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Intellectual Property Law Certification First in Florida

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uspto seal3The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports the approval of the nation’s first legal specialty in intellectual property law by the Florida Supreme Court.  This certification will be one of 22 certification areas available in the state.

Florida Bar president, Henry M. Coxe III, appointed a nine-member certification committee to review credentials of applicants, develop policy implementation standards approved by the Florida Supreme Court, and draft and administer the first examination to those lawyers whose practices primarily consist of patent application prosecution, patent infringement litigation, trademark law, and copyright law.

Appropriate certificates identifying lawyers as "Board Certified Intellectual Property Lawyers," will be issued to attorneys in good standing of The Florida Bar who meet the standards prescribed by the state’s Supreme Court.

The minimum requirements for intellectual property law board certification include:

Minimum of five years of law practice immediately prior to application.

Practicing patent application prosecution before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office qualifies if the lawyer is a registered patent attorney or registered patent agent.

At least 30 percent of practice in matters related to intellectual property law during the three years immediately prior to application.

Experience requirements during the five years immediately preceding application for at least one of the following categories:  patent application prosecution, patent infringement litigation, trademark law, and copyright law.

Satisfactory review from peers, assessing competency in the intellectual property  law field as well as character, ethics, and professionalism, in the practice of law.

Minimum of 45 hours of continuing legal education within the three years preceding application.

Passage of a written examination demonstrating knowledge, skills, and proficiency in the field.

This certification is valid for five years, during which time the lawyer must continue to practice law and attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses.

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