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Mr Justice Jacob has attacked "timorous" patent agents in an attempt to encourage them to take a more active role in advocacy.A
t a seminar held by the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents (CIPA) both Jacob and His Honour Judge Michael Fysh QC urged agents into the courts as advocates and to become qualified as mediators in the resolution of intellectual property disputes.
"Patent agents are too timorous," said Jacob. "Your profession lacked a little law but has got better."
Jacob told the assembled crowd that patent agents were not taking an adequate part in patent litigation and that they lacked the self-confidence to take things to the Patents County Court (PCC).
Jacob noted that litigation in the patent office is as expensive as in the courts, urging patent agents to qualify as mediators to advise on alternative methods of dispute resolution.
Fysh agreed, suggesting that the CIPA should look at the possibility of acting pro bono publico in the PCC for those involved in patent, trademark, design and related disputes.