Sir Hugh Laddie and the Lectures: A story about a new publication

Sir Hugh Laddie
Over 10 years ago, the AmeriKat walked into a Bloomsbury classroom at the newly formed Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL) and UCL, ready for her first lecture She was one of a small handful of Master of Laws students who were specializing in Intellectual Property.  We were from all over the world - US, China, Germany, Mexico, India, France, Norway, Brussels, Italy, South Africa and the UK.  Some were fresh out of law school, like the AmeriKat, others were taking a break form private practice.  But we all had one thing in common - we were there for Sir Hugh Laddie.

Sir Hugh had famously left the bench in 2005 referring to his time on the bench as being somewhat isolating -  in lectures he told us that he missed being part of a bigger legal team.   A year later he was appointed to the Chair in Intellectual Property Law at UCL, before he established IBIL.  Our year was the first year of specialist IP Masters students at IBIL.

For hungry students of IP, Sir Hugh was like a rockstar to us.  Whether you agreed with his decisions or not, as a student you couldn't believe that the person who heard the cases you had been reading for years was sitting right next to you explaining the parties' arguments and why he reached certain conclusions on the evidence.  He steadfastly advised the AmeriKat to her dissertation topic.  There was little argument; she was to write about the, then, very nascent issue of orphan copyright works and propose a legislative fix.  He brought in leading barristers and partners from the big IP chambers and firms to teach us about why arguments failed and where parties got the law wrong.  We were treated with first hand accounts and, if we were lucky, arguments between Sir Hugh and the guest lecturer about who was ultimately correct.  Somewhere, the AmeriKat has his lectures from that first year recorded.

LL.M graduation day 
Sadly, that was his only year at IBIL.  Sir Hugh died following a battle with cancer on 28 November 2008.  Our year had graduated only a couple months earlier.  Although we didn't know him long, he brought us together over a shared love of IP law and practice.  Now, 12 years later, almost all of our group are enthusiastically and successfully practising IP law across the world as in-house counsel, barristers and solicitors.  We all, including the AmeriKat, continue to be proudly passionate about IP law and the creativity and excitement that a life in IP provides.  This is, in no small part, due to our time with Sir Hugh, our guest lecturers, IBIL and UCL. 

In honor of Sir Hugh, UCL created the Sir Hugh Laddie Chair in Intellectual Property Law.  The first and current holder of the role is, of course, Professor Sir Robin Jacob and, every year, Sir Robin and his team (shout out to Lisa!) organize the Annual Sir Hugh Laddie Lecture which gets leading minds in IP law to address an always packed auditorium on the latest IP challenges, opportunities and analysis.  This year - on 13 June 2019 - Willem Hoyng (Hoyng Rokh Monegier) will be presenting his paper on "No cats and no doctrine of equivalence" (a title which concerns us Kats....). The lecture will raise two questions. To what extent are angora cats undesirable and is the doctrine of equivalence a useful tool to establish the extent of protection?  You can register for the event here.

The Sir Hugh Laddie lecture series
But this year's lecture will also see the launch of a new IBIL publication entitled The Sir Hugh Laddie Lectures: The First Ten Years, a compendium of all the Sir Hugh Lectures - delivered at UCL between 2009 and 2018.  The description states:
"Presented as a collection of verbatim lecture transcripts, rather than formal papers, the book brings the subjects to life by providing the reader with a ‘fly on the wall’ experience. As distinguished IP judges, academics and policy makers, the eminent men and women who gave these lectures have all played a prominent role in shaping the recent development of intellectual property law. The lecture forum affords them the opportunity to speak in a personal capacity, often with surprising candour, which casts what may seem well-worn subject matter in a new and interesting light.
The book, as a whole, highlights controversial legislative policies and decisions, tracks legal shifts and affords extra-judicial perspectives, providing an enlightening and historically relevant snapshot of intellectual property over the last decade. In doing so, it not only provides a valuable reference source for the UK and international IP community but also provides anyone with a true interest in intellectual property law a set of eminently readable essays."
The book will be launched at the 2019 Sir Hugh Laddie Lecture ahead of its general release in July 2019.  However, those attending the lecture may take advantage of a special event price of £25 by pre-ordering here and using the discount code IBILA19 at the checkout. These books will be available for collection on 13 June at the event. (Shipping costs will be invoiced separately for any copies which are not collected.)  

Those IPKat readers unable to attend the lecture will still be able to receive a 15% discount on the cover price by pre-ordering here, and using code SHLL15 at the checkout.

Merpel will be happy to autograph any books with her paw print - but only if you can catch her (beware, she is known to scratch). 
Sir Hugh Laddie and the Lectures: A story about a new publication Sir Hugh Laddie and the Lectures:  A story about a new publication Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Friday, May 31, 2019 Rating: 5

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