Saturday, 17 January 2015

Thrones, irons & terms of reference

16 December 2014

We drive to Derby, and do another meeting, and then we drive to Nottingham for a third.  Mr Davies goes very quiet on the journey, especially after the run-in with the truck.  He pretends to tweet but actually he is upgrading his life insurance.

The meetings are friendly as ever.  At one of them, we are offered a couple of thrones at the head of the table.  I do not think Mr Davies’s ego is in need of a throne so I vote to sit at the back instead, nearer the biscuits.

Afterwards, Mr Davies goes home and I retreat to a hotel that Unlucky Gary has booked for me in Nottingham.  To my delight, I find my room has a hair dryer, an iron and wi-fi.  I am overwhelmed by the decadence.  I hope this does not mean that CIPA has to sell the pipe cleaner Christmas tree as well as the ceremonial sideboard.

I spend my evening drafting some Terms of Reference for a new upgraded patent administrators’ committee, which will be there to look after patent administrators and their training.  In due course we think every committee should have Terms of Reference because then CIPA members will be able to see at a glance which committee is responsible for which bit of jargon.

It is easy to write Terms of Reference.  You just take the last Terms of Reference someone wrote and change the name of the committee.  Then you do a quick find-and-replace with the list of responsibilities: “patents” to “trade marks”, for instance, or “students” to “administrators”.  Finally, you make sure that the word COUNCIL appears in BLOCK CAPITALS all the time.

I do not know who wrote the very first Terms of Reference but I am exceedingly grateful to them. 

When I have finished drafting the Terms of Reference, I wi-fi them a bit and then I iron them.  Because it seems a waste to have wi-fi and an iron and not use them. 

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