Monday, December 04, 2006

Florida Creates "Board Certification" For IP Lawyers

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court approved a program for board certification in specific areas of law (22 to be exact), including intellectual property law. Any lawyer who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar and who meets the standards prescribed by the state's Supreme Court may be issued an appropriate certificate identifying the lawyer as a "Board Certified Intellectual Property Lawyer."

Some minimum requirements for intellectual property law board certification include:

  • At least five years of law practice immediately preceding application;
  • Practicing patent application prosecution before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office qualifies if the lawyer is a registered patent attorney or registered patent agent;
  • At least 30 percent of practice in matters related to intellectual property law during the three years immediately preceding application;
  • Experience requirements during the five years immediately preceding application for at least one of the following categories: patent application prosecution, patent infringement litigation, trademark law and copyright law;
  • Satisfactory peer review assessment of competence in the intellectual property law field as well as character, ethics and professionalism in the practice of law;
  • At least 45 hours of continuing legal education within the three years preceding application; and
  • Passage of a written examination demonstrating knowledge, skills and proficiency in the field
Interestingly, back in 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in Sperry v. Florida that Florida could not prohibit patent agents from performing within the State tasks which are incident to the preparation and prosecution of patent applications before the USPTO, and that 35 U.S.C. 31 preempted any state laws that governed this area.

View a draft of the proposed rules here.

Tampa Bay Business Journal story here.

2 Comentários:

John Rizvi said...

Peter,

As a Registered Patent Attorney and Florida bar member, I have been closely following the new certification.

One concern, of course, is that non-lawyers will not appreciate the distinction between "Board Certified Intellectual Property Lawyer" and an attorney registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and will be confused by the certification.

How many members of the public understand that a "Board Certified Intellectual Property Lawyer" in Florida CANNOT file and prosecute patent applications before the U.S. Patent Office. Naturally, this may lead to confusion as to the differences between PTO registration and Florida Board Certification.

Of course, most Registered Patent Attorneys in Florida will probably seek Florida board certification anyway just to cover all bases.

John Rizvi
Registered Patent Attorney
Florida Intellectual Property Law Blog
http://www.FloridaIPBlog.com

Google Advertising said...

To be a lawyer is not an effortless job. It requires long enough studies and different processes on search just to cope up on a better lawyer. Good luck to those lawyers who will belong to meet their standards. Hopefully many will be recognizes and will be given a credentials.

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