The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) is the professional and examining body for patent attorneys (also known as patent agents) in the United Kingdom. The Institute was founded in 1882 and was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1891. It represents virtually all the 1800+ registered patent attorneys in the United Kingdom, whether they practise in industry or in private practice. Total membership is over 3300 and includes trainee patent attorneys and other professionals with an interest in intellectual property matters.
Through its regulatory arm, the Patent Regulation Board, which operates with the Trade Mark Regulation Board as the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg), the Institute maintains the statutory Register of Patent Attorneys. IPReg carries out the regulatory functions of setting and maintaining the standards of qualification for entry on the Register and has a Code of Conduct to ensure that registrants provide an appropriate level of service to their clients.
Despite the historic name of the Institute, patent attorneys have always been qualified to advise on trade marks, designs and copyright as well as patents (collectively known as intellectual property).
CIPA:advises the UK Government and other international bodies on policy and practice matters; is run by a Council of 26 members elected by the Fellows of the Institute;provides training for its members both pre- and post-qualification; organises patent clinics for members of the public; andprovides informative publications for the general public.
For a more detailed explanation of the role and functions of the Institute click here.
The latest Annual Report of the Institute can be found here (2011). The latest Annual Accounts can be found here (for year ended 30 September 2011).