In the past few years there has been an upsurge in the number of unqualified and unregulated businesses acting as representatives to file trade mark applications, in the UK and elsewhere.
Unfortunately, clients of these businesses cannot be guaranteed of the quality of the services they provide. Unregulated representatives often do not have the standards of education, training and experience which is compulsory for trade mark attorneys, do not have the compulsory ethical and professional standards of trade mark attorneys and their clients are not protected by the redress mechanisms of a regulator. When things go wrong, there is little that can be done. Also, communications containing legal advice between a trade mark attorney and their client are protected from being disclosed to any other parties - legal professional privilege is a right conferred by law, but only to regulated attorneys.
The below tables highlight the differences between trade mark attorneys and unregulated representatives.
|All registered trade mark attorneys in the UK must meet the following requirements:
Unregulated representatives do not need to meet any of the above requirements.
|In addition, registered trade mark attorneys are obliged to:
In addition to the above requirements and obligations of registered trade mark attorneys, to be a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney is to be recognised as a leading practitioner in the field of trade marks in the UK. A Royal Charter is a unique seal of excellence and underpins the expertise, trust, skill and quality of service provided by members of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA). It also recognises the pre-eminent position Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys play as leading legal experts in the trade mark community, and the support those members provide their clients and the public.
The next time you need to decide who will be your representative at the UK Intellectual Property Office, consider the direct benefits of using a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney who represents the highest standards in the UK for quality of education, professionalism and regulation.
Sign up to our newsletter: Forward - news, insights and features
We have an easily-accessible office in central London, as well as a number of regional offices throughout the UK and an office in Munich, Germany. We’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch.