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Jeremy Phillips wins outstanding achievement award



James Nurton


It was a great pleasure to present an outstanding achievement award to Jeremy Phillips at our Global Awards Dinner this week

Jeremy follows a long list of distinguished recipients of this award, including Sir Robin Jacob, Gerhard Bauer, Alison Brimelow, Wubbo de Boer and Jiang Zhipei.

Jeremy Phillips, James NurtonHe gave a typically modest and amusing speech, mentioning how his wife of 40 years, Sara, had got used to answering the phone and providing spontaneous IP advice (such as "You probably can’t patent it, and even if you could maybe you should just try to get on to the market") and noting that his old law tutor had told him: "If you look after IP, IP will look after you." He summed up saying that despite the fact that IP practitioners often find themselves opposing each other, they are bound by common interests and help future generations of inventors and creators know that their work will be protected and attract investment.

Jeremy is best known now as a blogger, primarily on the IPKat blog. But I first encountered him when I joined Managing IP as a trainee reporter in 1996. He had founded the magazine and was still the consultant editor on a freelance basis – writing a monthly editorial and the humorous Mip Masterson column for the back page (long since replaced by the Utynam diary). This was in the days before email and Jeremy used to visit the office once a month to deliver his copy on a floppy disc (and, I suspect, chase our accounts department for late invoices). He would also without fail bring some news or comment on the latest IP developments.

For many years after that, he regularly contributed articles to Managing IP, including an annual update of European trade mark law. Jeremy has moved on to other things since (which is one reason why we had no hesitation in selecting him for this award) but he’s still a great port of call if you need to discuss any recent cases or just fancy a general gossip about IP. As he said to me this week, he sees his mission as being to spread the word about the positive aspects of IP and the need to make it intelligible to everyone: owners, practitioners, consumers - even infringers - so as to aid their decision-making processes.

Here’s the slightly more formal comments we made about him this week:

Jeremy will be known to many of you as an indefatigable blogger, on the IPKat and countless other sites. He describes himself as "IP consultant; author, lecturer and commentator on patents, trade marks, copyrights and most contemporary issues involving IP rights" but that hardly does justice to his achievements.

He has consulted for a number of law firms, most recently Olswang. He is honorary research fellow at the IP Institute, was formerly professorial fellow at the Queen Mary IP Research Institute and has held posts at UCL, Bournemouth Law School and the University of Alicante. He runs at the last count 13 blogs and coordinates social media activity for the trade mark association MARQUES.

He edits the Journal of IP Law & Practice, the European Trade Mark Reports and the European Copyright & Design Reports and has founded numerous publications including Patent World, Trademark World and Copyright World and – back in 1990 – Managing Intellectual Property. So it really would be true to say that without Jeremy none of us would be here today.

Congratulations to Jeremy on the award. During Wednesday’s dinner, we presented a total of 74 trophies to the firms of the year in countries and regions spanning Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America: read the full list of winners (Managing IP subscription or trial required) and view the photos on our Facebook page. Details will also be published in the May issue, available online on May 1.

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