Do I need an advisor?
It is possible for businesses or individuals to file applications to protect their intellectual property rights directly with the government offices referenced above. However this may not be advisable, since the protection systems are complex and mistakes at the outset can lead to loss of rights. It is also time-consuming to manage a portfolio of intellectual property rights, so many businesses appoint specialist IP advisors (often referred to as “attorneys”) to represent them.
It is often possible to arrange an initial advice meeting with an IP attorney for free, or for a fixed fee, and this may be a worthwhile investment, even for a fledgling enterprise. It is helpful to be well prepared for such meetings, to make the best use of the time offered.
In addition, ITMA runs regular free advice clinics in London and CIPA runs regular free advice clinics at locations throughout the UK. These ITMA and CIPA clinics can also help you to decide if you need more specialist advice.