Recently I had picked up here and there reports on a debate currently ongoing in France to perform a merger between the profession of the Patent Attorneys ("conseils en Propriété Industrielle") with the profession of the Lawyers ("avocats").
Now it appears as if the project is neither dead nor doomed to be stalled indefinitly but there appear to be many obstacles. According to Mr Breese, on March 18, 2008, the two professions involved chose not to abandon the process. They were, both in favor of two proposed mergers but with significant differences. The project on which the patent attorneys had spoken favourably probably would not have resulted in a favourable vote by lawyers, and vice versa. The problem appears in particular to be related to two aspects:
The status of patent attorneys became lawyers: CNCPI rejects the term integration which would be contrary to the project, while lawyers present a status as a fully integrated profession after the demise of the profession of patent attorneys;
The conditions for access to the occupation: CNCPI presented a draft where the entrance to CRFPA would be neither more nor less than the current EQF and CAPA would be specific to Intellectual Property Law while the lawyers proposed a project where the entrance and exit would be merely to have Intellectual Property Law as an optional subject.
See also other reports from Mr Breese on that subject-matter: