We provided a full programme of webinars on a wide range of subjects, including a series focused on the upcoming Unified Patent Court, aimed at both Fellow and IP Paralegal members.   

The institute published a new edition of its Patents Training Manual. Edited by Honorary Secretary Gwilym Roberts and CIPA Council member Debbie Slater, the guide provided an up-to-date training programme and structured framework for study. 

An independent review of the education, training and assessment arrangements for UK patent attorneys, known as the Mercer Review, was published in 2021, aiming to improve and modernise training and examination processes. Many of the review’s recommendations were pursued and implemented by our Education Committee in 2022. 

One recommendation was that more education for trainers was needed and the Committee responded by reinstating a “Train the Trainers” course, which included a short introduction to the new Patents Training Manual. 

The committee continued to look at ways to implement the recommendations of the Mercer Review, such as CPD courses on an even wider range of topics, for example IP commercialisation, and worked with the Informals, CIPA’s student body, to provide support to trainees in their exam-specific training.  Some review recommendations fell outside of the remit of the committee and CIPA and these are expected to be addressed in future discussions with the IP Regulation Board (IPReg) and the Patent Examination Board (PEB).  

The Education Committee also submitted detailed comments on the proposed changes to the European Qualifying Examinations on behalf of CIPA. 

The Informals Committee is made up of trainee patent attorneys and provided social events, lectures, a buddy scheme, workshops and tutorials for final examination papers. Representation on Council, the Congress Committee and the Education Committee ensured that student members were involved in all conversations about education and training. The committee assisted with preparations for our first Student Conference, which was held in Birmingham in April. 

The UK Qualifying Examinations for patent attorneys were delivered online for the third year running by the Patent Examination Board and, in most cases, the exams ran smoothly.  

The PEB-CCC (Patent Examination Board – Candidate Consultative Committee) met twice during the year. The committee provides a focal point for candidate voice, to provide a means for discussion of candidates’ experience and areas of concern, and to identify ways of enhancing the quality of PEB’s qualification offer. The committee comprises members of PEB staff, PEB Governance Board, and representatives of the Informals. The Informals find it a useful forum for discussion, which helps to ensure that candidates’ views are represented and considered in making decisions about how exams are delivered. 

Download Annual Report 2022

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