Many of us feel as though we have undergone some form of transformation over the course of this last extraordinary year. On 21 April 2021, the UK IPO proudly announced its own “One IPO” Transformation Programme – a five-year programme intended to transform Intellectual Property (IP) services and enhance the value that the IPO adds to the UK economy. As Amanda Solloway MP (Minister for Science, Research and Innovation) commented: “The UK already has a world leading IP environment, but a service for innovators must itself innovate.”
The UK IPO is pledging through the “One IPO” programme to completely transform the way they deliver services. As well as offering more modern, flexible, digital services the IPO foresees opportunities to help creatives, innovators and businesses to protect, research and use their IP more effectively.
IP is regarded as an important element in helping the UK to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic. It is widely acknowledged that IP helps to drive economic growth and competitiveness, and contributes enormously to our national economy. The objective of the UK IPO is to create a world-leading IP system that will reinforce the UK’s place as a global innovation and IP leader, which in turn will drive economic growth and make the UK a more attractive place to invest.
So how does the UK IPO plan to transform?
Until now, the UK IPO has always had completely separate systems, processes and services for the different kinds of registrable IP rights: patents, trade marks and designs. The idea behind the “One IPO” programme is that in future the UK IPO services will be focused around the following 3 key tasks that their customers need to perform:
- Protect IP – services that allow customers to secure and manage their IP rights. It also includes services that allow customers to challenge registered IP rights or IPO decisions
- Research IP – services that allow customers to search and analyse the IP data on the IPO records. Customers will also be able to access IPO publications by industry, market or topic
- USE IP – services that support customers in making the best use of their IP. These could include services to help customers understand or commercialise their IP rights
Benefits that are expected to follow from the “One IPO” transformation include:
- A single, integrated system for all IP rights.
- Customers will have a single online IPO account with convenient self-service features.
- UK IPO services will be fully digital, quicker and easier to use.
- Collaboration and real-time advice.
- Customers will be able to easily research IP, with powerful analytics tools that will help them search, query, interpret and share data.
Timetable for implementation of the “One IPO” Programme:
The programme will be delivered in three phases. Phase One has now started, and is expected to continue until 2024. During this phase, the UK IPO will start to build its Common IP System (“CIPS”), a single integrated system for all IP rights. By the end of this phase, the patents services will be moved onto CIPS.
The patents services are being moved onto the new system first, as the current patent system is considered to be in greater need of an update than trade marks or designs. These will also be moved onto CIPS in Phase 2, which will start in 2023 and continue until 2026. By the end of this phase, there will be a fully integrated digital service, where customers will be able to manage all of their different IP rights and account details in one place.
In Phase 3, from 2026 onwards, the UK IPO pledges to deliver ongoing improvements and excellent IP services. The target is to keep evolving in order to keep the UK at the forefront of innovation through the world’s best IP framework.
Further details can be seen here: One IPO Transformation Prospectus – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it