Educating the patent attorney profession - CEIPI course seeks trainees

The route to qualification as a patent attorney in the UK is a hot topic at the moment, with IPReg having consulted on a couple of proposals to significantly change the examination process for becoming a UK patent attorney, these proposals having been roundly criticised by both the students and the qualified members of the UK attorney profession.  The education of the next generation of patent attorneys is a grave responsibility for current members of the profession, and that is why people like this Kat devote their time to it.

This Kat well remembers when he was a kitten learning European patent law at the CEIPI course that was at that time largely run by the revered Simon Roberts of BT and David Musker of Jenkins.  In those halcyon days BT kindly hosted the events and sandwiches were provided.  The CEIPI course was not for the fainthearted, as the sessions were 3 hours long at approximately fortnightly intervals over 2 years, but gave an unparalleled opportunity to study in depth, one at a time, the whole range of the topics that make up European patent law, which gave an excellent grounding for being able to pass the European Qualifying Exam.

It's more fun than studying by yourself
Time passes and some features of the course have changed, others are still with us.  The sessions are still three hours; Simon Roberts still teaches sometimes.  Alas nowadays you have to bring your own sandwiches.  Derk (with an "e" not an "i") Visser (EIP and author of the unsurpassable Annotated European Patent Convention ), Stephen Hodsdon (Mewburn Ellis) and your humble servant are among the current tutors, and the course now appropriately has a bifurcated structure of a Basic Course and a Advanced Course, of one year's duration each, and directed towards the pre-exam and the EQE respectively.  The former are organised through CEIPI and are kindly hosted by Wragges, while the latter are organised by Derk directly and are hosted by his and this Kat's firm, EIP.  So far this year, numbers for the Advanced course have been very disappointing, and tutors will be understandably reluctant to continue to commit to teach if this state of affairs continues.  So this Kat would like to put the word out that more students are needed.  Over to Stephen for the further details:

Which often leads to this
The CEIPI advanced course consists of 18 sessions at approximately fortnightly intervals throughout the year.  The course is aimed at students who have taken the EQE Pre-Exam and are intending to sit the EQE proper in 2015.  Topics include the law of the EPC in the initial stages, culminating in strategy and worked paper sessions on each of the EQE papers.  The sessions are interactive and aim to develop the students’ knowledge and appreciation of the EPC, rather than merely memorising facts and cases.
The sessions take place on Monday evenings (5:30-8:30) at the offices of EIP in London and are led by experienced tutors and practitioners including Derk Visser (author of The annotated EPC).
The next session is scheduled for 28 April.
Enrolment details obtainable by e-mail from Derk Visser ( or Stephen Hodsdon (

This Kat very much hopes that more student members of the UK profession within travelling distance of London will consider enrolling for this excellent and worthwhile course.
Educating the patent attorney profession - CEIPI course seeks trainees Educating the patent attorney profession - CEIPI course seeks trainees Reviewed by Darren Smyth on Thursday, April 10, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. I recall seeing this course when I was a student for the EQEs and wishing I could attend, but alas the time taken to travel to London for it was just too much of a commitment out of my work day. In this age of Skype, and other video-conferencing facilities - are there any thoughts to make this accessible by means other than physically travelling to London? I appreciate that this makes it a little less interactive (at least until the group is familiar with each other) but it might encourage greater numbers to sign up.

  2. I, too, anonymously back Anonymous's comment. MOOC these courses and we'll attend. Most of us have regular jobs, often with small firms (little money with too much work), and just cannot afford to spend weeks here and there away from the office.
    CEIPI's courses seem targeted towards large organizations who have several employees available to back-up the missing ones.
    There's a huge potential for students if you design your course so it can be attended by all those people who are the sole IP representative at smaller companies.


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