Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI) recommends entrepreneurs get advice before embarking on costly protection
QMIPRI’s academics conduct research on policy, effects and implications of IP law and its enforcement and advise governments, public bodies and trade associations – as well as offering a range of postgraduate courses in IP law. Charlotte Duly, 27, completed an MSc in management of intellectual property in November 2007 and is now an assistant trademark attorney with
Boult Wade Tennant, in London.
“You can register trade marks yourself but there are ways of writing specifications that expert help is very useful for,” Duly says. “We undertake searches before use and registration and can identify potential problems early. We identify whether a mark or something similar has already been used, and if the owner will allow other usage.” Smaller businesses may be put off by the prospect of potentially expensive courses of action but she seeks to reassure them.
“IP law is a niche area,” she says. “A lot of it is about discussing, resolving and finding acceptable solutions before clients start spending lots of money getting to court.” She mentioned a small client, a two-person business in the fashion industry, who saw one of their designs in a large store.
“We got our clients their trademark registered and got both parties talking, to resolve the problem, early and cheaply,” Duly says. She chose Queen Mary for law after graduating in biology. “QM is very well respected for this area of law – I didn’t really consider going anywhere else.”
is a dedicated research institute within the School of Law at Queen Mary, University of London. Its activities cover all areas of IP law, including patents, copyright, trademarks and designs. As those areas have been around for some time, one might wonder why research is necessary; the answer is that the law is constantly changing and evolving.
New international agreements, such as the World Trade Organisation, have an effect on how law works, both within and between countries. There is also the question of new and emerging areas, which are growing in importance and value – such as health and access to medicines; traditional knowledge and genetic resources; and the digital environment.
Queen Mary has a number of courses that address these matters. Intellectual Property in the Digital Millennium covers exactly what it says;
Intellectual Property Aspects of Medicine discusses health and therapy access; and the University is offering the first full course covering Traditional Knowledge and Genetic Reources. It facilitates the entry of students like Charlotte Duly into the professional community. It also encourages exchange of information and experience and the development of contacts in other European institutions in what is a truly international area of law, through the EIPIN network
Students at QMC are also encouraged to extend their knowledge through participation in formal publications and blogspots.