The IPKat is delighted to have received this contribution from Vicki Salmon, Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) council member and Chairman of the litigation committee. Merpel is likewise delighted to hear news of an issue that she raised recently. Over now, with great pleasure, to Vicki:
In May, Merpel posted a request as to how a newly qualified kitten was supposed to comply with the requirement for all newly qualified patent attorneys to take a basic litigation skills course and obtain required certificate within three years from going on to the register. As this only affects those qualifying from 2013, by my calculations, the first group has until the end of 2016.
How did Merpel not see
this deadful pun before?
CIPA has not been idle in preparing for this course, but this has taken longer than originally anticipated. We are now well on the way to getting the assessment in place and a course ready to roll out. A notice was placed on the CIPA website on 30 May 2014 and a link was circulated to members at the end of last week. We hope to finalise our accreditation later this summer and should be rolling out the course later this year, around the country. More details will be published when we are ready to go. There are two other providers who also have accredited courses which should be rolled out in the near future – Nottingham Trent University and cpdtraining.
In the meantime, we are also planning to re-run our course for litigating in the IPEC. This course was run a couple of years ago in relation to the PCC. The dates for this course are a full day (a very full day) in CIPA on 2 September 2014 and a long weekend (from Thursday morning to mid-afternoon Saturday) on 18-20 September at Missenden Abbey. HHJ Hacon will be coming along to speak to delegates on the pre-weekend day at CIPA Hall. Advance information is available here and booking forms will be available soon – open mainly to CIPA members, but with a few spaces available to non-members.
I am receiving a number of questions as to how these different litigation courses relate to the rights for patent attorneys under the UPC. At the moment, I don’t know the answer, but we are working on this. The Preparatory Committee published a draft document on the European Patent Litigation Certificate. The paper contained proposals as to what the course might contain, what other qualifications would count and what might give “grandfather” rights. This was withdrawn, but we have been speaking to the IPO about the proposals. We are expecting this paper to be republished shortly. In the progress report published on the UPC website on 6 June 2014, it stated “Furthermore, a short consultation (6 weeks) on the Rules of the European Patent Litigation Certificate will be launched via the UPC website shortly. This consultation will allow users to engage on a subject that is fundamentally important to how they operate before the Court.” We are still waiting for this consultation period to start. Given how short it is, we are already well advanced in planning an open meeting with the IPO as soon as possible after publication. We hope this will take place in June, but cannot finalise the date until the Preparatory Committee publish the paper. Please look out for the date, as we are not able to give much notice.