You can find the IPReg response to the Legal Services Board Consumer Impact Reports here.
The activities listed below and comprising the IPReg Consumer Engagement Strategy are designed as a proportionate response to the LSB Consumer Impact Reports.
You can find our Consumer Engagement Strategy here.
Allocating adequate resource to any agreed actions will often entail seeking collaborative support from other bodies such as the IPO, CIPA and ITMA.
Since the LSB is against “top down” operations by the regulators (especially when dealing with consumer focussed initiatives) IPReg will, wherever practicable and at an early stage, canvass feedback on the suggested actions from relevant consumer bodies.
What we are doing/have done already
- adopted a policy of using plain English in all communications
- revised the IPReg website to include a separate area – “Got an Idea” – targeted at consumers
- amended the IPReg Code of Conduct to include guidance for the proper treatment of vulnerable/disadvantaged consumers and minorities
- published detailed first tier complaints data (found in our Annual Reports) and outcomes
What we are planning to do over the next year
- work more closely with the IPO
- implement a PR initiative on IP awareness aimed at consumers via IPReg website and also other online media including suggestions for DIY actions by clients (such as “unbundling” of legal services)
- provide guidance on the likely costs of obtaining IP rights in user- friendly format on IPReg website
- add an additional website page with FAQs aimed at litigants in person (in collaboration with Mr Justice Birss)
- provide guidance to consumers for handling unsolicited approaches from IP advisors
- promote “soft skills “ training for IP advisors re. client communication/ relationship building/ complaints handling and professional ethics
- review IP professional training regimes in light of LETR review
Longer term (ongoing)
- promote “regulated by IPReg” as the IP quality assurance mark
- obtain and publish regular consumer feedback re. services received
- champion diversity and mentoring and other young talent schemes to broaden entry to IP professions in collaboration with other stakeholders
The Legal Services Consumer Panel recently published a report on the future of the delivery of legal services.