The FICPI Academy of Education runs FICPI’s training programmes for trainee IP attorneys, including the South East Asian Drafting Course (SEAD™) and its European counterpart (EuroSEAD™), new for 2017 was the introduction of the South American Edition.

The SEAD™ project developed out of the perceived need for better training in intellectual property in developing countries. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade emphasised the importance of free trade and the importance of Intellectual Property in that trade. Under the TRIPS Agreement, member states are required to provide appropriate systems for the protection of intellectual property rights.

For the efficient operation of IP systems internationally, it is necessary that there be in each country a body of well qualified IP attorneys who are able to assist applicants and patentees, and industry in general, in obtaining, defending and advising on intellectual property rights and to advise residents in that country in relation to rights in other countries.

A patent system depends entirely upon the patent specification. Whether it be a registration system or a full examination system, there is nevertheless the need for a patent specification to form the basis of the grant.  Unless this is drafted well, rights might be lost. In developed countries, the art of drafting patent specifications is passed down from generation to generation by the experienced patent attorneys who supervise the work of trainees.

Formal education can only take that skill part of the way. There is a trend for professionals in developing countries to brief professionals in developed countries to draft patent specifications for their clients. It is believed this is only a short term measure and is unsatisfactory.

Recognising this problem and with the knowledge that its membership had the necessary expertise required by the developing countries, FICPI offered its assistance in training.

EuroSEAD™ courses have been run in Ottrott-Le-Haut , Budapest, Palermo, Tallinn, Starnberger See, Warsaw, Biarritz, Istanbul, Hamburg, Vienna and Cambridge.