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Once you have identified the IP profession as your chosen future career, what do you now need to do to gain the necessary formal qualifications and work towards being a Patent or Trade Mark Attorney?
There are clearly defined examination routes for both Patent and Trade Mark Professions.
Completion of all of these Patent exams will allow candidates to practice as a fully qualified UK Chartered and European Patent Attorney. Candidates who complete the Trade Mark exams can practice as a Qualified Trade Mark Attorney. Qualification is only permitted once candidates have completed 2 years’ work in the profession.
Exams are sat once annually and can be re-taken if appropriate. The UK exams are taken each November, with results announced at the end of the following March. The European exams (EQE’s) are taken each March with the results announced in the following August.
Additionally a Post-Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property/LLM is run out of one of 4 universities: Queen Mary (University of London); Manchester; Bournemouth and Brunel. Completion of one of these courses will result in exemption from all the foundation papers.
Furthermore candidates who have passed the Law Degree (LLB), Masters (LLM), Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Vocational Course (BVC) have varying degrees of exemptions within the IP exam process. Please contact the relevant professional body for details on these exemptions and which might apply to you.
The new Trade Mark Qualification route is now the only route to qualification within the profession and has consolidated the ‘old’ exam structure into two more formal courses run over extended weekends throughout a 12-18 month period. Candidates will still be required to have a couple of years experience to be eligible to qualify.
Private Practice firms who recruit candidates at a raw graduate level will look to support candidates through this process. Some will encourage candidates to take all the Foundation Papers individually whereas others will encourage attendance on one of the IP Diplomas to gain exemption from the Foundation Papers. For further information please see our Guide to Graduates or speak to one of our consultants.
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