In this article I would like to discuss what distinguishes a specialist in intellectual property from a normal lawyer and what are the advantages of the latter.
If you are looking for professional help in this area, I am the right person to contact.
1. What are the advantages of a specialist lawyer?
2. How to become an industrial property rights specialist?
2.1. Proof of special theoretical knowledge
2.2. Proof of practical experience
2.3 Ongoing further training
3. How many specialised IP lawyers are there?
4. Summary: Why you should appoint a specialist solicitor for industrial property rights?
A specialist lawyer is specialized in one, maximum three, areas of expertise.
Due to this specialization, he has, compared to non-specialized lawyers, far above-average theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the respective field of law.
Due to his specialization, he can advise concrete legal questions better and lead to the best possible result for his client.
Especially in the field of intellectual property law, this special qualification is of enormous benefit to the client, as it is a special subject matter which is not taught in the course of the studies.
This applies in particular to preliminary injunction proceedings, which are part of the standard repertoire in industrial property protection.
The awarding of a specialist lawyer title is regulated in the Specialist Lawyers’ Regulations. The basic requirement is initially a three-year admission of the lawyer. Thus, first-time lawyers are not allowed to practise.
From a technical point of view, the prospective specialist lawyer must have:
- special theoretical knowledge and
- special practical experiences prove it.
In order to ensure that the specialist lawyer keeps up to date at all times, he must, in addition to his general duty of further training, publish academic papers annually or participate in further training events for lawyers of at least 15 hours.
In order to obtain a specialist lawyer’s title, the lawyer must first complete a 120-hour specialist lawyer course and confirm the knowledge acquired in this course through three five-hour examinations.
The specialist attorney course covers all relevant areas of law. At the specialist attorney for industrial property rights these are the areas:
- Patent, utility model, design and plant variety protection law
- Trademark law and other signs
- the competition law (UWG)
- Law of European patent rights, trademarks and designs and European plant variety right
- Copyright references of the protection of industrial property rights
- Procedural law and special features of procedural law
In addition, the lawyer must prove that over a period of 3 years he has handled a far above-average number of cases from the respective area on his own and under his own responsibility. In the case of industrial property rights this is 80 cases.
These must also be divided among the various fields of law (e.g. patent law, utility model law, design patent and plant variety protection law, trademark law, law against unfair competition or procedural law).
In order to be always up to date, the specialist lawyer must continue his training, even after the title has been awarded.
The specialist attorney for industrial property rights has only been awarded since 2007. He is therefore one of the younger specialist solicitors. The specialist lawyer for labour law, for example, has existed since the 1980s.
In its annual statistics, the Federal Chamber of Lawyers lists a total of 164,656 registered lawyers, 10,354 of whom are based in Hamburg. Of these, 1,172 (Hamburg: 129) are specialists in industrial property rights.
Every year since 2007, about 200 new specialists for industrial property rights are added nationwide.
A specialist lawyer for industrial property rights has:
- far above average theoretical knowledge
- far above-average practical experience, in particular with regard to – warnings – declarations of discontinuance – preliminary injunctions
- a licence for at least three years
- up-to-date specialist knowledge, secured by ongoing training
I was awarded the title of specialist lawyer for industrial property rights by the Hanseatic Bar Association Hamburg on 19.06.2015.
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