With regards to formal training and qualifications, as well as possessing a minimum of a 2:1 degree, in order to qualify as a Trade Mark Attorney, it is necessary to complete two courses before qualifying. You will also need to undertake at least two years of relevant work experience, supervised by a qualified trade mark attorney or another suitably qualified person.

The first requirement is a part-time law course (offered by Queen Mary University London or Bournemouth University), providing a general grounding in English law plus more detailed training in the specific areas of UK and EU trade mark, copyright and design law. The second is a practice course with Nottingham Law School, concentrating on the skills necessary for day to day practice, including advocacy, basic litigation and client meetings.

The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA), offer full details of the routes into qualifications on their website, alongside the prospective time-frame potential trade mark attorneys might be able to expect for this.

A thorough grounding in UK and EU trade mark law and practice is essential and knowledge of overseas trade mark law and practice can be useful. Employers usually provide extensive training, so you may not need this knowledge as a prerequisite.

A law degree can be advantageous but is not always essential. However an LLB can exempt candidates from a small number of the registered trade mark attorney qualification exams. Undergraduate degrees in modern languages, business or the arts are looked upon favourably by many firms.

Once you start as a trainee, you will learn on the job and also study for professional exams that will allow you to be entered on the register of trade mark attorneys.

There are two courses you will need to complete, at Queen Mary University of London, Bournemouth University or Nottingham Law School, which are often done alongside the qualifying work.

Queen Mary University of London – a part-time post-graduate law course attended over one academic year. Classes are on Fridays and Saturdays every other week. Candidates work as normal on the other business days.

Bournemouth University’s Post Graduate Certificate in IP Law runs from January each year, and is a full-time option and has been developed in collaboration with the Joint Education Board of CIPA and CITMA.

Nottingham Law School ­- once candidates have passed the course at Queen Mary or Bournemouth, they take a part-time practice course in Nottingham over one academic year. Classes take place over a four-day period every 4-8 weeks and include basic advocacy and litigation training.

Several universities offer postgraduate certificate or LLM courses in intellectual property law, which provide candidates with part-exemptions from these courses. If you are a qualified solicitor or barrister you will be exempt from a number of the modules of the law and practice courses depending on the extent of experience in intellectual property matters.

To qualify as a trade mark attorney you will be required to complete a statutory declaration confirming you have the required experience, as set out in the patent and trade mark attorney qualification and registration regulations published by IPReg.

Once qualified you will then have the opportunity to become a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney by becoming an ordinary member of CITMA.

Visit our Course Providers Directory to find out what courses are currently being offered.

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