What happens next?
Once the administrator in the IPReg office is satisfied that all the “formalities” around the complaint have been met then the complaint and the comments are passed to the Complaints Review Committee (CRC) consisting of either a patent or a trademark attorney member (depending upon the profession of the person or firm the subject of the complaint) and two non-attorney members of the IPReg Board. The CRC will determine whether there is, prima facie, a case to answer.
You may hear the CRC being called the “sift panel”.
If the CRC considers there is no case to answer it will issue a written decision giving the reasons why it has rejected the complaint.
If CRC considers that there is a case to answer it can:
- (if CRC considers a full hearing would be disproportionate) deal with the complaint summarily by the issue of a notice warning or reprimand (together with an award for costs) but the attorney or firm can elect to have the matter referred to a Disciplinary Board; or
- refer the complaint to a Disciplinary Board for a formal review.
Questions on the procedures can be addressed to the Chief Executive by email.