Competition Law in the European Communities - About the Editor Brian Harris

Brian Harris

The Editor of Competition Law in the European Communities is Bryan Harris, MA (Oxon). From 1973 to 1983, he was a senior official in the Commission of the European Communities. He was Professor of European Union Law at the Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord NH, in the USA, conducting courses in intellectual property and competition law and in European Union constitutional law. He was also Chairman of the Legal Research Committee of the Academy of Applied Science.

He was a consultant to a number of commercial and professional firms and associations and is the Brussels correspondent to a UK-based firm of commercial solicitors.

He was Editor of the Newsletter since May, 1983, and publisher since March, 1994 and the author of a number of books and articles on various aspects of European Union law.


Professor Brian Harris Remembered: "Volez" to a Pierce Law Friend  by Jon R. Cavicchi

Bryan Harris, MA (Oxon), passed away recently in his beloved native
England, after a brief illness. His wife Mary, two sons and a daughter survive
him. Bryan Harris had a long and distinguished career as an author, educator,
barrister, diplomat, publisher and lobbyist. He was a consultant on European
Union policies and laws to commercial and professional firms and associations.
For almost three decades he was a Member of the Board of Trustees and
Adjunct Professor of European Union Law at Pierce Law. Pierce Law President
and Dean, John Hutson summed up what many members of the Pierce Law
community expressed to me as I prepared this tribute saying, "I think of Bryan
mostly in single words.. .jovial, cheerful, humble, dignified, diplomatic,
caring..." Dean Huston shared that Professor Harris will be recognized during
the 2004 Commencement.

Professor Harris was a regular patron at the Pierce Law Intellectual
Property Library where he diligently scoured professional journals for hours on
end. I always looked forward to seeing his smiling face and our most interesting
conversations. I was privileged over the last year to work with him as liaison to
William S. Hein and Company publisher of the soon to be released treatise
Intellectual Property Law in the European Union. It is my privilege to tell a bit
of the story of the life and times of this member of the Pierce Law community.
Part of this story is direct from the mouth of Professor Harris who was
interviewed by Pierce Law alum Andrew D. Gathy for a Faculty Profile that
appeared in the Fall 1998 Germeshausen Newsletter. Attorney Gathy graciously
agreed to allow parts of his interview to be incorporated into this tribute.

