MA (Cantab) -- Physics, Chemistry, Material Science and Law – and electronics as a hobby. Originally qualified as a barrister and then as a UK Patent Attorney (1983), re-qualified as a solicitor in 1989. Registered Patent Attorney, Trade Mark Attorney and Solicitor
- Barrister (Fountain Court, Temple 1977 to 1979)
- Shell International Petroleum Company – Patents and Licensing Department (1979 to 1986, 1983 to 1985 seconded to Shell Canada), practising as a patent attorney
- Lovell White Durrant (as it was then – 1986 to 1990)
- Clyde & Co (1990 to 1994 ) - set up IP department
- Mills & Reeve (1995 to present) – set up IP department
Services to the Institute
I have worked with lots of committees, originally starting as a member of the Education Committee (after participating in and then writing a couple of moots!) I chose the Education Committee because I was enthusiastic about CIPA’s involvement in education and training, something which I still believe is core to the Institute’s services to members. Since then I have been Chair and now Vice Chair of the Litigation Committee, former Chair Exploitation and General Laws Committee, and former Chair of the Trade Marks Committee and of the Social and Programme Committee – holding the purse strings for the Happy Hour, and Vice Chair of the Patents Committee, as well as working actively with several other committees (and external committees such as the Intellectual Property Court Users Committee, and IPEC Users Committee) and preparing and making submissions on behalf of the Institute in those committees, including the Institute’s response to the Gower’s Review on the state if intellectual property in the UK.
I have always been keen on promoting patent attorneys interests as litigators especially in the Patents County Court and now IPEC. This started with active comments on the setting up of the Patents County Court, and organising (with able assistance from many other people) CIPA’s first training course on the Patents County Court, working with Edward Lyndon Stanford on the application for patent attorneys to have Higher Court litigation rights, and then on the rules working party for redesign of the rules for the revamp of the Patents County Court/Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, and following up by writing the Octopus Blog on the operation of the Patents County Court following its revamp.
Following a break from being on Council while I set up the IP department in Mills & Reeve, I was elected back onto Council in 2005, and all too soon to become embroiled in the arrangements being put in place to set up IPREG – and devoted a lot of time and effort to trying to structure IPREG in a manner which would acceptable and even a real credit to the profession.
I was elected Vice President of the Institute in 2009, and became President in 2010 – spending both years working on implementing the new regulatory regime through IPREG, trying to draw a consensus between the hawks and the doves, and meanwhile travelling the country to smooth ruffled feather over the implementation of the new regulatory regime – and the following year as Immediate Past President trying to explain the machinations to the new officers; at the same time trying to bring the Institute into a new age of CPD with the use of webinars, and to promote the Institute and the UK profession by visits to India and China as well as a number of other countries.
Since then I have been working actively in the Institute trying to keep an eye on regulation, on promoting UK patent attorneys interests in pursuing litigation, including working with Vicki Salmon on CIPA’s first Litigation Skills Course (and its recent redesign to meet IPREG’s regulation), promoting the UK’s involvement in the implementation of the UPC and Unitary Patent, assisting in organising Congress, trying to unravel the convolutions in the Legal Services Act over regulation of Alternative Business Structures, speaking at seminars and generally working to make sure CIPA and UK patent attorneys and the profession is fit for the future, at the same time as keeping it a fun and engaging profession to work in, for new entrants through to grey beards (even if I shaved off my grey beard before becoming President) – and trying to step into the shoes of Tibor Gold as Editor of the CIPA Journal, in an era where the electronic revolution is taking over communications.
Other Relevant Information
- Long suffering wife provides full support
- Known for arriving a CIPA meetings despite disintegrating bicycles
- Many years training UK University Tech Transfer professional in the virtues (and vices) of IP and its exploitation through Praxis Unico
- Young at heart
Why am I standing for election to Council again? Because I fervently believe in supporting the profession, the Institute’s support for the profession, and in the profession’s support for innovation and industry in the UK and abroad; and I want to go on working to keep the UK profession as one of the best recognised and respected association of intellectual property professionals in the world. That is not a small challenge. Intellectual property has moved while I have been in the profession from being a back room sport to being a central plank of the economy and also therefore of politics. Faced with an increasing political profile, and fiercer competition on an international level, we need the Institute, and we need it to represent and engage with members, both young and old, in order to be able to meet the challenges, and to ensure that members will be able to meet the challenges which will be faced over the next few years, and beyond. The Institute has developed over the last couple of years much more clearly identified objectives – enhancing the status of members, ensuring that it is in a position to influence the development of intellectual property protection, supporting the membership through training and learning, and providing a community for members. However there is still plenty of work to be carried on in ensuring that we develop those objectives, and especially engage more recent members of the profession, in ensuring that they are an active part of the profession, it reflects their needs, objectives and aspirations. If I am elected I will work hard to ensure that each of the objectives is developed – through working on education and training for members, engaging with new recruits to the profession to ensure that their interests and approaches are reflected in the Institute’s activities, working to make sure that the Institute’s voice is heard on issues ranging from the importance of intellectual property and ensuring that business understand it (and can access it), to the finer detail of how intellectual property systems are implemented and operate in practice – with the object of ensuring that the Institute and its members are held in high regard – and have fun. What will I do? Support the Vice President/President and Chief Executive in exciting proposals for moving the Institute forward, and in making sure that the Institute represents its members interests in the rapidly changing environment -- younger members of the Institute in what the Institute does, reaching out to those in regions outside London, further developing on things like the webinars programme and regional meetings and regional representatives; seeking to raise and maintain the profile of the Institute and its members (as a UK profession) internationally; and also working on the changing regulatory environment, in a period when the present Chairman of IPREG will be retiring, there will be continuing developments on alternative business structures – both as a practical vehicle for practice and also to provide real competitive opportunities, and the overall approach to regulation is also coming under more critical review with reports on matters such as the cost of regulation, handling of client moneys and money laundering to name but a few; and continuing to work actively on several committees such as the Litigation Committee in order to ensure that patent attorneys’ interests are taken account of in representing clients in litigation (including the UPC), and in ensuring that their clients’ interests are reflected in the policy approaches that the Institute can influence.
Attendance at Council Meetings: 9 out of 11 meetings (2014/15)