The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trade marks and copyright. The new service will see the process of applying for a patent dramatically transformed over the next 12 months.
On 17th May 2023, the IPO published a transformation document which sets out what patents customers can expect over the next 12 months, and details of upcoming changes to IPO’s services as part of the One IPO Transformation Programme.
There will also be a number of important changes to the IPO’s services ahead of the new service for patents being launched in spring 2024.
As part of this, the IPO will develop APIs allowing providers of IP software to seamlessly link their products with IPO’s new systems. This would enable customers to access a range of IPO’s services directly from the IP software they use, resulting in a faster and more streamlined user experience.
September 2023 - first new 'One IPO' service to launch and early access
The first new ‘One IPO’ service will include:
- New patents search service - customers will have far more options in how they search for patents
These include: keywords, owner of the IP right, date of registration, and the status of the IP right.
Customers will be able to save searches, monitor the patents they care about, and build their own patent journal.
In addition, the IPO will begin piloting the new One IPO patents service and will be offering a small number of patents customers early access to the new service.
Customers can express their interest in taking part in the patents pilot by emailing [email protected].
Spring 2024 - new 'One IPO' service launches for all patents customers
The new One IPO patents service will launch for all patents customers in spring 2023. This includes:
- A new digital patents applications service – submit information in the order that suits you, save and go back to draft applications and see the status of your application at any time
- A new customer accounts service – manage and track all of your patents in one place. Update your account information online in seconds
- The first APIs. The first APIs will be made available – allowing providers of IP software to link their products directly to IPO’s new systems. The APIs could allow you to view your portfolio of patents, details of ongoing patent applications, or renew patents from your own IP software
Autumn/winter 2025 - TM and designs services plus digital hearings and tribunals services launch
In autumn/winter 2025 the IPO will launch its new trade marks and designs services, plus its digital hearings and tribunals service.
Changes to services
"The new One IPO service will offer lots of benefits for all IPO customers," the IPO says, "but there will be some changes to how we do things."
- eOLF will be phased out for GB patent applications once our new IPO service has launched. From spring 2024 you will no longer be able to start new international (PCT) patent applications in eOLF. eOLF will still be available for new GB patent applications and ongoing PCT applications for a further three months, before being disabled for UK IPO filings in summer 2024.
- There will be changes to how customers submit patent applications. Attachments will have to be submitted in ODT or DocX format and patent specifications will have to be split into separate documents.
- Customers will have the option to designate super administrators for their organisation. They will have responsibility for creating or removing IPO accounts within the organisation. They will also be able to control who within the organisation can view what client information or applications.
- We will be changing all of our paper forms to reflect the new digital service.
Details of these changes, the reasons for them and the benefits they will bring are available in the IPO's transformation document.
Join the 7th June 2023 webinar to find out more
On Wednesday 7 June the IPO will be hosting a webinar, One IPO Transformation: One year to go, where the IPO will explain everything that is happening over the next 12 months and customers can put their questions to them.
You can sign up to attend this webinar.
Comments on the new services
Viscount Camrose, Minister for AI and Intellectual Property, said:
"Intellectual Property (IP) is vital to the success of the UK economy and a powerful enabler of innovation and creativity. As the UK economy transforms to meet future needs, so too must our IP services, removing barriers to innovation and supporting UK innovators as they embrace the opportunities ahead.
"By delivering fast, flexible, high-quality services for the future, the ‘One IPO Transformation Programme’ will help the UK Intellectual Property Office deliver its ambition to be the best IP office in the world. I am excited to mark one year to go until the IPO’s new fully digital service for patents is launched."
The Intellectual Property Office’s Chief Executive and Comptroller-General Adam Williams said:
"2023 is the year that transformation becomes real as we deliver our first patent module. Now is the time to look at the changes that are coming, understand how they will affect your organisation and work with us to smoothly transition to the new service.
"It’s an exciting time, and we can’t wait for our customers to start benefiting from the new One IPO service, as we deliver on our promise of providing brilliant digital services."
Daniel Chew, President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), said:
"We are very pleased to see the IPO developing innovative digital services and look forward to the improvements that they are expected to bring for our members.
"With a number of changes on the horizon, it is important that our members are aware of the IPO’s timelines and how these changes could affect them. So we will urge our members to sign up for the IPO’s ‘One IPO Transformation – One year to go’ webinar next month, which should be a great opportunity to ask questions and get further information about the programme and the advantages it promises."
Our thanks to the IPO for this press release which can be found in full at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-patents-service-one-year-to-go