The name of the Organisation, previously known as "The Patent Solicitors' Association"1)shall henceforth be "The Intellectual Property Lawyers' Association", hereinafter called "the Association".
The objects of the Association shall be to keep under review the law, court procedure and practice relating to the fields of interest (as defined hereafter) and in pursuance thereof to make representations and to offer assistance or recommendations to The Law Society and other bodies.
Fields of Interest
The fields of interest shall be patents, trade marks, registered designs, copyright in drawings capable of industrial application whether registrable or not, trade secrets, designs, unfair competition and passing-off.
Those firms listed in the Schedule annexed are current members of the Association. Hereafter membership shall be open to any firm of solicitors in private practice in England and Wales (who are represented by one or more of their partners), either on invitation from or on application to, the Committee provided that any such invitee or applicant has a substantial practice, including a litigation practice, in the fields of interest.
A firm which is a multi-disciplinary practice, a legal disciplinary practice or an alternative business structure may become a member of the Association if one or more solicitors are partners in that firm, and one or more of those solicitor partners satisfy the requirements of sub-paragraph (a). Only the solicitor partners of such a firm may participate in the activities of the Association, and the firm will automatically cease to be a member of the Association if it ceases to have any solicitor partners who satisfy the requirements of sub-paragraph (a).
An incorporated practice or a limited liability partnership shall be treated as a firm, and its shareholders or members who are solicitors shall be treated as partners, for the purposes of this Constitution.
Meetings shall be held quarterly. If any subject of special interest arises a meeting may be requisitioned by any five members by notice to the Secretary. In addition, the Association shall hold an Annual General Meeting. Meetings shall be called upon not less than seven days' notice.
Minutes of Meetings
Minutes shall record resolutions of the Association and such other matters as those present at a meeting shall agree.
Each member firm shall have one vote. Member firms which are not represented at a meeting may appoint a proxy by notice to the Secretary in advance of the meeting. Resolutions shall be carried by a simple majority except that any resolution to amend this constitution shall require a majority of two thirds of those voting. Voting shall be by a show of hands except in elections for Officers of the Association (as to which, see below).
Committee and Officers
There shall be a Committee of Officers of the Association consisting of a Chairman, a Secretary and three other Officers. The Officers of the Association shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and shall remain in office until the end of the next Annual General Meeting. Nominations for election must be received by the Secretary at least three weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
Where there are more candidates than places, the Secretary shall circulate ballot papers in advance of the meeting, together with any written statements to the electorate that the candidates wish to make. Voting shall be by member firm. Ballot papers may if convenient be sent by post, email or other convenient means to the Secretary in advance of the meeting.
There shall be separate ballots for the Chairman and Secretary who in each case shall be the candidate securing the most votes; and in the case of election for the other Officers each member firm shall vote for three candidates and the three candidates polling the most votes shall be elected. In the case of a tie which is material to the outcome, the tied vote shall be resolved by lot.
The Committee may appoint a sub-committee to review any matter as it sees fit.