Posts

Showing posts from May, 2006

IPR in New Media: b.TWEEN06

Catch up time! So much has happened. Where should I start?

I've just spent a really interesting two days as a sort of speaker at large at the b.TWEEN06 new media fest at the National Photographic Museum in Bradford yesterday and today. I was there to conduct one-to-one sessions on intellectual property issues.

The conference was opened by David Putnam who told a parable about a boat race between GM and Toyota. Toyota won by a mile largely because their crew had 8 men rowing and only one steering in contrast to the GM team which was the other way round. The parable continued with the US team flattening their management for the next race with the effect that there was still only one oarsman. This time the Japanese won by 2 miles. GM sacked its oarsman and distributed the research and development money saved on stock options for its directors.

Lord P was followed by John Sanborn, Creative Director of eBay, Inc, who could at least appreciate a good joke at his nation's expense. He …

Confidential Information: Norbrook Laboratories Ltd v. Bomac

The interesting point about the Privy Council's judgment in Norbrook Laboratories Ltd v. Bomac Laboratories Ltd (New Zealand) [2006] UKPC 25 (4 May 2006) is that it was expressed as a decision in contract. This is a departure (at least in emphasis) from many recent decisions on confidentiality such as Campbell v MGN Ltd[2004] UKHL 22 (6 May 2004) that have treated a duty in confidence as a freestanding equitable obligation in its own right quite independent of any contractual obligation.

In Norbrook, by contrast, the claim was for breach of a confidentiality agreement. Clause 3 of an agreement by which a UK manufacturer disclosed the formula and other confidential information about one of its products to its local distributor so that it could obtain permission from the licensing authority to distribute the product in Aotearoa-New Zealand required the distributor to "maintain in confidence and not use, except as contemplated herein, any information provided by NORBROOK or its …

ADR Seminar Leeds 10 May: Bar Council will give 2.5 hours CPD Point

I am glad to say that Cordelia Lean of the Bar Council will allow 2 hours and 30 minutes CPD points to any barrister who attends our seminar at BPP Law School in Leeds on 10 May 2006.

IPCEX has not yet had time to apply to the Law Society, ITMA or CIPA for CPD accreditation but I think that those professions also offer ad hoc accreditation. Check the Law Society's FAQ.

We are now close to bursting point. I have to decide whether or not to look for more space in another building so I really do need to know who is coming in good time.

Shelagh Gaskell

I am very sad to learn from Pinsent Masons' website of the death of Shelagh Gaskell. I had known Shelagh for over 20 years. Although we had lost touch some years ago I will miss her greatly. I am sure I shall not be the only lawyer to do so.

She was a lovely lady but a very formidable one. The first time I met her was at Leeds University shortly after she would have joined Dibb Lupton Fawcett (as DLA Piper was known at that time). I was giving a talk on protecting semiconductor chip topograpraphies which was a burning issue before the Washington Treaty. Simon Chalton, who was then senior partner of Dibbs, brought her along and I remember that she asked me some very perceptive questions.

I got to know her better at the IBA conference in Buenos Aires in 1988. There were not many Brits at that conference - HMG had not yet restored diplomatic relations with Argentina - and even fewer Northerners. Apart from Simon and Shelagh the only other delegate from the North was Dan - now Lord - Br…

Dispute Resolution: ADR and Arbitration of IP Disputes

Free Seminar: BPP Law School, Leeds
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 14:00 - 17:00

On 3 April 2006 the UK Patent Office announced a new mediation service for the resolution of intellectual property disputes. That announcement followed hard on the implementation of s.74A and s.74B of the Patents Act 1977 providing for advisory opinions on the validity and infringement of patents.

These initiatives indicate determinationon the part of HM government that to do somethingabout the scandal thatEngland and Wales is one of most expensive places in the developed world to enforce intellectual property rights. This scandal is one of the reasons why the UK trails not just the USA, Japan, Germany and France in the number of European patent applications every year but even the Netherlands.

Things are about to change and if you want to learn about these changes the best opportunity is to attend a free IPCEX seminar at BPP Law School, 2 Whitehall Quays, Leeds LS1 4HG on Wednesday 10 May 2006 at 14:00.

We have top