Professor Harris began his story by telling of his birth on January 15,
1928 in Algeria, holding both British and French citizenship. Harris grew up in
a time that saw great war and change in Europe. He served in the British Army
and would have had to serve in the French military had he not given up his
French citizenship. He attended Oxford to study History. From there he entered
the prestigious Lincoln's Inn, one of the four Inns of Court, on scholarship. He
studied law but admits that, having presented cases before various tribunals, he
had no aspiration to practice as a full time advocate. He set his goals on
teaching, writing and lobbying.
His energy went in the mastery of real property law. His hard work
earned him a reputation as an expert on real property law. He entered the British
Civil service, hoping to join the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources,
helping to draft new land laws. Instead he was assigned to the Department of
Economic Affairs. At that time, the European Union (EU) or European Community
was developing its governing laws. In the early 1970's Professor Harris was
tapped to join the European Union International Civil Service. He was,
however, asked to apply his expertise toward intellectual property law not real
Professor Harris took on the challenge just as he always did, head on.
By 1973 he was appointed the Head of the Intellectual Property Division in the
Commission of the European Communities, in Brussels. He played a key role in
creating the laws and processes that the EU would use to govern intellectual
property questions. The EU was intended to harmonize the laws of the
independent European countries to compete better in the world markets.
Professor Harris drafted the European Community Trademark System. His
Trademark System has proved to be a great success. It allowed for a single
trademark for the entire EC. The system enabled the national trade barriers to be
broken down and push the EC in the direction of the original ideals of the
Union. Professor Harris contributed to the development of the copyright system
as well. Much of Harris' groundwork in the trademark and copyright systems
provided a foundation in the design law and applications in broadcasting and
the current IP Information superhighway in Europe.
Pierce Law founder Dr. Robert Rines was recently interviewed. He
holds the early history of Pierce Law in his head and was friendly with Bryan
Harris for almost three decades. His memoirs are forthcoming. Rines first
approached Harris in the 1970s to "acquaint the American legal and academic
communities with the fact that a common European intellectual property system
was going to be a reality and to discuss the plans to divide functions among
European countries." Harris represented the Commission in a two-day
symposium at Pierce Law on EU Law in Intellectual Property. That visit
became an annual event that developed into mini-courses on EU Intellectual
Property and Constitutional Development and led to his position as Chairman of
the Research Committee of the Patent Trademark and Copyright Research
Rines has many stories to tell about Harris who he says was " loyal and
thought a great deal of Pierce Law and its dreams." Harris was appointed to the
Pierce Law Board of Trustees at a time when Rines attempted to have Pierce
Law added to the "inner circle of institutions" with a seat at the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). All educational institutions holding
WIPO seats had international faculties. Harris would become the first
international Faculty member "to add international flavor to Board of Law
Center." Harris stayed on Board until his death.
Harris met the challenge working with Rines on many international
ventures to promote Pierce Law as a global IP training center. In addition to
efforts at WIPO, Harris brought Pierce Law students and Faculty to conduct a
joint American Bar Association/British Legal Association convention in
London. Harris also worked with Rines looking for academic exchanges. They
met with the Faculty at Oxford to arrange a conference on the concepts of
mediation. The Oxford Law Faculty found the idea of teaching mediation
"avant guard."
Harris remained close to Rines following the transition of the PTC
Research Foundation from Pierce Law to the Academy of Applied Science.
Harris acted in his role as diplomat enabling the elegant transition. He followed
his dream of building the PTC Internet Journal, which he did until the time of
his death. Harris was in discussions with WIPO to expand the Journal he had
Rines told some personal stories, mostly about restaurant adventures.
Harris and Rines loved to dine out and discuss all types of subjects. Rines
organized an annual get together dinner party at the Carlton in London shortly
before Harris' death. That was to be the last diner they were to share. Rines
recalled one memorable and amusing meal. Harris took Rines and his late wife
Carol to an up scale "epicurean club" in Brussels for lunch. Harris insisted they
order a house specialty, pigeon aged in a wine sauce. The cooked birds had a
strong odor the Rines couple could not tolerate. To the surprise of all, Harris
devoured all three pigeons in one sitting--"Harris loved to eat." Harris dined
many times at Rines' cottage in Loch Ness where they shared many
philosophical debates over the Loch Ness monster.
Nothing but kind words has poured in from the Pierce Law community.
Senior IP Faculty member Tom Field recalls Harris' first visit to Pierce Law in
the 1970s stating, "I recall that as the beginning of a long and cordial
relationship. Pierce Law has, indeed, lost a good and important friend." Pierce
Law global ambassador Professor Karl Jorda stated that "Harris was a giant;
personable, quiet, modest, kind and gracious." Jorda credits Harris for helping
expand the Pierce Law curriculum to cover foreign, international and
comparative IP and competition law. Jorda, agreeing with Rines, stated, "Harris
