Now that the UK has left the European Union, applications from professionals who hold EEA and Swiss qualifications will be considered under the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015 (Statutory Instrument 2015/2059) as amended by the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (Statutory Instrument 2019/312).
Applications received before 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020 will continue to be considered under the Recognition under the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has opened a Call for Evidence to gather insights on the recognition of professional qualifications and regulation of professions. This will assist in the development of future policy on mutual recognition of professional qualifications. If you are a professional person regulated in a country outside of the UK, or are an otherwise interested party, you are invited to complete an online questionnaire which will be open until 23 October 2020.
Applications from professionals who hold qualifications from any other country will be required to satisfy the requirements for admission as set out in the Patent Attorney and Trade Mark Attorney Qualification and Registration Regulations 2009.
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Any foreign attorney practising in the UK should, however, be aware that professional titles of “Patent Attorney”, “Patent Agent”, “Registered Trade Mark Attorney” and “Registered Trade Mark Agent” are protected titles in the UK and only qualified professionals on the Registers of Patent Attorneys and Trade Mark Attorneys are permitted to use such titles in the course of business in the UK. Unauthorised use of a protected title is a criminal offence. However, no offence is committed by patent attorneys on the EPO Register of Professional Representatives using the term “European Patent Attorney” or “European Patent Agent”.
Practising in the UK under the temporary practice rules does not entitle foreign qualified professionals to undertake reserved legal activities in the UK such as appearing before the courts in intellectual property matters or acting as a Commissioner for Oaths.