An Evening with Marks & Clerk

Software Patents - What IT Practitioners Need To Know

Date: Thursday 31st January 2008
Time: 18.30 - 20.45
Venue: Marks & Clerk, 3rd Floor, 90 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9RA

Location map


The YPG have launched a new series of events called 'An Evening with...' which feature companies and individuals who are working in leading areas of IT. These events aim to provide sound information on a specific topic and give practical advice. As ever, there will be time for some informal networking afterwards.


There have been many heated discussions on software patents but no matter which side you take, software patents are here and have real implications for the industry. Many American businesses are adept at using software patents to their advantage; this talk aims to level the playing field by providing advice on how to deal with the practical issues of software patents from practitioners of the law.

The Young Professional Group has teamed up with Marks & Clerk in order to provide you with the expert's view of the current state of patent law. Covering US, EU and UK patent requirements, this talk will provide you with a basic understanding of patent law in these three key markets. Strategies to protecting your intellectual property will be discussed, both defensive and offensive and other practical issues that should be considered when deciding on an IP strategy.

This talk will not cover the on-going debate on software patents, nor the economics behind the arguments.


John Collins, a Partner in Marks & Clerk, obtained his first degree in Medical Physics and went on to do a PhD in Physics where he spent most of his time programming a computer control for an infrared spectrometer. John has been in the patent profession since 1990 and has been involved in several important events such as advising MEPs during the EU debate on the failed software patent directive and the recent UK landmark Aerotel and Macrossan case.

Mark Kenrick is a Chartered and European Patent Attorney with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Manchester. Mark specialises in patent matters relating to computer software and business methods, and has been involved in patent litigation in the High Court, Patents County Court and European Patent Office Boards of Appeal relating to the patentability of software, most notably acting in a petition to the House of Lords in Macrossan's application.

Matthew Farrow qualified as a UK and European patent attorney after working as an audio coder and graphics artist for a commercially released computer game, a brief spell developing database front-end and back-end systems for a company specialising in telco provisioning software, and spending his spare time designing game levels for multiplayer first person shooters. Matthew has worked in diverse fields such as satellite and cable set-top boxes, internet search engines, aircraft de-icing systems and door closers.


18.30 Reception
19.00 Introduction
19.05 Software Patents (What they are, current trends)
19.30 Practical Advice on Software Patents
19.55 Q&A & Informal Networking
20.45 Finish

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