City (Northampton College)

The Northampton College of Advanced Technology, the predecessor of City University (London) was engaged in teaching ‘industrial property’ and ‘copyright’ courses since March 1961. The lecturer of the courses was Peter Ford, a patent barrister from Queen Elizabeth Building who later became the first judge appointed to the Patents County Court.

These courses were offered as ‘special courses in higher technology’ for managers and executives and had eminent invited lecturers. For instance, the course on trade marks was taught by Ford with Ron Moorby, who had been the Assistant Registrar of Trade Marks at the UK Patent Office and Douglas Parker, head of the Trade Mark division, Shell International Petroleum. Similarly, courses on ‘trade marks, patents and designs’ were instituted in the mid-1960s at the ‘Slough Technical College’, the predecessor of the University of West London.

The course run as a weekly ‘residential’ course since its aim was to attract students ‘who lived in the provinces’. In the late 1960s, it was taught by barristers such as Christopher Morcom and trade mark agents such as Julius Joseph (Marks & Clerk), E. R. Wenman (Imperial Chemical Industries) and Douglas Parker, mentioned above, from Shell International Petroleum. In the mid-1970s, the City of London Polytechnic began offering a one year part-time course introducing ‘the law of industrial and intellectual property’ entitled “The Law of Trade Marks and Industrial Property”.

In the 1970s, City University was also among the first universities to incorporate ‘Patents’ as a topic of interest for Information Scientists and Librarians. Its Centre for Information Science was particularly innovative in shifting the focus on patents from property to information. Such research interest, embodied in the early work of Charles Oppenheim and Tamara Eisenschitz, was remarkable and pioneer since it did not only look at the legal issues concerning libraries but how intellectual property offices and departments were also information management systems.