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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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If youre not a patent agent, and you tell your clients this,

Customer Question

If you're not a patent agent, and you tell your clients this, is it legal to charge to write patents for them to file themselves? In the UK and US?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to
advise you fully.

Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answer would not be accurate.



-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If someone charges an hourly rate to draft patent applications for inventors, but that person is not a qualified patent agent and is not training to be one, or being supervised by one, or qualified in a different country, but bases their ability to draft patent applications solely on experience and a few months of training a few years ago, and does not claim to be a patent agent or attorney, is that legal?


 


I'm not talking about filing the patents for the clients, simply providing them with a pdf which contains a patent for the client to file wherever they choose.


 


Is there an obligation to specifically say 'i am not a patent agent' or similar?


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.


We can only base the answer
on UK law. You will need to ask a separate question on the US part of the site
with regard to US law.

Can we have the background
please?



What loss has been suffered?



Is the agent incompetent?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No loss has been suffered. It's just a question of whether it is legal to do so. The person is not an agent and is competent.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.


There is an institute of
patent attorneys http://www.cipa.org.uk/pages/about-benefits

but membership is not
mandatory.



Ther are exams to be passed
but unlike the solicitors act which makes it an offence to call yourself a
solicitor if you are not, there is no statutory requirement to be qualified to
court yourself a patent agent/attorney http://www.ipo.gov.uk/whyuse/education/education-professional.htm



however unless a person is
qualified they will not get into the Institute.



however unless a person has
suffered loss as a result of the misrepresentation there is no cause of action
against the agent



 



Does that answer the
question? I am happy to answer specific points.



Can I help further?



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please ask.



I am
offline shortly until later and will pick this up then if needed

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That's helpful, but does not quite answer the question. Thanks for being so fast.


 


You said there's no legal requirement to be qualified to 'court yourself a patent agent/attorney'. I'm sorry, I don't know what you meant by court yourself - I assume 'call yourself'?


 


My question is, if a person is NOT intending to qualify and NOT professing to be a patent agent/patent attorney but is just writing patent drafts and charging for them, is there any legal problem with that?


 


I already know how to become a qualified patent agent and that one has to be one in order to join the institute - this is information freely available online and not something I would need to pay to discover.


 


I have heard that in some countries there's a need for a license to write patents for other people. I want to be certain about the rules in the UK. (I will deal with US separately.)


 


Can any layperson legally write a patent for another person and charge for that service?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.

Yes, a typo. I am a lawyer not a typist!

 

"call" not court.

Anyone can put patents together. Solicitors do it and so do accountants and they are not qualified PAs