The UK Government has launched a consultation on proposals for the legal changes needed to deliver the Intellectual Property Office’s ‘One IPO’ transformation programme.

The proposed changes will update the law and remove legal barriers, allowing the IPO to be more innovative and deliver world-class digital services. They will also address current inconsistencies between different IP rights.  Responses to the consultation will help shape the laws underpinning the transformation programme, helping ensure the UK’s IP framework is fit to embrace the opportunities of the future.

There are two parts to the consultation – you can respond to either or both:

Part A focuses on proposed changes to the law to enable digital transformation of the IPO’s services. The IPO is seeking evidence and views on a range of options on how legislation could be altered to better support innovation.

Part B focuses on proposed changes to improve the IPO’s tribunal function and align processes that should work in a similar way across rights.

The consultation is a key strand of the ‘One IPO’ transformation programme. ‘One IPO’ will provide a single, integrated system across all IP rights and vastly improved digital services.

The Government is seeking a range of evidence and views  from businesses, representative organisations, and legal practitioners on proposals covering a wide range of areas, including:

  • Standardising some legislative requirements across IP rights
  • The use of artificial intelligence and automation
  • Greater flexibility on fees
  • Improvements to the tribunals function
  • The types of media that can be used in patent applications

The One IPO service will be rolled out to patents customers a year from now.  Trade marks and designs will be added in 2025.

Early details and demonstrations of the One IPO service have already been shared with customers for parts of the new service, including the new IPO customer accounts and the new patents application service.

However, changes in legislation – not just technology – are needed to allow the IPO to deliver best-in-class services.

The IPO’s Deputy CEO and Director of Services Andy Bartlett said:

“Many of the laws that govern how the IPO operates were written for a paper-based world. For true digital transformation of our services, the law needs to be updated.

Removing barriers that prevent us from being innovative means we can provide modern digital services fit for the 21st century. It’s essential that we hear from you to shape the laws that will underpin those services.”

CIPA President Alasdair Poore said:
“We welcome these proposals and the consultation.  This is an opportunity for the UK IPO to develop its services and maintain its position as a world leading intellectual property office, ensuring that it can offer businesses and their representatives services covering intellectual property – patents, trade marks and designs – which take advantage of and embrace the many opportunities of the new digital world.”

President of CITMA, Rachel Wilkinson-Duffy said:
“The One IPO transformation project is a huge undertaking and will change the way we register and manage trade marks and other IP rights in the UK.  Our members are some of the biggest users of the system, so we would encourage all Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys and those working in the trade mark legal profession to contribute their thoughts to this consultation.”

The IP Federation’s President, Matthew Hitching, said:

“The IP Federation believes that digital transformation has great potential to improve access to the IPO’s data and services for all users, as well as providing efficiency gains and cost savings. Our members work daily with IP offices worldwide, and we will apply those experiences to respond constructively to the consultation.”

The consultation will last for 9 weeks, ending on Friday 6 January.

More information about the consultation and how to respond are published on GOV.UK.




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