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Trade Mark Attorney

The role

A Trade Mark Attorney is someone who specialises in law relating to trade marks. Trade Marks are items such as a name, logo, or another unique feature that makes something distinguishable from other goods or services. In essence, they work to protect a brand’s identity if it has been legally protected as a Trade Mark. 

They work with and advise clients about registering Trade Marks, ensuring that anything that is planned to be trade marked hasn’t already been protected by someone else. They’ll register Trade Marks for clients, working with UK and foreign registration authorities, and they’ll act on behalf of a client if a dispute relating to a Trade Mark comes to light.

In the case of disputes, they will negotiate, and organise back-up solicitors and barristers if a case reaches the courts.

How to become a Trade Mark Attorney

Candidates usually apply for a trainee position with an employer related to Trade Marks, such as a law practice of Trade Mark Attorneys, or an in-house department that specialises in intellectual property law.

The majority of Trade Mark Attorneys are graduates, with those possessing a law degree often having an advantage over others.

However, the requirement to register and study for professional exams through the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) is a minimum of five GCSEs and two A-levels.

Once recruited by a company relating to Trade Mark law, a candidate will receive training on the job, as well as sitting professional exams that will eventually lead to their inclusion on the Register of Trade Mark Agents. The ITMA (link below) has further details on what the training involves.

Skills and knowledge required

  • Extensive knowledge of UK and overseas Trade Mark law and related copyright, competition and patent laws
  • Top communication skills
  • A strong analytical mind
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Good negotiating skills

Income

Trainee starting salaries range between £20,000 and £25,000 a year.

Qualified Trainee Attorneys can earn £30,000 to £50,000, with salaries potentially reaching £100,000.

The hours

A Trade Mark Attorney usually works normal office hours, Monday to Friday, around 37-40 hours a week with occasional overtime.

Useful websites

www.itma.org.uk - Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA)

www.ipo.gov.uk - UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO)

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