Something to read over a long, wet weekend
The IPKat has been turning the pages of two recent publications that are both concerned with drafting, though of a very different nature. They are as follows:
* A-Z Guide to Boilerplate and Commercial Clauses, by Mark Anderson and Victor Warner.
What the publisher says:
"This popular book clearly and concisely de-constructs the boilerplate clauses commonly used in commercial contracts. No matter how obscure or complicated the clause, this book will enable you to negotiate and comprehend the boilerplate clause, and draft your own. This invaluable guidance and detail is provided in a practical alphabetical format - a unique feature that enables you to locate vital information in seconds. The following invaluable knowledge and information is provided for each and every boilerplate: an explanation of the purpose of the clause; a discussion of the issues and problems you'll encounter drafting the clause; practical samples of commonly used precedents; a summary of the underlying law, including consumer law issues where relevant; an explanation of relevant major cases that have affected the interpretation of the clause".What the IPKat says: Nothing to do with Boilerplate, the 19th century mechanical man pictured above right, this book is all about having fun with standard (boilerplate) clauses: how you can work out what they mean, why they contain the various bits and pieces that are inside them, how to grow your own, etc. This book was grown from a small piece of DNA taken from the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, one of the most magnificently unreadable books ever to have been published. But while EF&P's attraction was its scale and unattainability, a sort of Everest among law books, this A-Z is short and, if not actually fun, certainly quite sweet. Its alphabetical arrangement works well, too. If what you are looking for isn't here, it won't take you long to find out.
Merpel adds: this is not an intellectual property book. However, IP licences are commercial contracts and such IP topics as confidentiality, exclusitivity of rights, warranties of validity, the effect of termination (alas, how often has that subject caused trouble) and maintenance of rights are all addressed here. Well done Mark and Victor.
Left: the first readers to scale the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents. Note the altitude masks.
Bibliographical detail: published by Tottel Publishing, Second edition 2006. xxxii + 542 pages. Hardback, £110. Comes with accompanying CD ROM. ISBN 1845920937. Full web details here. Rupture factor: mild - the book is heavier than it looks. No problem lifting the CD Rom though. Curiously the publisher's website says that the book is not yet available; the IPKat can vouch for that fact that it is ...
* Fundamentals of Patent Drafting, written and compiled by Paul Cole.
What the publisher says:
"Drafting patents is the fundamental skill of the patent attorney, which affects every aspect of the life of the granted patent throughout the world. This book will assist those studying for both the UK and the European examinations and will also be of use to all practitioners in reminding them of drafting for successful prosecution and enforcement. UK patent attorneys have long held a reputation for their skill in drafting patent specifications and this book is intended ensure that these skills continue to enthral our clients and employers".What the IPKat says: If anything thinks that practising as a patent attorney is a doddle, they should try reading this book first. You can put on a white coat and bluff your way round a hospital for weeks, pretending to be a doctor, before anyone finds out. Lawyers, accountants, management consultants, electricians and double glazing installers - you can disguise yourself as any one of these and have a reasonable chance of escaping undetected. But just try pretending to be a patent attorney. The moment you've got an invention in front you, waiting to be topped and tailed and turned into a description with a reasonable set of claims, you're a gonner. Seriously, anyone who knows Paul Cole knows that his interest in the subject matter is long-standing and runs very deep. A well drafted patent claim is not just a verbal expression of a legally-backed commercial monopoly; it is an art form in its own right and it sends a frisson of excitement down the spine of the appreciative reader. Aided by contributions from Michael Daley, Eric Micklethwait and the Workmate combo of Messrs Hickman and Roos, Paul has done a great job here and deserves congratulation.
Merpel adds, being a patent attorney is so darned difficult, I sometimes think that some patent attorneys find it difficult pretending to be patent attorneys ...
Bibliographical detail: published by CIPA, 2006. Hardback, xii + 306 pages. ISBN 0 9039432 23 7. Rupture factor - light to lift, if somewhat heavier to read and digest. At an unbelievably reasonable (read 'cheap') £25, this book is proof positive that the publishers are not in it for the money.