Guide to the Patents Act
Chris Rycroft: Well, when I arrived at Sweet & Maxwell there were the classic texts; Kerly, Terrell, Copinger and Russell-Clarke. That was what people had had to cope with. There was just one book on each subject more or less. I was still at Sweet & Maxwell during the beginning of this explosion in intellectual property publishing. It’d had EIPR since the late 70’s, but there hadn’t been a corresponding explosion in books. It didn’t really start until the late 80’s or early 90’s.
One should mention the CIPA’s Guide to the Patents Act which was an absolutely brilliant book. The patent agents’ profession had decided long before that Terrell on Patents just wasn’t good enough for them. Fair enough. It wasn’t. I mean, it was a barrister’s book written by and for litigating patent barristers. It did not do the job for patent attorneys. The CIPA Guide, which they called ‘the black book’, was by far the most detailed analysis of the ’77 Act, section by section, huge annotations. When I arrived at Sweet & Maxwell it was edited by Alan White who was an absolute genius. He was a publisher’s dream in terms of being able to deliver on time an immaculately edited book which needed no intervention from a publisher whatsoever. It sold brilliantly well as well because everyone knew it was the Bible when it came to an annotated Patents Act, and it had the old ‘49 Act as well. It was and still is the Bible for patent attorneys. They all still use it. And it’s been a great revenue generating book for Sweet & Maxwell. We would do a cumulative supplement to that every year, which in itself was a very nice piece of income. And Alan White was just as reliable in delivering supplements as he was in delivering new editions. He used to go and sit in the Patent Office reading all of the judgments from the Patent Office. It was an incredible work of detailed knowledge. It was brilliant.
Guide to the Patents Act