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Professional Certificate in

Trade Mark Practice

Trade Mark Practice - Professional Certificate in
  • Level(s) of study: Practitioner / Professional
  • Study mode(s): Part-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: October 2020
  • Course duration: 10 months


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The course is accredited by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg). Successful completion of this course will entitle candidates to apply for registration as a Trade Mark Attorney with IPReg.

This is an Advanced Level Professional Qualification course for Trainee Trade Mark Attorneys who have successfully completed the IPReg accredited Foundation Level Qualification at Queen Mary University London, Brunel University or the University of Bournemouth.

This Certificate, designed by Nottingham Law School in conjunction with CITMA, is focused on the development of the knowledge base and professional skills required of a registered Trade Mark Attorney in what is now a fragmented and volatile legal services market. Built upon teaching and assessment methods used to train solicitors and barristers, the advanced course will focus on the outcomes required of the practitioner in the Legal Services Act world.

The course:

  • is designed specifically for CITMA trainees and has been approved by CITMA and accredited by IPREG
  • is skills-based and built upon the same course delivery techniques as the Legal Practice Course for solicitors and the Barrister Training Course for barristers
  • is designed to use a variety of teaching techniques such as interactive lectures, role play and case study exercises and facilitated discussion groups
  • is practical, based on an experiential method of delivery
  • uses an eLearning platform called NOW
  • utilises the skills of practising Trade Mark Attorneys in addition to members of Nottingham Law School faculty. A number of practising Trade Mark Attorneys have undertaken a Nottingham Law School Train the Trainers course to enable them to develop their skills as tutors
  • uses a method of rotating assessments which means that some assessments are taken throughout the course
  • is graded, like the Nottingham Law School LPC, into Distinction, Commendation and Pass
  • is delivered in a way that suits busy schedules and minimises the time spent away from the office
  • recognises that you will be in private practice or working in-house during the course and seeks to enable you to apply your knowledge and skills to your own practice as soon as possible.
  • is taught by a mixture of assignments and attendance.

How you’re taught

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the courses were built around three intensive modules running from Wednesday to Saturday, allowing work to be completed at a time that is convenient to you.
For the academic year 2020-2021, Nottingham Law School will be delivering the courses using blended synchronous and asynchronous learning. The modules will cover the same hours of tutor led teaching; however, the modules will be divided into shorter online teaching sessions and delivered over a longer period – Tuesday to Saturday. Saturday’s teaching will be conducted face to face at Nottingham Law School.

Study routes

You will study part-time over 10 months, beginning in October and ending in July the following year. The course is built around intensive study units, allowing work to be completed at a time that is convenient to you.

eLearning

The course does not consist solely of a limited number of study units in Nottingham. You will also make use of our eLearning facilities. NOW (NTU Online Work space) is a virtual learning portal and a resource which can be accessed from your computer at home or in the office. Course materials, recordings of lectures and assessments can be downloaded and viewed from your computer. In addition, you will be able to access library resources such as Westlaw and Kerly's. NOW can also be used to form online discussion groups. It will be possible for you to contact your personal tutor and group tutors via NOW, to obtain feedback or to ask questions.

It is hoped that NOW will enable a collegiate feeling to develop between faculty and students. You remain a student of the Law School, no matter where you are geographically. NOW provides a mechanism for you to stay in touch, both with your tutors and each other. Find out more about the NOW system on our website.

Course dates 2020/21

DateModule/Assessment*

Monday 12 October to 17 Saturday 2020

Module 1 Unit 1

Monday 30 November to Saturday 5 December 2020

Module 1 Unit 2

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Assessment: Searching & Advising

Wednesday 20 January to Saturday 23 January 2021

Module 2 Unit 1 [4 days]

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Assessment: Interviewing & Advising

Thursday 11 March to Saturday 13 March 2021

Module 2 Unit 2 [3 days]

Thursday 22 April 2021

Assessment: Introduction to UK & International TM Practice (P1)

Friday 23 April 2021

Assessment: Litigation & Tribunal Practice (P2)

Wednesday 9 June to Saturday 12 June 2021

Module 3: IP Basic Litigation Skills [4 days]

Thursday 15 July 2021

Assessment: IP Basic Litigation Skills (P3)

Friday 16 July 2021

Assessment: Advocacy

*Asynchronous and synchronous online delivery in October and December. The physical mode of delivery for the January, March and June modules are under review to take into account any policy changes relating to COVID-19

Covid-19 planning

We will be adopting a range of blended teaching and learning techniques including online and face-to-face (where practical) to ensure that students can meet their learning outcomes in full. We will respond proactively to any national or local policy changes (including lock down) to ensure student safety as our primary concern whilst continuing to focus on offering a comprehensive student academic experience and will work flexibly with our students to ensure they are not disadvantaged by Covid 19.

