Chartered Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney
In order to become a patent attorney you need to have a STEM degree and then pass several examinations during your training years. Typically it takes four to six years to fully qualify. The examinations are held annually and require a great deal of time and studying externally to your workload.
Qualification is achieved by passing the intermediate examinations (for example by attending and passing one of the university based courses, QMW/Brunel etc). Usually our trainees will attend these courses after one year of work.
Then you will need to pass all the UK finals papers each testing different patent attorney skill sets. Typically a trainee will take finals three years after starting in the profession.
Candidates must initially pass the pre EQE examination and then are eligible to sit the European Qualification Examinations (EQEs). These comprise four papers, again each paper testing different skill sets.
Full qualification is achieved once you pass all EQEs and at least UK (Patent Exam Board) exams Final Diploma (FD1) and Final Diploma (FD4). Once qualified UK Patent Attorneys are required the take an accredited basic litigation skills course within 3 years of qualifying. The format of these course varies between different providers.
The sequence for taking the exams is usually: EQE pre-exam, CIPA final exams and then EQE. It varies, though, as the difficulty of the exams means re-sits are not uncommon.
Chartered Trade Mark Attorney
In order to qualify for admission to the Register of Trade Mark Attorneys you need to pass the qualifying examinations and obtain relevant experience in the profession. Typically, a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney will have an undergraduate degree in arts or law, before specialising in trade marks.
The qualifying examinations are made up of two courses. The first course covers the intricacies of trade mark law, and the following skills-based course teaches the practical application of that law.
At least two years of experience of full-time practice in trade mark attorney work is required, under the supervision of a registered Trade Mark Attorney, Solicitor or suitably related person. The courses tend to be designed to suit students who are undertaking their studies whilst in full-time employment.