An IP clinic is a free consultation with a patent or trade mark attorney, barrister, solicitor or other professional specializing in intellectual property or technology law. These consultations take place once a month at a number of designated centres.
Here are some typical questions:
"I have an idea for a new business. I know I cannot get a patent for it because it is essentially a method of doing business but can you suggest any way of protecting my idea?"
"I would like to know whether my product is likely to infringe this patent. My patent attorney says it is OK but I should like your view too."
"Can you suggest terms and conditions for my new e-commerce site?"
“This seems to be an infringing copy of my work. What do you think?";
The clinic can be a gateway to a lot of resources. It is often attended by professionals other than lawyers such as patent and trade mark attorneys, patent librarians and business advisors. Also, each of the professionals attending the clinic has his or her network of connections. If a client needs a prototype or a design consultant, an introduction to a business angel, venture capitalist or some other professional, the advisor can usually suggest a contact.
For a slightly tongue in cheek account of what to expect, read "Tales from the Patent Clinic" on the IP Yorkshire blog at http://tinyurl.com/ccr2he.
Official Website: http://www.nipc-clinics.co.uk/wirral
Added by Jane Lambert on February 6, 2009