Ever-vigilant for news scoops, the IPKat spotted the following post on the website of London barristers' chambers 39 Essex Street (with comments and hyperlinks added by the Kats):
James Ramsden represented the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (“IPReg”) before the Joint Disciplinary Panel of the Patent Regulation Board and the Trade Mark Regulation Board in the case of:At the time of posting of this item, there was no information concerning this case on the IPReg website and a site search for 'Rickard' scored zero hits.
The Intellectual Property Regulation Board v David John Rickard
This was the first disciplinary case brought under the new regulatory regime for Patent Attorneys and Registered Trade Mark Attorneys under the regulatory objectives set out in S.1 Legal Services Act 2007.
The proceedings have resulted in new and important guidance to the profession to be published by IPReg within the next few days concerning the circumstances in which Attorneys can issue terms of business which give them rights over their client’s property, including intellectual property, to secure payment of fees [this sounds like an attempt to create an entitlement to a lien over intellectual property -- though it may be more like a contractual requirement that the client assign his rights to the attorney. Further information would be handy ...].
The decision and guidance to be issued by IPReg has implications for many other professionals who are also required in practice to avoid professional and personal conflicts of interest and conduct likely to undermine public confidence in the profession".
This Kat is of course curious to know what the facts are -- and to discover why this ruling requires the imposition of "new and important guidance to the profession within the next few days". Is IPReg v Rickard an attempt to nail a single instance of an objectionable practice before it catches on with everyone else, or is it a test case in which a defendant could have been picked out of a hat? Is this guidance a matter which is so obvious that no consultation is needed between IPReg and the professions it regulates, or is consultation an irrelevance? It would be good to know.
On a separate note, this Kat wonders whether the entitlement of professional IP advisers to obtain rights in their clients' IP in security for fees is something which is (i) encouraged, (ii) tolerated, (iii) discouraged or (iv) forbidden in other countries. Readers: do let us know!
|Who needs a lien if you|
can send in the heavies?