The idea seems to be that they need to know what a qualified patent agent needs to learn in order to develop and maintain his professional competence. This will guide the educational provision.
Once one has got over the "Teach Speak Jargon", we find that they believe we need to have skills, knowledge, values and behaviours. I accept that skills and knowledge can be
Let me turn to what I do understand. There are lists of skills and lists of knowledge.
At the end of the list on knowledge we have:
2(g) a member should have a sound understanding of the law and practice as it relates to designs, trade marks, copyright, licensing, due diligence, contract and competition law to enable them to identify the implications of such laws and practice for clients and to enable them to refer clients for further professional advice and guidance as relevant and appropriateFrankly this narrow focus on patent practice is disappointing. Now that CITMA has its charter are we dropping our interest in the core intellectual property fields of trademarks, designs and copyright? I think we need to put Mr Ferrara right.
The list of skills is extremely flowery. Some are the basic drafting skills that are a prerequisite for qualification. Other so-called skills are frankly patronising : do you want to be trained in how to "be able to adapt style and approach to meet the needs of clients". One skill that seems to be particularly important is managing the expectations of clients who expect their unadapted applications to be examined any time soon by the EPO or UK IPO.
This list does not provide any suitable structure for developing educational offerings.
When seeking education, focusing on knowledge always helps. The core of the CIPA offering needs to be keeping up to date with developments in IP law in our home jurisdictions. The suggestion that the same level of emphasis needs to be placed on ALL overseas jurisdictions is odd. Its all too easy for CIPA to succumb to visiting overseas' professionals desire to give "marketing" updates in the name of education. Education in the laws and practices of the main trading partners of this country is what we need. We need to direct our eager marketing volunteers into discussing practical issues that are likely to be relevant to our local clients.
Item 2(f) : approaches to competitor IP is not knowledge -its a skill.
The values and behaviours are the province of IPREG and codes of conduct.
An educational framework needs to be more skeletal and be a tool that those organising programmes and events can work with. This framework does not seem likely to help.
We need courses and support on:
- keeping up to date on IP law
- improving skills of drafting and advocacy for preempting and responding to office actions
- developing litigation skills
- listening and receiving feedback from users of IP on what they need
- managing our own businesses - includes ethics