Intellectual property (IP) is big business on a global scale as the latest data from the Thomson Reuters 2016 State of Innovation Report proves with a 13.7% growth in innovation across 11 technology sectors in 2015.  The technology market in Asia is growing with technological innovations from Japan, China, South Korea and India increasing. The United States remains a leader in the creative industries and businesses from countries around the world are looking to assert their IP on a global scale.  Innovation, invention and new technologies are at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery, and legislative changes in the UK and globally are changing the intellectual property protection.

The UK professional patent attorney institute (the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys or CIPA) has seen many changes since its inception in 1882. The need to recruit the very best scientists, engineers and technologists to train in intellectual property law however remains the same.  There is a heightened sense of the importance of protecting the rights of inventors and the creative industries.

Recent and Upcoming IP Changes

  • Greater harmonisation of IP rights across the European Union via the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) system. The future of the IP profession is linked to the development of IP legislation in the UK, Europe, the United States, Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Use of online central filing systems
  • Data sharing by national IP offices
  • Search systems becoming more refined.

Patent attorneys in private practice now need to offer strategic business advice as well as legal advice.  In-house patent attorney will be more involved in major business decisions as IP is now at the forefront of strategic thinking for businesses with an international footprint.