What is an Intellectual Property Solicitor and what do they do?

Intellectual Property (IP) Solicitors are general legal professionals who have specialised in providing services to clients to help them with their intellectual property rights. “Intellectual Property” is a general catch all phrase which includes several legal rights, including things such as copyright, know how, trade secrets, and trade marks.

The UK Intellectual Property Office states that “IP is a specialist area and you need to be sure that any solicitors you use are knowledgeable and skilled in IP. Your usual solicitor is unlikely to have such skills”. It is therefore important to ensure that your chosen professional is familiar with intellectual property.

All English and Welsh Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). As the SRA regulate all matters undertaken by Solicitors.

The UKIPO states that Intellectual Property Solicitors “specialise in transactions which involve IP” including licensing, purchasing businesses, and IP dispute resolution/litigation.

The UKIPO advise that “your chances of obtaining a useful patent are much greater if you use [a Patent] attorney”. In most cases, Patent Attorneys as part of their training to have a technical background, most likely a STEM (scientific, technological, engineering, or mathematical) degree and are therefore likely to be able to understand the invention which is vital for correctly drafting a patent application.

The Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) regulate members of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA).

Members of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, specialise in patents, trade marks, designs and related matters.

Members of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys specialise in trade marks and related matters.

It should be noted that some IP Solicitors are also Registered Trade Mark Attorneys and are regulated by both the SRA and CITMA.

Additionally, many Chartered Patent Attorneys are also Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys.

Most Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys are not also Chartered Patent Attorneys, but some are.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of obtaining or managing a trade mark, patent or a design, then please contact one of our Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys or Chartered Patent Attorneys.