Patent attorneys normally have a degree in a science or engineering as well as a legal qualification in intellectual property. Patent attorneys draft detailed descriptions of inventions for clients and apply to register these using the national and international protection systems. They also deal with conflicts and infringements of their clients’ patent rights. Many patent attorneys also practise in the field of industrial designs.

It is a criminal offence for anyone to use the term “Patent Attorney” or “Patent Agent” or similar expressions that are likely to be understood as meaning that the person is entitled to be described as a patent attorney/agent unless he/she is on the patent attorney register (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 s.276).