Help in choosing the right Intellectual Property Adviser now available
At the IPO we recognise that for many inventors and small businesses, especially those in the high technology or creative industries, the Intellectual Property (IP) system can seem both complex and daunting. Most people do not have sufficient day-to-day exposure to the IP system to become an expert and for many companies the development of in-house expertise is neither feasible nor engaging. So choosing the right IP adviser and working effectively with him or her is very important.
In recent years there has been a substantial increase in the number of organizations offering services to inventors and other originators and developers of ideas. Such organizations include commercial service providers, universities that specialize in invention and product design, and inventors’ clubs. As well as these practitioners there are other advisers, consultants, invention brokers and inventor-support organizations who offer help and advice.
The new British Standard BS 8538:2001: "Specification for the provision of services relating to the commercialization of intellectual property rights" - sets out for the first time good practice and principals of ethical behaviour for organizations providing services to the creators of intellectual property rights.
It should help to provide a consistent level of service and assist inventors and businesses navigate the fragmented market for the provision of intellectual property services in the United Kingdom.
The new standard specifies principles for the ethical behaviour of the service provider relating to:
- Integrity and competence
- Transparency regarding fees, costs and finances
- Confidentiality and the disclosure of information
- The declaration of interests and conflicts
- Complaints handling.
It also specifies a process for service provision, covering:
- Initial engagement with the originator
- Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
- Evaluation of the originator’s idea
- Commercial agreements for the provision of advice and/or services.
The standard is voluntary and can be confirmed by self-assessment or by second party assessment, for example, an internal audit. Neither BSI nor the IPO carry out checks.
If an adviser falsely claims conformity to the standard this can be referred to the Trading Standards Institute.
We have also published, as part of our IP Healthcheck series, a new booklet "Choosing the Right IP Adviser (602Kb)" to help you become an informed consumer of the IP Adviser services you require to obtain your registered rights. It:
- contains an overview of the potential sources of IP services available (including certain sources of reliable free service);
- suggests a number of questions you should ask before engaging your adviser;
- provides answers to a number of frequently asked questions;
- provides a list of useful contacts.
The standard is available to buy at the BSI shop .