So said the partner of a local law firm when I invited him to the Introduction to Intellectual Property courses that Peter Groves and I ran a few weeks ago. “We’re getting enquiries on employment, insolvency, personal injuries and debt recovery. Nobody’s interested in intellectual property.” “Well,” I replied. “That may be true now but if this country is ever to recover from this downturn it will do so by developing, making and marketing new products and services using new brands, designs and technology. That’s the Coalition’s recovery strategy. The upturn when it comes could be very sudden and very rapid. You don’t want to be left behind the curve.”
This was not just sales talk. It’s what I happen to believe. And here’s why. The government has announced a number of strategies to encourage growth in the private sector. It has commissioned Prof. Ian Hargreaves to review our intellectual property laws. And it has introduced far reaching reforms to the procedure of the Patents County Court which will cut costs and thereby making it possible for small and medium enterprises to enforce their intellectual property rights.
These strategies promise the best opportunities for intellectual property practitioners of the kind not seen since the late 1980s. In the New Year NIPC Training will be providing CPD accredited training courses for solicitors and patent and trade mark attorneys throughout the country in the skills needed to take advantage of these opportunities. Planned courses include
- Pre-action conduct: vital in view of the requirement in CPR 63.20 (2) to plead whether the claimant has complied with the Pre-Action Conduct Practice Direction;
- Alternative Dispute Resolution of Intellectual Property Disputes: talks by Peter Back who set up the IPO mediation service as well as Michael Swift, the expert witness in Blayney v Clogau;
- Effective Presentations before the Hearing Office: pleadings, skeletons and submissions including a talk by Peter Back a former senior hearing officer; and
- The New Patents County Court Procedure: how to prepare, manage and present a case effectively in one or at the most two days within a budget of £50,000.
For absolute beginners we shall be running our IP Foundation Courses as well as the Introduction to IP course that we ran at Morgan Coles in Oxford in October.
We shall also be running courses on IP audits, claims construction, licensing, risk management, strategy, searches and IP as collateral for business.