place right now by filling out the electronic form below.   Alternatively, you can print out the form below and post it to together with your cheque for £29.38 payable to NIPC Ltd. for the attention of
Ms. Toni Wilson.
NIPC Ltd
The Media Centre
7 Northumberland Street
Huddersfield
HD1 1RL
Tel 0870 990 5081

..........................................................................................

IP Foundation Course
Conference Room, Liverpool Central Library, William George Street, Liverpool, L3 9HG
23 Oct 2008, 14:00 - 17:00

Please reserve me a place on the above course. I enclose my cheque for £29.38 payable to NIPC Ltd.

Name of Delegate:.........................................................................................

Position: .......................................................

Firm/Company/Other Organization: ...........................................................

Postal Address: ..........................................................................

............................................................................................................

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Postal Code .................................................... 

Country (if not UK) .........................................

Tel .......................................................................   

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Signed ..................................................................    

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Sunday, 12 October 2008

What is IP North West

Every since the Bar's rules were changed to allow public access (that is to say, to permit barristers to accept instructions and supplying services for most types of legal work without the intervention of a solicitor, patent or trade mark attorney or other professional intermediary), such work has constituted an important and growing part of my practice. I attract such work by running regular monthly IP Clinics and inventors clubs in Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield, sponsoring and supporting those in Blackburn and Manchester, making presentations and publishing information on IP and technology law to the public through my IP/IT Update blog and website

Public access changes the way in which barristers can be instructed but not the work that barristers actually do. Paragraph 2 of the Public Access Rules provides:
"Before accepting any public access instructions from or on behalf of a lay client who has not also instructed a solicitor or other professional client, a barrister must take such steps as are reasonably necessary to ascertain whether it would be in the best interests of the client or in the interests of justice for the lay client to instruct a solicitor or other professional client."
That means that If there is any litigation to be done or anyone wants to apply for a patent or trade mark or register a design I have to advise him or her to go to an authorized litigator or patent or trade mark attorney.   If the public access client already has a solicitor or some other authorized litigator or if he or she already knows a patent or trade mark attorney all well and good. But most of them do not and ask me to recommend one.   

That puts public access barristers in a very difficult position. Barristers are in a unique position as counsel to judge the competence of the professionals who instruct or indeed oppose them. On the other hand, they also have  affections and loyalties to firms that have been good to them as well as likes and dislikes (just as solicitors and patent attorneys do for members of the Bar) and it is sometimes very difficult to disregard such sentiments. But the client needs some help and he or she needs to be pointed in the right direction.

The solution that we have adopted in NIPC is to keep a panel of professionals who have proved to us that they know what they are doing and who share our mission of bringing high quality intellectual property and other professional services within reach of those who often need them most but can usually afford them least.  These are not necessarily professionals who instruct us but they are all professionals whom we know and trust.   We monitor them very closely and were any of them ever to let a client down (and that has never happened to date) we would just simply stop recommending them.

On 4 September 2008 I put the panel on  slightly more formal basis.   I invited our panellists to a reception in Bradford where they had an opportunity not only to meet me, listen to a CPD presentation and take some refreshments but also to meet each other. Cards were exchanged and we agreed a number of initiatives such as CPD training, sharing stands at exhibitions and our own ning network known as nipNET.  Barbara Cookson of Filemot described the meeting and its objectives very well in a post to the IP Solo Practitioners' blog entitled "An Alternative Business Model based on Quality".

nipNET has a number of regional subgroups one of which has already produced its own blog called "IP Yorkshire". In the first post to that blog "Why IP Yorkshire?".  No sooner was the post uploaded when I got a case that illustrates the way the panel works to the advantage of client and indeed professional ("No Names, No Pack Drill but Here is a Success Story that shows how the Panel Works"). The client was delighted as you can see from his testimonials to both me and Barbara (see "A Very Satisfied Client"). IP Northwest is the second such group within nipNET and seeks to build on the experience of IP Yorkshire.   Since the region contains the metropolises of Greater Manchester and Merseyside we have even greater opportunities and hope for even greater success here.