IP Transactions: Law and Practice 2017 Back
Drafting, negotiating, interpreting and advising on intellectual property (IP) agreements requires a special set of legal skills. In addition to understanding relevant provisions of IP law, practitioners need to be familiar with a wide range of commercial law subjects, including personal property, contracts, competition, insolvency, tax, employment, and various areas of regulation, such as data protection and export controls. To advise effectively on IP transactions, it is also necessary to be aware of commercial practice in the relevant industry sector.
The mix of legal and practice issues that transactional IP lawyers face can be very different from those experienced by IP litigators or general company/commercial lawyers. Understandably, traditional IP law courses focus on a wide range of IP issues such as subsistence, validity, infringement and enforcement, and spend relatively little time on transactional aspects. Commercial law courses may use examples from the field of IP transactions, but tend not to focus exclusively on this area.
Our course has been designed to focus on the legal and practice issues that are directly relevant to transactional IP practitioners.
The course has a strong focus on the needs of practitioners who are in the early stages of a career in IP transactions. We have assumed that most people attending it will be qualified English solicitors and barristers, typically with between zero and two years’ post-qualification experience, although more experienced practitioners are welcome. Other IP practitioners, including patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys and licensing executives, will find the course useful, provided they have an understanding of the basic elements of contract law and IP law, and have had some exposure to IP transactions. Overseas practising lawyers who wish to learn more about English law in this area, are also welcome.
The legal aspects of the course focus on English law. We recognise that many IP transactions are international, and that practitioners often have to consider questions of non-English law, in consultation with overseas colleagues. For this reason, we have included a session on dispute resolution, including choice of law and jurisdiction and, in other sessions, we make occasional reference to differences under other systems of law. At the same time, we intend to avoid diluting the usefulness of the legal content by making it generically “international”.
Each day of the course focuses on a different market or practice area, provides instruction on legal and commercial topics that are relevant to IP transactions in that area, and gives an introduction to the IP agreements that are encountered.
The topics covered include IP aspects of mergers and acquisitions, information technology contracts, agreements in the life sciences sector, contracts with universities and government bodies, and agreements in the media and consumer goods sectors.
The course as a whole is designed to cover:
- all the main types of IP (including patents, copyright, database rights, registered and unregistered designs, trade marks and confidential information)
- the main types of IP transaction (including licensing, assignment, sale of IP products, and IP aspects of corporate transactions), and
- various areas of commercial law that affect all kinds of IP transactions (including competition law, insolvency and tax).