|Legal status||Company limited by guarantee in England and Wales|
|Purpose||Representing views of UK industry in IPR policy and practice matters|
|EU, UK and international|
|IP Federation Council|
|Trade Marks, Patents and Designs Federation (TMPDF)|
The IP Federation (formerly the "Trade Marks, Patents and Designs Federation" or TMPDF) is a United Kingdom industry intellectual property trade association. It was founded in 1920 as an industry organization that provides input representing its members' interests in the United Kingdom and international intellectual property rule-making process. It celebrated its centenary on 23 April 2020.
Legal form and name; membership and resources
The Federation is a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (no 166772, incorporated on 23 April 1920 as the "Trade Marks Patents and Designs Federation"). It adopted the style "TMPDF" until 2008, and since January 2009 it has adopted that of "IP Federation". The company name was changed from "Trade Marks Patents and Designs Federation" to "IP Federation" from 5 July 2014.
In April 2018, the company limited by guarantee had 44 members. These included several FTSE-100 UK companies and subsidiaries of comparably large or larger non-UK companies as well as at least one well-known privately-owned innovative company. Mainly funded by its membership subscriptions, the Federation had an income in 2017 of £163 k and reserves of £313 k. Its members are supported by a secretariat of two employees (not full time) working in a central London office.
Governance and work
The policy-making body of the Federation is its Council, which meets monthly except in August. Members of Council are mostly the heads of intellectual property of its member companies, all of which are industrial companies, not professional private practices. The Federation produces policy papers (typically 10 per year) in response to consultations by the UK government, the European Commission, the European Patent Office, and others. It lobbies by means of these policy papers (published on its website as well as sent to the relevant officials), and also through meetings with officials. The Federation also publishes an annual review of intellectual property with a focus on its own activities in the year, Trends and Events.
Separate committees dealing with topics such as trade marks, patents and copyright meet regularly to discuss any issues of interest. Any position that the committee feels needs to be raised is passed to the Council for approval.
The Federation has a distinctive position among other representative bodies dealing with intellectual property, and was influential in resisting the extension of second-tier patent protection in Europe, in the removal of form-based competition law from the UK Patents Act, and generally in the preparations for the Unified Patent Court and the unitary patent (still awaiting sufficient ratification as of 22 March 2018). It continues to make representations on the mechanics of how Brexit will materialise and what it would mean for intellectual property rights in the UK, both alone and in collaboration with organisations such as the IP Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, the Intellectual Property Bar Association, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA).
Since its inception as a trade association, its close relationship with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) permits it to provide professional input on intellectual property matters to the CBI, as well as representing it in meetings of the European employers’ association, BusinessEurope, concerning intellectual property.
With Covid-19 affecting the work of legal professionals everywhere, the IP Federation has been in regular contact with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) and presidents of other IP organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Chartered Institute of Trademark Attorneys (CITMA). Their meetings have addressed matters such as the way the UK IPO is dealing with practical issues like contacting parties when there isn’t an available email address, delaying deadlines, issuing registration certificates, and clarity.
The IP Federation is a founder member of IP Inclusive, a pan-professional diversity task force committed to making the IP professions more inclusive for all those who have the necessary aptitude, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, wealth or background. Following a meeting on 27 January 2015, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA), the IP Federation and the UK association of the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI-UK) agreed to commit to a range of joint initiatives aimed at achieving these outcomes and improving diversity throughout the IP professions.
Presidents of the IP Federation
The complete list of presidents of the IP Federation (formerly the Trade Marks, Patents and Designs Federation) is as follows:
- IP Federation web site, About us. Consulted on February 25, 2007.
- TMPDF entry in Intellectual Property: A Reference Handbook edited by Aaron Schwabach, ABC-CLIO, 2007.
- IP Federation web site, IP Federation centenary. Consulted on May 1, 2020.
- TMPDF: the Feds get modern, IPKat, 19 January 2009. Consulted on 25 January 2009.
- Companies House web site, Get information about a company. Consulted on 16 April 2018.
- IP Federation web site, Member list. Consulted on 21 April 2018.
- IP Federation web site, Accounts for 2017. Consulted on 16 July 2018.
- IP Federation web site, Policy papers. Consulted on March 22, 2018.
- IP Federation web site, Trends and Events. Consulted on March 22, 2018.
- World Trademark Review, Moving the needle: how trademark professionals achieve change. April 6, 2020.
- Chapter 20 "Lobbying" in Michael Jewess, 'Inside intellectual property - best practice in intellectual property law, management, and strategy' (London: Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, 2013)
- Lexology, Brexit and IP – Law Society note calls for government action. Consulted on April 21, 2018.
- IP Federation web site, Our work. April 6, 2018.
- World Trademark Review, "Brexit hasn't been forgotten": exclusive interview with newly elected CITMA president. April 29, 2020.
- Managing Intellectual Property, Interview: IP Federation President Carol Arnold of Shell. Consulted on April 7, 2017.
- IP Inclusive web site, About IP Inclusive. Consulted on April 24, 2018.
- IP Federation web site, Presidents of the IP Federation. Consulted on August 26, 2014.