Under its Statutes, an aim of FICPI is:
To promote the training and continuing education of its members and others interested in intellectual property protection by organising local and regional ad-hoc programmes.
Within the Training and Education Commission (TEC), there is an Academy, which manages patent drafting courses in South-East Asia, Latin America and Europe. The course started in South East Asia in 1997, where it is known under the acronym SEAD for South East Asia Drafting Course. It was extended to Europe in 1999 and to South America in 2017. At least one session of the course, if not two, takes place every year in one of these three regions.
The FICPI patent drafting course has a unique format (two full weeks in person separated by an assignment period with written exercises by correspondence) and is given by tutors from various important IP jurisdictions (Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, China).
Being the International Federation of IP attorneys, FICPI endeavours to promote exchanges and interaction amongst IP professionals from different countries and territories.
The Training and Education Commission now proposes a student exchange/hosting program under which trainees or young practitioners are afforded an opportunity to undertake in-house training within a host firm of an IP attorney in another country or region.
Candidate trainees shall have at least basic knowledge or experience in IP in their field (patents, trademarks, designs…) in their home jurisdiction. Ideally, but not necessarily, candidate students working in the field of patents will have successfully completed a FICPI patent drafting course.
For firms, there are two options:
- Exchange: An exchange may take place between two firms from different countries or regions, who will exchange young practitioners from their respective offices.
- Hosting Only: The program may also simply consist, for a firm, in hosting a trainee from another jurisdiction, without any specific agreement with a firm in that other jurisdiction.
Interested firms are invited to express their willingness to participate in the program for an exchange with another firm (Option 1) and/or for hosting a trainee (Option 2).
FICPI believes that this program will stimulate strong bonds between participating firms which will be of significant benefit to those firms in the future.
The trainees would benefit from work experience in another jurisdiction, with an opportunity to learn about the IP laws and practices of another part of the world, as well as exposure to alternative office systems not to mention the chance to live and work in a foreign city, albeit for a short time. Participating firms would benefit from the broader range of professional contacts that would undoubtedly ensue and from exposure to the perspective of young professionals in other countries.
Firms participating in the exchange program will undertake not to hire or solicit a trainee sent by another firm before the expiry of a 6-month period after the end of the training period.
FICPI has initiated an arrangement under which it will assist in the placement of trainees in participating firms.
FICPI will maintain a register of firms and corporations prepared to host one or more trainees. The register will include the following information:
- exchange and/or host
- working language
- number of staff (qualified attorneys & others)
- training under consideration (patents (with technical field), trademarks, designs…)
- preferred training period
- contact person for managing the trainee’s placement and professional progress
FICPI will also maintain a register of trainees who wish to enter the program, which will include the usual curriculum vitae details as well as the following information:
- IP education and courses passed to date
- length of training in the profession
- length of employment in the profession
- language skills
- training requested (patents (with technical field), trademarks, designs…)
- country/territory/city preferred
The term of a placement is flexible, but a period of at least two months is recommended.
Trainees (or their regular employers) shall bear their own costs of travel to the host country and living costs in the host country. The host firm will provide a basic daily allowance to cover incidentals, such as daily travel and lunch. The host firm will also provide a suitable workstation, equipment and the like.
A list of training objectives, as detailed below, has been developed by FICPI to guide participating firms with respect to their obligations to the trainees. For example, the host firm should allow a trainee to accompany an attorney to client meetings, official hearings and the like. The trainee would work alongside an attorney in a variety of aspects of IP work in his/her field (patent/trademark/design application preparation, filing, prosecution, ….).
The trainee will have:
- at least a basic knowledge in IP in their field and preferably two years of experience in that field
- been assessed to be able to prepare a patent/trademark/design application in a straightforward case
- been presumed to understand the role of an IP attorney
- competence in at least one of the working languages of the host firm
At the end of the training period, the trainee should have experienced an appropriate range of work and requirements of an IP attorney in the country or territory of the host firm.