This happened on 1 April, though the IPKat forgot all about blogging it till today. The Trade Mark Attorneys Order 2005, which came into effect on 1 April, gives suitably qualified members of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) the right to conduct litigation in the Chancery Division of the High Court and the County Court (including the Patents County Court) in relation to trade mark, design and passing off cases. According to Stephen James, President of ITMA:
“These rights are only available to corporate members of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys who have been granted Trade Mark and Design Litigator Certificates by ITMA. Some members, who by virtue of being a solicitor, may obtain their certificates upon application to the Institute. Others, who by virtue of their existing experience in trade mark litigation and contentious matters, may obtain certification by completing an intensive course run by Nottingham Trent University over three weekends. Already 11 members of the Institute have followed that route and should shortly be receiving their litigation certificates. For other trade mark attorneys, with three years status as corporate members of ITMA, but with little experience of litigation, Nottingham Trent University runs a 2 year course which can also lead to certification. It is to be hoped that ITMA members will undertake more and more of these trade mark litigation courses thus increasing the number of trade mark litigators from within the profession. ...”The IPKat wishes ITMA and its members well. Says Merpel, "We'll see you in court".