The IPLA was formed in November 1982 to act as a central voice for those law firms in England and Wales (now anywhere in the UK) with significant IP practices who wished to lobby for improvements to the law and practice of intellectual property law in the UK. The Constitution for IPLA was modified in 1995 and 2007.
Full meetings of IPLA are held quarterly. Representatives of IPLA also sit on other committees including the Intellectual Property Court Users' Committee and the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Users' Committee.
Over the years IPLA has been centrally engaged in many of the advances made to the practice of IP law in the UK. For example:
IPLA contributed to the IP Court Users' Committee's proposals for the reform of procedures in the Patents County Court, which are praised in the Jackson Review of Civil Litigation Costs. IPLA has also participated in the lengthy series of developments and consultations which led to the Unified Patent Court Agreement (it was one of the only organisations to contribute to all three consultations on the draft Rules of Procedure), and it played a leading role in the lobbying which secured a section of the Central Division in London.
IPLA is one of the associations being consulted by government on the impact of Brexit on IP, and is helping to coordinate the responses from a number of professional and industry groups.
Another important interest of IPLA is improvements in the training of IP solicitors. IPLA arranged, in conjunction with Bristol University, the creation of a specific Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law. In 2008, Oxford University took over the running of this course. The course is held annually and attracts of the order of 50-70 lawyers, generally newly-qualified lawyers, from law firms throughout England and Wales.