Monday 9 December 2013

Alternative Business Structures -- as if we don't have them already

The Legal Services Board -- a strange sort of entity that seems to be there to regulate the regulators, has won the sudden and passionate admiration of the patent and trade mark attorney professions in the United Kingdom, it seems.  The following media release has just reached this blogger:
Legal Services Board announces recommendation that IP Regulator is to be licensed to authorise and regulate Alternative Business Structures

The Legal Services Board (LSB -- nothing to do with the closely similar LSD, much favoured in various Alternative Structures of the 1960s, or the studiously academic environment of the LSE where, well, never mind ...) has announced its decision to make a recommendation to the Lord Chancellor to designate the Intellectual Property Regulation Board, IPReg, as a licensing authority for Alternative Business Structures. This recommendation, if it is accepted, will enable firms of patent and trade mark attorneys to operate under Alternative Business Structures, under IPReg regulation.

“This makes a lot of sense,” said Roger Burt, President of the Chartered institute of Patent Attorneys. “Having IPReg as the licensing authority for Alternative Business Structures will benefit consumers as well as the legal profession. It should remove a potential obstacle to firms of patent attorneys merging with other providers of legal or professional services. This could widen consumer choice and enhance the service provided to business.”

Catherine Wolfe, President of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, congratulated IPReg’s CEO Ann Wright on her efforts which have enabled this important milestone to be reached: “It’s taken the IPReg team many months of hard and good work to get this far,” she said. “It has been a complicated and demanding process and we are delighted to hear that the Legal Services Board is making this recommendation.”
You can read more about the LSB's decision here.

This recommendation says nothing about Alternative Business Structures that combine the practice of an IP professional with those of the diplomat, debt-collector, accountant, social worker, psychotherapist and a few other things besides -- most if not all of which are found in any typical solo practitioner.

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