Careers and employability

This course does not currently offer placements.

Further information on careers and employability

Course accredited by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg).

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

Applicants will have either:

  • successfully undertaken the Foundation Level Qualification in trade mark law approved by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board and be employed in trade mark related practice (defined as a Trade Mark Attorney's office, solicitor's office, barristers' chambers, or the relevant department of a company, public authority or other public sector organisation, or a professional body)
  • or in the opinion of the programme leader and of IPReg, have equivalent qualifications or experience that will equip them to complete the course successfully.

We specify these minimum entry requirements, but we will assess you individually on your ability to benefit from the course. We sometimes offer places on the basis of non-standard entry qualifications, and industrial or professional experience.

Recognition of Prior Learning

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

What is the Professional Certificate in Trade Mark Practice (PCTMP)?

The Professional Certificate in Trade Mark Practice (“PCTMP”) is the final vocation course and assessment for trainee registered Trade Mark and Designs Attorneys. As confirmed above, the PCTMP is a part time course and is assessed by oral and written examinations.

It is important to note that it is a “Professional Certificate” rather than a “Post Graduate Certificate”. The course has been designed to help you to develop practical skills alongside work in the office. The use of a professional certificate as a learning and assessment framework is deliberate. A Professional Certificate focuses on the development of knowledge, understanding and skills in professional and work-based practice. For example, you will see that there are assessments in Advocacy before the Registry, Searching and Clearance Reports, and Interviewing and Advising. These are the practical skills used by trade mark attorneys on a daily basis. The course seeks to develop case analysis and problem problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to reach sound judgements. The ability to communicate with clients effectively, both orally and in writing, is central to the teaching and assessment strategy.

Am I ready to take the PCTMP?

This is an important question for you, and for your employer.

The IPReg Competency Framework is a useful central criteria and we recommend that you discuss the framework with your employer.

Review both the general skills set and the technical competency requirements.

  • Look at the type of work you are actually doing in the office. Don’t guess.
    As a guide, set aside a period of five days and look, in a critical way, at your timesheet or diary. Consider how much time you spend on administrative or procedural work or substantive legal advice, drafting, research and reporting;
  • How many of the IPReg technical competencies can you claim as part of your training to date?
    For instance, have you completed a first draft of a specification? Have you helped to prepare a Clearance Report with a colleague? Have you drafted any witness statements for use in Registry Proceedings or coexistence agreements? Whilst your draft may not have formed much of the final version you should be able to point to an attempt, or to a review of a draft completed by a more experienced colleague.
  • Do I need to do more work in the office before starting the PCTMP?
    If you find that you cannot claim most of the technical competencies at the IPREG Basic Level, and at least some of the competencies at the intermediate level, you may need to do some additional work before you are ready to undertake the PCTMP.

What should I do if I decide that I am not ready to take the PCTMP this year?

This is a personal choice. Review the competencies and reflect, critically, on where you are right now. It is important for you to get the most out of the course and to be able to contribute to discussions and debate. In the past, some students have suggested that they found it helpful (or would have found it helpful) to “have a break” between the Postgraduate/Foundation year and the PCTMP. In addition, if you have diagnosed a gap in your knowledge or skill base, think about the best way to address it;

  • Do you need to do some additional drafting work?
  • Would it help to be seconded in house (if in private practice) or to a trade mark or law firm if, you work for a brand owner?
  • Could you ask for support from a mentor to help you to work through some of the IPREG Competencies?
  • Do you need to do more oppositions and contentious work if you work only on filings?
  • Would you find it helpful to speak with a PCTMP alumnus on an informal basis to discuss the workload and how best to prepare for the course?

Successful completion of the PCTMP is not the end of the road to qualification. You must satisfy IPReg, by way of Statutory Declaration, of your “substantial experience” in trade mark work and your character and suitability to be a be a Trade Mark and Designs Attorney.

Applicants should normally have either:

  • successfully undertaken a course of study in trade mark law approved for the purpose by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) and have employment in trade mark related practice (defined as a trademark attorney's office, solicitor's office, barristers' chambers, or the relevant department of a company, public authority or other public sector organisation, or a professional body)
  • in the opinion of the programme leader and of IPReg, have equivalent qualifications or experience that will equip them to complete the course successfully.

