This is to bring to your attention a debate in the House of Lords in November 2020 during which the IPReg Chair, Lord Smith of Finsbury, sought assurances from the Government that its proposal to exclude trade mark and patent attorneys from the (then) UK Internal Markets Bill would maintain the status quo in relation to their ability to practise. The full debate (on Amendment 107) is in Hansard. The relevant statements by the Government are at column 506:
“The Bill is intended to ensure that divergence in professional regulation between the four nations of the UK does not increase barriers for professionals living and working in different parts of the UK.”
“nothing in the recognition provisions of the Bill, including the exclusion, affects the current situation. IPReg will continue to be able to decide whether and how trademark and patent attorneys should be allowed to carry out the regulated legal activities that it is designated to regulate in all the different parts of the UK.
The government amendment aims to bring patent and trademark attorneys in line with other legal professions and to place them outside the scope of the recognition provisions of Clause 22 of the Bill. Legal professionals have been excluded from the scope of the provisions on the recognition of professional qualifications in acknowledgment of the different legal systems that exist in the UK. This will ensure that the regulation of and access to these professions, including trademark and patent attorneys, are not affected in any way by the mutual recognition provisions of the Bill and will be completely unaffected.”