A Study Guide to the Patents Act

Doug Ealey has been in contact with the IPKat about a book he has just had published, which he hopes will be useful for trainee patent attorneys preparing for their exams. The book, which has a particular emphasis on what is needed to pass P2, is a follow-up to the study guide that Doug published online last year (which the IPKat publicised here). The people at CIPA have obviously been paying attention, as they have now put their name to it and made a new 2009 edition available in hard copy form. It can be ordered from CIPA here. Doug says:
"The Study Guide to the Patents Acts sets out to achieve the opposite of such books as Visser and Hoekstra. Rather than provide exhaustive commentary on patent law for reference during the open book EQEs, it instead simplifies the law and commentary as far as possible to provide a bare-bones reference that can be readily learnt by students taking the closed-book UK finals.

The 2009 edition is now available in book form instead of online, with all proceeds going to CIPA. In the 2009 edition, the law section has been heavily updated to reflect both the full JEB syllabus and recent changes in law, and also now includes a new section devoted to revision and how to analyse and answer the P2 exam.

To complement the book, a free forum has been set up at http://studyguide.forumer.com/ for anyone to discuss any of the exams, and the forum also includes a revision schedule to help co-ordinate this process."
The IPKat, who has had a chance to see a review copy of the book, is happy to recommend it to trainees, who he thinks need all the help they can get in passing those tricky exams. Just remember that you can't take it into the exam with you, so some memorising and hard work will unfortunately still be required.
A Study Guide to the Patents Act A Study Guide to the Patents Act Reviewed by David Pearce on Saturday, June 06, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. So CIPA get involved and a once free and very useful (so I'm told) resource now costs hard-up trainees £25, with all proceeds going to.......erm.......CIPA!

    Am I supposed to be pleased about this?

  2. Couldn't agree more with Steve's comment - couldn't expect anything less from CIPA. Why on earth not have it available as an electronic version which is easily searchable (and free)?

  3. Does anyone happen to know of an equivalent publication for Trainee Trade Mark Attorneys?

  4. Why should it be free? Know of any other law textbooks out there that are free? Neither do I. Besides, it's not like it'll be top 10 on Amazon - for a small print run there are probably quite high set-up costs per book too. Good luck to them!

  5. But it was free and now it’s not, that's the point. It was previously published online and, as pointed out by another, was searchable and very useful.

    No one would wish to deny Doug Ealey the right to exploit his IP however he wants but it seems that there was no reason to meddle here, particularly as the alleged meddler is supposed to represent the profession and support trainees trying to pass the exams.

  6. Trainees are generally well-paid, given that they are not qualified in the area in which they work.

    £25 for a book like this is a bargain. Try training for post-graduate professional medical qualifications.

  7. I agree with Steve's comments and suggest CIPA follow its own precedent when it published the Paul Cole book on patent drafting. As I recall this was given free to Student Members (but please correct me if I'm wrong).

    Perhaps those less hard-up Members might subsidise trainees by paying an extra few pounds to allow CIPA to offer the book free to students enrolled to take JEB finals??

    Just a thought...

  8. Why should it be free? Know of any other law textbooks out there that are free? Neither do I.

    Maybe we should ask the Swedish Pirate Party to take position about this...

  9. I was curious, so I looked into it a bit - hardback publishers probably want around £1000-1500 for the book - see http://tandempress.com/hardback/hb_prices2.html.

    Assuming a total possible market for the book is ~200 people taking P2 and that you will reach 50% of the market, you need to price it at £10-15 just to cover printing costs...

    It also sounds like this is more than just the free version in a dust jacket; the article says it is a new version with extra content, so comparing it to the free version seems a bit spurious.

  10. Let's get this into perspective: you invest months of your free time studying, you have the expectation of a large pay rise when you qualify, but you think £25 is too much for a study guide of this calibre...?

    Actually it sounds like a good investment to me.

  11. For those of us who have a pdf copy of the earlier version, the question is whether the "extra content" is substantial enough to justify the cost.

  12. The guy's had a whole year to revamp it and get CIPA on board with it - the blurb says it's been 'heavily updated' and has a new section on revision. We buy Visser every year irrespective of new content so I don't see why keeping up to date with UK law is much different...

  13. Anyone who has ever written a textbook knows well the staggering amount of work that goes into doing so. £25 is very little to pay for a specialist law textbook and CIPA has proved a publisher of extraordinary cost-effectiveness. Those contributing previous posts should seriously reconsider their attitude

  14. My original comment was not directed at the price or quality of the book; obviously £25 is not too much for a book of this sort. Nor was it a comment on whether or not CIPA is a cost-effective publisher; I can quite believe that it is. It was simply an observation that CIPA appears (I would write this in italics if I could) to have taken a book that was previously free and published it so that the result is a book that costs £25.

    Surely it can be understood how this might leave someone feeling a little disgruntled.

    I certainly don't consider that my attitude needs reconsideration.

    For the record, I now have a copy of the book and would highly recommend it.

  15. Contrary to the inferrence in a previous post, it isn't hardback, which is a shame as the plastic coating on my copy has already begun to peel off! Paul Cole's paperback drafting book has not suffered the same fate. Having said that it is a very useful summary of the Patent Acts and well worth £25.


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