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IP pro bono scheme launched

Pro bono scheme has been established to offer free legal advice and support to intellectual property owners involved in legal disputes who cannot ‘reasonably afford’ professional advice.

IP Pro Bono will support small businesses and individuals involved in patent, trademark, copyright and design disputes.
The initiative is a collaboration between IP organisations including the Law Society, Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and the International Property Lawyers Association.

The scheme was created in response to a call from Judge Richard Hacon, presiding judge of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, for legal services providers to offer advice and support to unrepresented claimants and defendants.

Once the scheme is set-up, a case officer will assess applications and allocate the case to one of the participating firms.

Sean Dennehey, acting chief executive of the UK Intellectual Property Office, said: ‘I am sure that the service will prove invaluable to those businesses struggling to afford the costs of professional representation.’

More information is available at www.ipprobono.org.uk.

By Max Walters

(Courtesy of the Law Gazette Society)