CITMA Paralegal Course

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The CITMA Paralegal Course is the official qualification for trade mark paralegals and support staff.

By testing knowledge of trade mark formalities and official procedures the course equips trade mark paralegals with, and acknowledges, an understanding of practices within the profession.

The 2018 course is open for registration, click here to enrol

The course, taken by around 100 people in 2017, covers the roles many trade mark paralegals perform, and will take some out of their comfort zone to help broaden their knowledge base. It ensures those who take the qualification know why they do a job and not just how.

Lectures are delivered by experienced trade mark paralegals and attorneys. Topics covered include how to register a trade mark, searches, renewals and maintenance, changes of ownership, oppositions and cancellations. The course also touches on registered designs and domain names. The 2017 programme gives a good indication of the subjects covered.

The 2017 course was delivered via classroom lectures from a London venue and via webinar. Those attending via webinar are usually asked to attend three sessions in person in London.

We asked leading IP recruiter Dawn Ellmore about the importance of the course, she said:

“The CITMA Paralegal course gives you the opportunity to gain a qualification that is both recognised by employers and can help you move up the career ladder.

“Rebranding the course as CITMA Paralegal helps to acknowledge the shift in responsibilities of trade mark administrators over the past few years and gives greater status to those providing crucial support to Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys."

The course covers the legal aspects relevant to a paralegal's role, as well as their often crucial tasks in handling formalities and the administration of trade mark portfolios. It runs from January to May and consists of two lectures lasting two hours roughly every other week. The exam takes place in June or July.

On completion of the lectures, an exam is taken on the course content. There is a multiple-choice section and a written answer section. Both are compulsory. The pass mark is 65%.

If you fail, a place on the following year's course cannot be guaranteed as priority is given to those who have not previously taken the course. Unsuccessful candidates can however receive copies of the course content for a fee and sit the exam the following year - they are not permitted to attend lectures. Only one re-sit can be taken, so if a candidate fails again they must re-apply for the course.

All successful candidates will be eligible to apply for CITMA Paralegal membership.

Please note that candidates who have passed the exam and who intend to further their career by sitting the trade mark attorney exams would be more suited to student membership of CITMA.

We strongly recommend that course attendees have a minimum of 18 months experience in trade mark administration and formalities before they take this course.