Trade mark attorneys advise clients about registering and protecting designs and trade marks.
Salary range: £20,000 to £100,000
How to become a trade mark attorney
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- applying directly
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 acceptable, though law, science, engineering or languages may give you an advantage.
You’ll 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 study for professional exams. You’ll also need 2 years’ work experience to qualify.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
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 including GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) 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.
You can apply for professional training with a firm to become a trade mark attorney, if you’re a qualified solicitor or barrister.
- you can register with the Intellectual Property Regulation Board
You’ll find more advice about training to become a trade mark attorney from The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- knowledge of English language
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to read English
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- 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, and taking action if the client’s trade mark rights are broken
- providing back-up to solicitors and barristers if a case goes to court
- handling renewals of existing trade marks, transferring ownership and licensing
You could work in a court, in an office or at a client’s business.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could move into senior management, or partnership in a firm.