FICPI conducts its activities through voluntary member participation, and its functions and activities are the responsibility of specific committees. Considerable emphasis is placed on the work of the committees, whose members make detailed studies of issues of particular interest to the IP profession and its clients.
The largest commitee is the CET, the Study & Work Committee, whose acronym derives from the French name “Commission d’Étude et de Travail“. The CET comprises a number of specialised committees dealing with trade mark matters, industrial designs and copyright, international patent questions, European, Community and other regional patent systems, patent issues arising in specialist subject matter areas such as computer-implemented inventions and biotechnology, IP litigation, including alternative dispute resolution, customs procedures etc., and national IP issues.
The Practice Management Committee (PMC) addresses issues of interest to the daily work of IP practitioners and their practices and promotes excellence amongst IP firms; including initiatives such as developing standards the communication between firms as a way to reduce the risk of misunderstandings and possible losses of rights to clients. PMC also deals with practical issues relating to IP asset management, such as IP valuation, litigation insurance and the like.
The FICPI Academy, supported by the Training & Education Committee, has responsibility for promoting the training and education of members of FICPI and others interested in intellectual property protection. The FICPI Academy has a role in developing the working programmes for FICPI’s educational meeting such as the Open Forums held every two years out of three in Europe, other meetings and symposia as well as FICPI's webinar series, but the FICPI Academy's key role is in managing and running SEAD™, an esteemed and popular IP drafting curriculum.
The European Members Committee of FICPI (EUCOF) was established to facilitate relations with the European Commission and other pan-European organisations interested in intellectual property. EUCOF also provides support to FICPI members in “smaller” European countries where the profession faces particular challenges, especially following the introduction of the London Agreement.
Other committees are concerned with admissions, FICPI’s statutes, deontology, communications, membership and contact with national IP attorney organisations so as to facilitate possible memberships. The majority of FICPI’s committees have important tasks to perform in fulfilment of FICPI’s current strategic plan, which was approved by the EXCO in 2018.