Thursday, 29 July 2010

IP attorney litigators: will they fly or die?

Writing in the current issue of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (2010) 5(8):602-607 (JIPLP), British patent attorney David Musker (a partner in Jenkins and blogmeister of the Class 99 weblog), asks some probing questions concerning the viability of patent attorney litigators in the United Kingdom. The abstract of his article reads as follows:
"Legal context: The Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 opened the way for bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) to certify litigators licensed to act in competition with solicitors in England and Wales. There are currently almost 100 such attorney litigators in the UK

Key points: The author makes use of comparative and demographic data to study the profiles of attorney litigators, including routes to certification, seniority by years post-qualification, gender. He explores comparisons with other UK hybrid legal professionals such as licensed conveyancers.

Practical significance: UK solicitors are at no risk from other professions within the UK. Even any competitive price pressure in UK IP litigation is far more likely to be intra-professional, from rival firms, rather than inter-professional. Regardless though of whether the CIPA and ITMA certification schemes ultimately live up to the competitive aims of the 1990 legislation, they are certainly capable of meeting more modest goals of "upskilling" the IP attorney".
If you're not a subscriber to the journal and can't sweet-talk David into giving you a copy, you can still buy online access to David's article by clicking here and scrolling down to "Purchase short-term access".

No comments: