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About Us

The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, which was founded in 1934 promotes high standards of training, qualification and continued learning in order to ensure that the Trade Mark Attorney profession is able to undertake on behalf of clients, large and small, all of the work associated with securing and protecting trade marks and other intellectual property rights, for example registered designs, both in the UK and abroad.

The Institute is the professional body responsible for the regulation of the Trade Mark Attorney profession under the Legal Services Act 2007, and for representing the interests of the profession, nationally and internationally. The regulation of the profession has been delegated to a separate regulatory arm which operates at arms length under the Intellectual Property Regulation Board.

At any time, the Institute has about 1600 members; as well as the core fully qualified Trade Mark Attorneys, its membership also includes those training to be Trade Mark Attorneys, foreign Trade Mark Attorneys and other professionals in other related areas of the law e.g. Barristers who have a Trade Mark/Design interest.

What a Trade Mark Attorney does

A Trade Mark Attorney:

  • Provides advice on the suitability of a word or logo, for example, as a trade mark
  • Undertakes searches, nationally and internationally, to see if others are already using the same sign
  • Will help determine the range of goods and services the trade mark should be protected to ensure broad protection
  • Advises on in which countries the trade mark might be protected and the most cost effective way of achieving this – using as appropriate the European Community wide arrangement and/or a parallel International system
  • Help secure License agreements so that others might use the trade mark to the mutual advantage of the parties
  • Gives advice on the action needed to safeguard a protected trade mark and on how to deal with any infringements by another party
  • Offers strategic advice on what to file, when to file and when to take action to ensure suitable protection, whilst helping to develop brand enlargement.

Some Trade Mark Attorneys are also qualified litigators and have litigators’ rights in the Patent Court and the High Court. For a full list of qualified litigators, click here.

What the Institute does

Using the experience and knowledge gained by Trade Mark Attorneys in their day to day work, the Institute:

  • Seeks to influence the authorities (in the UK and overseas) in order that the trade mark protection systems – the Laws themselves and the practice adopted to implement these -  works for the benefit of owners and users of the trade mark systems
  • Maintains relationships with the UK Government and other international organisations, such as the European Community Trade Mark Office (OHIM), the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), which operates the international registration process as well as other professional bodies responsible for Trade Mark Attorneys overseas
  • Promotes the importance of intellectual property and the value of trade marks to the well being of businesses, large and small
  • Monitors the work of the arms length regulatory arm, IPReg, in order that the Institute’s responsibilities under the Legal Services Act are being met and that the Rules and Regulations laid down and the action being taken by IPReg to implement them are working for the mutual benefit of the profession and the public.

How this works

The Institute is overseen by Officers and a Council elected by its members. These are supported by a Chief Executive and support staff.

A number of Committees handle the work described above and are the focus of the work involved in lobbying the various bodies on behalf of trade mark owners and Trade Mark Attorneys

The Institute uses its central position to identify the training needs of the profession by keeping abreast of developments in the Law and practice arising from decisions of the UK Courts and the ECJ. The Institute puts on numerous education and networking events throughout the year, including its flagship annual spring Conference to ensure that continuous professional development takes place. For more information about the Institute and the benefits of being a member, click here.

Anti-Bribery policy

The pdf below sets out the policy of the institute in response to the Bribery Act 2010. The policy aims to ensure that the risk of an action constituting a bribe occurring is minimised and there is appropriate disclosure of information in activities associated with the business of the Institute.

PDF documents can be viewed with Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader and many other programs.