Find a Registered IP Agent
While you are free to file for IP protection on your own behalf, there are numerous IP experts available to assist you with the process. The patents office has a list of registered patent and trade mark agents from which you can source a suitable expert.
In the case of patents, patent law and practice, and the drafting of the specification, describing an invention, are complex matters for which the help of a patent agent is very advisable unless the applicant has had specialised training in this field.
It must be remembered that the contents of the application determine whether a patent can be granted as well as the scope and validity of the granted patent. The patent agent also arranges to file patent applications abroad and provides advice on matters relating to the commercial exploitation of an invention. The invention can be discussed freely with the patent agent because the disclosure will be in confidence.
Applicants having neither their residence nor principal place of business in the State must be represented by a patent agent. Even those who have their residence or business in the State are required to use the services of an agent in certain matters (See Rule 93 of the Patent Rules, 1992). Where the applicant is represented by a patent agent all enquiries should be directed to that agent and all official communication from the Patents Office are with the appointed agent.
Trade Mark Agents
In the case of trade marks, the law relating to the registration of Trade Marks sometimes raises questions requiring specialised knowledge, and sometimes it is desirable, though, not mandatory, that intending applicants, should, in their own interests, consult a registered trade mark agent (a person qualified in trade mark matters). The services of a registered trade mark agent can be of assistance, especially if your application meets with objections.
Where an applicant does not have an address for service in the State, the applicant may consider appointment a registered trade mark agent in order to satisfy this requirement.
Some other benefits of employing the services of a registered agent include:
- Assistance in developing an IP strategy tailored for your business.
- Provision of pre-filing searches and registrable/patentable advice.
- Advice on trade mark classification.
- Drafting of patent applications.
- Responding to communication and objections from the Patents Office.
- Advice on IP protection abroad.
- Network of overseas associates.
Please note that the Patents Office cannot advise applicants as to choice of agent.
More information can be found at www.aptma.ie (Association of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys).