As of the beginning of 2015, continuing professional education (CPE) has now become mandatory for Italian intellectual property attorneys, i.e. for both Italian patent attorneys and trademark attorneys.

According to the regulation adopted by the Italian IP attorneys’ institute, the following are examples of activities that earn CPE credits for Italian IP attorneys:

a) Professional skills update courses, and postgraduate courses;
b) Seminars, conferences and roundtables;
c) Study committees and working groups in the field of intellectual property, instituted by national and international organizations.

Such activities may also be organized by the council of the Italian IP attorneys’ institute for its members.

Credits may also be earned by remotely participating in such events, i.e. by way of webinars and other activities offered in electronic form. Indeed, due to fact that a large proportion of Italian IP attorneys are located in Milan, several events leading to CPE credits have already been organized in that city, and have been very successful in terms both of participation and of the quality of information offered at those events. Therefore, to allow Italian IP attorneys in other cities to earn the required CPE credits, and to allow Italian IP attorneys in general to best reconcile their day-to-day professional activity with the need to earn CPE credits, many activities will be organized as online events.

Here are further examples of activities that earn credits for Italian IP attorneys:

a) Lectures in the courses, seminars, conferences and roundtables mentioned above;
b) Lectures in courses for candidate Italian IP attorneys;
c) Lectures on intellectual property-related topics at universities or officially-recognized university institutes and corresponding organizations;
d) Participation as member of the examining committee of the Italian IP attorney qualification examination;
e) Writing articles about intellectual property for publication in magazines with national or international circulation, as well as in multi-author books and reviews.

According to the regulation adopted by the Italian IP attorneys’ institute, the CPE credits that can be earned with the above events are 1 credit for each hour of participation in the event, 7 credits for participating in a single event lasting a whole day, and 21 credits for participating in an event lasting 3 or more days. In total, every Italian IP attorney will have to earn at least 20 CPE credits over the course of two years. Italian IP attorneys who are qualified both as patent attorneys and as trademark attorneys will have to earn at least 10 CPE credits in each field, patents and trademarks. Furthermore, at least 3 CPE credits must come from activities relating to the professional rules and code of conduct of Italian IP attorneys.

For all Italian IP attorneys, the CPE requirement represents an opportunity to attend even more events and get the most complete and up-to-date information on the latest developments in intellectual property. This requirement constitutes an excellent new opportunity to formalize the efforts that all Italian IP attorneys already make to achieve and maintain the highest possible standards of professional knowledge in their field, to the benefit of all their domestic and foreign clients as well as of international colleagues who entrust Italian IP attorneys with the representation of their clients in Italy.

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