Published: 19 September 2017
CIPA is calling on the intellectual property regulator to conduct a full review of practice fees with a view to reducing them by 10 per cent, after criticising a huge rise in staff costs in the last five years.
CIPA welcomes the announcement from IPReg that it does not intend to increase practice fees in 2018, but believes that this does not go far enough.
Dr Tony Rollins, President of CIPA said: “There has been an increase in IPReg’s staff costs of 183% since 2013 and CIPA finds this totally unacceptable.
“Staffing has increased at an average cost of £53,000 a year, from £150,000 in 2013 to a proposed £423,000 in 2018, without any proper justification for this.”
IPReg proposes to increase its staff costs by £83k in 2018 and has recruited two senior roles – a Chief Executive and a Head of Registration – following the resignation of its founding Chief Executive, Ann Wright, this summer.
Dr Rollins said: “CIPA sees no justification for the new Head of Registration post and received no detailed explanation for it, despite making our opposition clear in our two previous meetings with IPReg.
“CIPA believes that, if IPReg believes that this post is essential, it should be funded through cost savings made elsewhere.”
From the surpluses it generates in each financial year, IPReg has generated a reserve of sufficient size to safeguard the organisation.
CIPA believes that it would be possible to reduce practice fees by 10 per cent and has made suggestions to IPReg as to how this might be achieved through efficiency savings, such as outsourcing aspects of regulation.
CIPA is therefore calling for a full review of the practice fees payable by patent and trade mark attorneys and takes the view that the appointment of two senior roles should be funded by efficiency savings and not through the historic surplus.