was for some time our man in Europe helping to build a "special relationship"
with WIPO demonstrating that Pierce Law was more than a national law
school." On a personal note, Jorda recalls that Harris knew of him as a
beekeeper and subsequently presented him with a bottle of Mead, which is a
honey wine with origins obscured in the mists of time. Mead is considered by
many to be the first alcoholic beverage created, predating both grape wine and
beer. It was mentioned in Beowulf and known to the Greeks and Romans. Jorda
"savored this thoughtful gift on many occasions."
Graduate Programs Director Professor Bill Hennessey has been
foundational in building the Pierce Law global base of IP alumni and allies. He
well appreciates Harris' contribution to the institution and students. He
eloquently concluded "Professor Bryan Harris was a warm, erudite, and
engaged member of the Pierce Law intellectual property faculty community for
more than two decades. During the many years of his participation in our
academic deliberations and in his teaching at the Law Center, Professor Harris
brought wit, humor, and 61an to his explanations to our Pierce Law students
about the vagaries of international cooperation, and additionally, a good deal of
common sense counsel to our institutional direction. We will miss his candor,
his kindness, his humanity, and his incapturable "Britishness." Our debt of
gratitude to him is immeasurable."
Professor Harris was an admired colleague of more than just the IP
Faculty. Longtime Professor Ellen Musinsky stated, "He was always engaging
about just about anything. Always genuinely interested in what I was doing. I
think I was most surprised by Bryan's interest and knowledge about family
matters. He was most interested and respectful about the subject, and
recognized its importance in the general law." This was also echoed by Rines
who concluded "Harris was a scholar trained in the English tradition as a
generalist. He explored the broad spectrum of human knowledge, the classics,
science and technology. He was always anxious to learn."
Harris loved to teach and some of the words he would assuredly find
most gratifying come from former students. Student comments speak of Harris'
deep subject expertise and his great humanity. Aaron Silverstein sent email
stating, "I thought he was one of the kindest and receptive professors I've had.
He had an incredibly deep knowledge of international IP issues and was always
willing to share that knowledge. This is a sad loss for the entire community."
Nancy Dolhert sent a note, "Bryan Harris was a wonderful man and one of the
nicest professors that I've ever had. He was so charming and very respectful of
students. He spoke with a wonderful British accent, ending many sentences
with "Indeed!" - his enthusiasm for teaching was contagious! He invited the
class out for a beer with him after the last class of the semester, his treat. I
remember wishing more professors treated the students with such kindness. He
will truly be missed, indeed!" Kirsten Koepsel concurred with Aaron and Nancy
adding, "Because of Professor Harris' knowledge of the history of the EU and
his willingness to pass that onto others, I have a great appreciation of the work
that was involved in creating the EU. His classes provided a good overview of
what went into the creation, the regulations and directives, and the treaties that
the participating countries have to follow. His knowledge was unsurpassed. In
the classroom, he always had antidotes about the historical activities and
happenings of the EU and enjoyed passing them onto students." So many
students expressed loss for the community and that he will be greatly missed.
Rines also expressed admiration for Harris' devotion to his students.
Many times over the years, Rines publicly acknowledged the care with which
Harris read student submissions, commenting with care and always picking up
and stressing the positive. Rines stated "Harris gave priority to his students,
often declining diner invitations to grade papers and exams."
A fitting way to end this tribute is with a story Harris told Gathy for the
1998 Faculty Profile. It was time for the lesson to begin, Bryan Harris was
seated properly, the instructor commanded "volez" (take off). This was no
ordinary lesson, of course. Bryan was in the cockpit of a trainer airplane on a
runway in Belgium. The plane accelerated down the runway, which appeared to
grow shorter and shorter while the poplar trees at the end appeared to grow
larger and larger. This was Bryan's second lesson, the first of which was only on
the theory of flight. He took hold of the controls and applied the theory (out of
necessity) just enough to trim the tops of the trees. "He feared flying. He took
up flying lessons to overcome that fear. It must be part of Professor Harris'
nature to take on the new and unexplored unabashedly." So, the Pierce Law
community says goodbye with thanks and admiration to a most loyal man who
enriched the lives of so many over the decades. "Volez " old friend with hopes
that you take on the new and unexplored unabashedly once again.
The Publications of Bryan Harris include:
Publisher and Editor, Competition Law in the European Communities (Fairford
Press, monthly newsletter) and PTC Internet Journal. He was author of The Law
of the European Communities (Supplement to Halsbury's Laws, Third Edition);
The Common Agricultural Policy (In Halsbury's Laws, Fourth Edition);
Franchising in the European Community (Longmans, October 1991); The
Constitutional Law of the European Union (FPLC, 2002, sixth edition);
Intellectual Property Law in the European Union (FPLC, 2002, fifth edition).
Harris played a major part in drafting the Misleading Advertising Directive, the
Trade Mark Directive, the Council Decision on Compulsory Licensing of
Patents and the Community Trade Mark Regulation; and initiated the drafting of
the Commission's Green Paper on Copyright. He was a frequent contributor to
various legal and economic journals.