Wednesday 24 December 2008

Proposal for a UK Solicitors-only IP Group

If you practice as a solicitor in England and have not been contacted by Shireen - get in touch.

Sadly regulation seems set to divide even SOLO IP practitioners. Creating a practising solicitor-only group allows you to concentrate on things like Investors in People and Lexcel accreditation that may bring down the cost of the dreaded professional indemnity insurance. Lexcel is run by the Law Society and accredits practice management. I agree that practice management is the key to managing risk but I don't agree that paying someone else to confirm that I manage my practice well is a good idea - especailly in these times when it is difficult to persuade clients to pay their bills. The process of accreditation usually requires the production of a lot of paperwork and manuals - the sort of thing that is needed to communicate across an organisation so for true SOLOs its a bit redundant.

One of the most important things for good practice managment is a good database and mine MARCO helps me enormously. Special 2009 deals are available for group members. OK thats an advert as my company aims to make a profit out of licensing the software - haven't got anywhere near it yet - but there's always hope. Meanwhile I would hate to see anyone exposing themselves to risk because they cannot afford practice management system.

Happy Holidays

Friday 12 December 2008

Lessons of Intelmark

Flipping through the Financial Times How to Spend it supplement over lunch as every SOLO practitioner (who gets a free copy) does at this time of year gave rise to a discussion of whether under current law this stunning advert takes advantage of the 007 brand .

To half the office - those with good eyes - the small print legend Bahama Islands 10:07 >makes the link. The other half of the office says just nice advertising but interesting that even the big brands play with each other. Now we are loooking for educational comments please. But I must say Sean Connery washes up well. Of course it might be licensed use ...

Contribute to the training effort and have your say.

Monday 1 December 2008

New name, new website, same old headache, speedier recovery?

The new Intellectual Property Office or IPO (formerly UK-IPO, formerly Patent Office) website has just gone live. It's divided between pages that are for the use of practitioners (the Professional bit) and those for the use of laymen and amateurs (the standard bit, or IP-lite if you prefer). You can switch between the two, using the little box at the top right hand corner of the active part of the web page. Once on the Profession pages, the Law & Practice, Forms & Fees and Online Services bits are easy to access. The IPO, to its credit, sought and received user input in the form of that cute little software that lets people sort cards corresponding to their frequency of use of different pages on the site.

There's always the headache of bookmarks being lost, but the IPO reckons that users will be redirected to the the 100 most heavily-used bookmarks, which should soften the blow.

Can I suggest that, through the Comments feature of this blog, we take note of the new site's good points and bad points? I had hoped that the page background of the Professional and standard pages would be in different colours, so that users could instantly see if they were in the right place for forms and fees or if they were about to be confronted with Novelty Norvello ...