Trade Mark Attorneys and Patent Attorneys
Ever had a light-bulb moment?
Maybe an invention that you think could change the world, or an idea about to make life a little bit easier? If you do you might find yourself in need of the services of a Trade Mark or Patent Attorney.
What can a Trade Mark Attorney or a Patent Attorney do for me?
As specialist advisers, they can help you to protect your intellectual property rights. These rights are available to protect new inventions, artistic works, industrial designs and brand names- as well as other creative ideas.
Trade Mark and Patent Attorneys will help you to identify which rights are available, advise you how they can be protected, and give you details of likely costs and time frames. They can also help you to make the most of your ideas commercially through licensing arrangements and other legal transactions.
Click here to take a look at the ‘What’s the issue?’ page and find out more about how these lawyers and their work.
Who regulates Trade Mark Attorneys and Patent Attorneys?
An independent body known as IPReg ( which in full means the “Intellectual Property Regulation Board”) is responsible for overseeing registered Trade Mark and Patent Attorneys.
You can get more information about IPReg and its activities on the IPReg website.
How does regulation work? What protection does it give me?
Any lawyer regulated by IPReg ( as well as the firms or companies that employ them) must observe IPReg’s code of conduct when they give advice to their clients.
They must also make sure that they have insurance in place (called“professional indemnity insurance”) to allow for compensation if things go wrong.
Some attorneys can also represent their clients in court, once they have qualified as specialist litigators or advocates. They are required to observe a second code of conduct that regulates litigation work as well as the basic code.
Both codes provide a set of standards and a framework for IPReg to act on if they receive a complaint.
What do I do if something goes wrong and I have a complaint about my Attorney?
If you are not happy about the way your Attorney is handling your work you should tell them. Don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting or write a letter or email outlining your concerns and asking them to put things right.
If you are still not happy with the response, you can make a formal complaint. All Trade Mark and Patent Attorneys (and their firms or companies) must have a complaints procedure in place under IPReg’s rules. You are entitled to see a copy of this and then to tell your Attorney that you are making a formal complaint, preferably in writing.
For guidance about putting together a letter of complaint, take a look at the Legal Ombudsman’s website to find an example complaint letter that you can read first.
Click here to read more about the Legal Ombudsman’s role. You might need to involve him for some categories of complaints such as being overcharged.
How will I know if my Attorney is regulated by IPReg?
Don’t be afraid to ask. Also their business notepaper or website should say if they are regulated by IPReg.
If you are still unsure you can contact the professional bodies below. They both keep up-to-date lists of the registered attorneys who are regulated by IPreg:
- The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (known as ITMA)
- The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys – (known as CIPA)
How should I pay for advice from a Trade Mark or Patent Attorney ?
You can find information about paying for legal advice and professional services in the ‘Legal Costs‘ section of this website.
Where can I find a Trade Mark Attorney or a Patent Attorney?
Details are available from CIPA or ITMA, you can use the above web addresses.
You can also search online or check local telephone directories. Don’t forget to ask if they are regulated by IPReg when you contact them.