Last week, Bristows gave a group of Aspiring Solicitors’ members an insight into the inner workings of Intellectual Property (IP) law through an interactive case study workshop.
The workshop was led by Ben Millson, an Associate in Bristow’s IP Litigation team. Ben didn’t study law at university – he completed a BA in English and Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick, before undertaking his Masters in Issues in Modern Culture at UCL. After completing his GDL and LPC, Ben joined Bristows as a trainee in 2015.
Before getting stuck into the case study, students had the chance to find out more about the firm by asking Ben about his experience so far. Ben’s key reason for choosing Bristows was because it seemed like a good fit. After moving to London and expressing an interest in law, Ben’s hockey teammates suggested that he looked at Bristows if he wanted a friendly firm with great work and clients. Now that he’s at the firm, Ben enjoys that he’s constantly learning and working on different, interesting cases.
Bristows also has a global reach, which results in international clients and secondment opportunities. Lawyers can be seconded to clients such as Facebook and Google, whilst Ben is currently working with clients based in Germany, Denmark, California and Sweden. On top of this, over 85% of partners at Bristows are individually recommended in the leading law firm directories.
What is IP?
Following Ben’s Q&A, the IP case study began. To give students some background knowledge, Ben ran through the fundamental basics of IP law.
Intellectual property protects non-tangible assets – which is increasingly important in modern business, where value isn’t always held in the physical goods that you buy and sell. Instead, businesses want to protect intellectual property such as their brand and their right to design in a specific way. This is an exclusive right which can be territorial, and it can be bought, sold, mortgaged and licensed.
Ben broke this down further into two categories: registered and unregistered rights. Within each category, the group learned about the key elements required for trademarks (such as Nike’s tick logo) and patents (such as Dyson’s vacuum cleaner).
Equipped with their new-found IP knowledge, the students worked through a group case study with Ben’s support. This proved to be a valuable exercise for the attendees, with student Chido Muswere noting: “The day at Bristows was fantastic. It was very informative – I learnt a lot about IP, patents and the culture at the firm. Brilliant overall.”
Many thanks to the team at Bristows for hosting a fantastic event for our students. We look forward to seeing more of our members joining the firm in the future.