Thursday 10 June 2010

Supply of IP services and the BSI

Wearing my IPKat hat I recently blogged on the subject of professional standards, asking: "Do you provide services relating to IP rights? Do you -- or your clients -- ever wonder if you're any good?" This was prompted by the publication by the British Standards Institute (BSI) of a request for comments by 31 July 2010 relating to its draft specification for the provision of services relating to intellectual property rights. The draft standard, BS 8538, can be reviewed if you register with the BSI here. It features an explanation of the scope of the proposed specification and a list of terms and definitions, then tackles (i) principles for ethical behaviour and (ii) process for service provision. There then follows a bibliography and an annex relating to non-disclosure agreements.

It seems to me that the quality of professional standards in the supply of IP services is a matter which requires particular attention among smaller practices, where time is a precious and often scarce resource and where compliance with legal and professional requirements can be onerous even in the absence of optional extras like BSI standards. If any debate on this issue takes place, can someone let us know? If there's sufficient demand, perhaps SOLO IP should hold an informal meeting to discuss the topic. Thoughts?


  1. @sarahtouchstone
    My view is that the current draft is muddled as it is not clear whether it is only directed at commercial services provided by non-legal, non-patent agent providers. To refer to it as an all encompassing "Specification for
    the provision of services related to intellectual property rights" is
    misleading as it doesn't appear to relate to soft IP or contentious IP at all. I agree it is important to make sure we solo IP advisors are not left out in the cold if this BSI is adopted as its use (or more importantly its
    general acceptance as the mark of excellence) could be misleading. I would be happy to meet up to formulate a group response.

  2. I wonder if the BSI perhaps see themselves as a Licensing Authority for Alternative Business Structures - would introduce some welcome competition

  3. My question is just this "why did they produce this?" These things don't originate out of a vacuum. Someone lobbied them to produce these standards. The question then, is really who and why?

  4. I agree with Jordan. Why did they come up with this. There has got to be a fire somewhere from whence this smoke emanates, and to me that smoke smells of nothing but selfish interests ... as is usually the case, when someone decides to dress their interests ever so thinly, thinking no one will figure it out. What a mockery!

  5. To offset the suspicion that this BS has been developed to promote sectional interests, there should be disclosure of the names and affiliations of the individuals or committee members who have prepared or promoted this draft.