We specify these minimum entry requirements, but we will assess you individually on your ability to benefit from the course. We sometimes offer places on the basis of non-standard entry qualifications, and industrial or professional experience.

Recognition of Prior Learning

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

What is the Professional Certificate in Trade Mark Practice (PCTMP)?

The Professional Certificate in Trade Mark Practice (“PCTMP”) is the final vocation course and assessment for trainee registered trade mark and designs attorneys. As confirmed above, the PCTMP is a part time course and is assessed by oral and written examinations.

It is important to note that it is a “Professional Certificate” rather than a “Post Graduate Certificate”. The course has been designed to help you to develop practical skills alongside work in the office. The use of a professional certificate as a learning and assessment framework is deliberate. A Professional Certificate focuses on the development of knowledge, understanding and skills in professional and work-based practice. For example, you will see that there are assessments in Advocacy before the Registry, Searching and Clearance Reports, and Interviewing and Advising. These are the practical skills used by trade mark attorneys on a daily basis. The course seeks to develop case analysis and problem problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to reach sound judgements. The ability to communicate with clients effectively, both orally and in writing, is central to the teaching and assessment strategy.

Am I ready to take the PCTMP?

This is an important question for you, and for your employer.

The IPReg Competency Framework is a useful central criteria and we recommend that you discuss the framework with your employer.

Review both the general skills set and the technical competency requirements.

  • Look at the type of work you are actually doing in the office. Don’t guess.
    As a guide, set aside a period of five days and look, in a critical way, at your timesheet or diary. Consider how much time you spend on administrative or procedural work or substantive legal advice, drafting, research and reporting;
  • How many of the IPReg technical competencies can you claim as part of your training to date?
    For instance, have you completed a first draft of a specification? Have you helped to prepare a Clearance Report with a colleague? Have you drafted any witness statements for use in Registry Proceedings or coexistence agreements? Whilst your draft may not have formed much of the final version you should be able to point to an attempt, or to a review of a draft completed by a more experienced colleague.
  • Do I need to do more work in the office before starting the PCTMP?
    If you find that you cannot claim most of the technical competencies at the IPREG Basic Level, and at least some of the competencies at the intermediate level, you may need to do some additional work before you are ready to undertake the PCTMP.

What should I do if I decide that I am not ready to take the PCTMP this year?

This is a personal choice. Review the competencies and reflect, critically, on where you are right now. It is important for you to get the most out of the course and to be able to contribute to discussions and debate. In the past, some students have suggested that they found it helpful (or would have found it helpful) to “have a break” between the Postgraduate/Foundation year and the PCTMP. In addition, if you have diagnosed a gap in your knowledge or skill base, think about the best way to address it;

  • Do you need to do some additional drafting work?
  • Would it help to be seconded in house (if in private practice) or to a trade mark or law firm if, you work for a brand owner?
  • Could you ask for support from a mentor to help you to work through some of the IPREG Competencies?
  • Do you need to do more oppositions and contentious work if you work only on filings?
  • Would you find it helpful to speak with a PCTMP alumnus on an informal basis to discuss the workload and how best to prepare for the course?

Successful completion of the PCTMP is not the end of the road to qualification. You must satisfy IPReg, by way of Statutory Declaration, of your “substantial experience” in trade mark work and your character and suitability to be a be a Trade Mark and Designs Attorney.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Just click the Apply button at the top of this page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you have checked the entry requirements above carefully before you start!

Please submit your application by 17:00pm (GMT+1) on Thursday 1 October 2020. Applications made after this date will be admitted at the course leader's discretion. If you have any queries about your application, please contact the course leader.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You will find information and advice about applying to NTU on our postgraduates’ guidance pages.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Decided on this course? Click the Apply button at the top of this page now. We advise you to start applying as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Please submit your application by 17:00pm (GMT+1) on Thursday 1 October 2020. Applications made after this date will be admitted at the course leader's discretion. If you have any queries about your application, please contact the course leader.

Applying to NTU

For advice on how to make an application to the University, please visit our see our applying guidelines for international students. You should also check out how to write a good personal statement.

Stressing over your student visa application? Visit our visa information page now.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Fees for academic year 2020/21:

£8360.00

Career Development loans may be available. For further information please visit the Gov.uk website.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Fees for academic year 2020/21:

£8360.00

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Still need help?

NLS Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460