- Trademark attorneys advise companies on how to register and protect trademarks and designs
- You'll need excellent research, analysis and communication skills
- Senior roles in intellectual property firms are often very well paid
As a trade mark attorney or intellectual property lawyer you will specialise in giving legal advice and support to clients on how to choose, register, and protect trade marks, like company names, brand names, and logos.
- Carrying out searches to see if a proposed trade mark already exists
- Advising on intellectual property issues like design and copyright
- Drawing up contracts
- Dealing with UK and overseas registration authorities
- Negotiating in disputes
- Taking action if the client's trade mark rights are infringed
- Providing back-up to solicitors and barristers if a case goes to court
- Handling renewals of existing trade marks
- Transferring ownership
You'll usually work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, but you might have to work extra hours to meet deadlines. You'll normally be office-based, but you may travel to meetings with clients and trade mark officials, and sometimes overseas.
This role is suited to someone who is thorough, with excellent attention to detail and good written language skills.
To become a trade mark attorney, you'll usually need an upper second class degree or higher, or postgraduate qualification, to apply for a training place with a company. Most subjects are accepted, although law, science, engineering or languages may give you an advantage.
You'll usually start as a trainee with a private practice firm of trade mark attorneys, or a large company with an in-house intellectual property department, and then study for professional exams. You'll also need to gain 2 years' work experience while you study to fully qualify.
Alternatively, you may be able to work your way up from a trade mark administrator or paralegal role. To do this, you'll need a good level of general education, normally including GCSEs in English and maths. You'll also need around 5 years' experience before you can apply for professional training to qualify as a trade mark attorney.
With experience, you could move into senior management, a partnership in a legal or advisory firm, or become self employed.