Trademark lawyers: we’re not dinosaurs

Field Fisher Waterhouse head of trademarks and brand protection John Olsen has sparked a war with trademark agents after commenting in The Lawyer that “the profession of a trademark agent is a tradition whose time is past”.
Ian Buchan, the president of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA), has reacted angrily to Olsen’s comments and written an open letter to members, stating that such views are completely at odds with Olsen’s membership of ITMA.
Buchan said Olsen’s harsh words had upset a lot of members and that he had received more correspondence on the subject than on any other during his 18-month tenure.
Olsen was unrepentant. “We believe that in order for clients to get the very best and broadest advice, training in the law is now essential,” he said.
Buchan raged: “In effect, he’s saying that ITMA is a bunch of dinosaurs. It’s like Conservatives espousing Labour views.”
“I’m not trying to demean anyone at ITMA,” responded Olsen. ”They provide courses and education for the trademark profession. We’ve chosen to go a step beyond that and provide a specialised trademark service from lawyers to our clients.”