Over the past three decades and a bit, I have been Legal Adviser at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and Head of Commercial Law at the Confederation of British Industry. I have worked for or with several law firms: after a spell at Speechly Bircham, I joined Manches & Co and became a partner before embarking on more semi-detached practising trajectory to allow me time to write, lecture and devote time to politics too. In 1983 I stood in the general election in South Shields and I served a term as a member of North Bedfordshire Borough Council in the late eighties. In my fifth public election, for Oxfordshire County Council in 1993, I lost by a single vote, and gave up running for office in favour of just running. (I ran my first Marathon, Abingdon, in 1995, and my twelfth (my seventh Abingdon) in 2012.)
My experience in legal practice includes:
- Acting for a household-name car maker against replica manufacturers
- Taking an action for groundless threats of patent infringement to the High Court
- Suing the operator of a website for trade mark infringement, arising from the use of a domain name identical to my client's well-known game title, also in the High Court
- Taking action to protect the design of a pet-grooming mitten, again in the High Court
- Advising a large motor dealer group on new dealer agreements, following the introduction of a revised block exemption
- Advising many car and truck manufacturers, and dealers and dealer associations, on dealer agreement and block exemption issues
- Advising on the acquisition of rights to a comic-book hero character
- Acting on a range of matters for a celebrity chef
- Filing and prosecuting many UK and EC trade mark applications, and opposing other people's
Having begun my career working in the motor industry, I now spend some of my time editing a legal newsletter for the industry, Motor Law, which has appeared every other month for 25 years. We also organise an annual conference and have done so since 1989, and publish a growing list of books.
I am also the author of several boring law books - plus one, A Dictionary of Intellectual Property Law, which is far from boring - and presenter of courses for Quorum Training and CLT and (as of October 2011) at the Academy of Justice in Moscow. I am developing free resources on intellectual property law including an updated edition of a book which I first wrote a few years ago, articles and (in time) recorded lectures, and I am also producing a monthly IP update podcast. You will find more details of the podcasts under the appropriate tab on this blawg, and you can get to the online book from links on this blawg.
Outside the law, I also write for Runner’s World and necessarily do some running to fuel that activity. I blog about my running and other personal stuff here.
I have written or contributed to the following books:
- Copyright and Designs (Graham & Trotman,1991).
- Intellectual Property in the Internal Market (with John Richards, Tony Martino and Claire Miskin) (Graham & Trotman, 1993).
- Intellectual Property with Competition Law Legal Practice Course Companion (Cavendish, 1993).
- European Community Law (Cavendish, 1994).
- The Future of Car Dealer Franchising (Euromotor Reports, 1995).
- The Business Client Handbook (Longmans, then FT Law and Tax, the Sweet & Maxwell, then Chilton Law Publishing, looseleaf first published 1995) (general editor, author of sections on intellectual property, competition and data protection and also initial author of sections on company law and partnership, pensions, commercial property and others I have now forgotten, as I hope others have too)
- Intellectual Property Law Sourcebook (Cavendish, 1997).
- Intellectual Property Rights and their Valuation (with Kelvin King of Valuation Consulting) (Gresham, 1997).
- Motor Trade Law (with Anthea Worsdall and Michael Pearce) (Institute of the Motor Industry, latest edition 2001).
- Global Automotive Legislation (FT Automotive, 1999).
- Motor Law Complete Guide to the Block Exemption (Motor Law Publications, third edition 2006, new edition in preparation).
- Intellectual property law (student text originally written for Semple Piggott Rochez, 3rd edition currently being published in serial form online).
- Contributor to The Trade Mark Handbook (Sweet & Maxwell), responsible for the chapter on proprietorship.
- Dictionary of Intellectual Property, February 2011, Edward Elgar Publishing.
- “Henry Replica Sucks” Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, doi:10.1093/jiplp/jpq106 (August 2010)
- “Pistache? - a consultation paper”, (2008) 19 Ent. L. Rev. 89 (article on parody in copyright law)
- “There’s nothing new around the sun: everything you think of has been done” (2006) 18 Ent LR 160 (comment on the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property).
- “Sleepers Awake” (2006) 18 Ent LR 142 (comment on Matthew Fisher v Gary Brooker and others).
- “Fascinating and absorbing … a great riveting read” (2006) 17 Ent LR 148 (comment on the Da Vinci Code case).
- Article on Apple v Apple published on BBC news web site (May 2006).
- “From Shades to Streetlamps – recent developments in Registered Designs” (2006) 27 BLR 70.
- “Design Protection for Spare Parts” (2005) 26 BLR 291.
- “Originality in copyright law: the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Sawkins v Hyperion” (2005) 26 BLR 267.
- “Once you are dead, you are made for life” (2005) 16 Ent LR 196 (comment on Experience Hendrix LLP v Purple Haze Records)
- “Better than it sounds: originality of musical works” (2005) 16 Ent LR 20 (comment on High Court judgment in Sawkins v Hyperion Records).
I have also presented courses for CLT on web site design, protection and trading; software licences in depth; and trade marks, designs and copyright elements of two-day intellectual property certificate course. I have also presented webinars on domain names, open source software, the Google Adwords case, L’Oréal v Bellure, and the territorial extent of the use requirement in the Community trade mark system. I also spoke at CLT’s “Copying Without Infringing” conference in November 2010. Other courses I have presented include:
- Law of the Internet (BLS) (1998-2001);
- Re-engineer your career in intellectual property (BLS, 2000-2001);
- Intellectual Property Update (CLT) (1999-2002);
- Copyright for information professionals (ASLIB) (1998-2004);
- CPD presentations at University College, Dublin, in 1993 and 2002;
- Conference on The Motor Vehicle Block Exemption: Three Years On, Informa, Brussels, October 2005;
- Trade marks protection and valuation, seminar organised by TÜSIAD, İstanbul, June 2006;
- Motor vehicle block exemption developments (Motor Law); and
- Use and reputation in Community trade mark law (European Lawyers Group, June 2010).
- London Guildhall University between 1993 and 1999, teaching on the Legal Practice Course (which first ran in 1993-4) where I devised and delivered a course on Intellectual Property and Competition Law. I also taught Business Law on the LPC, tutored undergraduates in EC Law and taught part-time MA students UK and US copyright and trade marks.
- Essex University. Part-time lecturer on the international IP option of the MA programme between 1992 and 1996.
- Part-time lecturer on EC law at Holborn College, 1994 to 1995.
- Oxford Institute of Legal of Legal Practice. Part time lecturer and tutor on the Commercial Law option of the Legal Practice Course, between 1998 and 2001.
- Tutor for Semple Piggott Rochez on Internet-based intellectual property course (for external London LLB) from 2000 to 2004.
- Tutor for London Intercollegiate School of Law on external London LLB course at the Russian Academy of Justice in Moscow, Cheryomushki.