Wednesday, 29 October 2014
As you can see from the above video the Intellectual Property Office has moved to the Government portal. The new address of the site is https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office although you can get through to the new site if you key in http://www,ipo.gov.uk. The new site is not as pretty as the old site and it takes a bit of getting used to but everything that I need seems to be there.
I use the site for the unofficial consolidations of The Patents Act 1977, The Registered Designs Act 1949, The Trade Marks Act 1994 and Parts I and II of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and The Patents Rules 2007 and The Trade Marks Rules 2008 and they all seem to be there. Harder to find are the Tribunal Practice Notices which you need whenever you go before a hearing officer. These have been archived with the old website. So, too, have the patents, trade marks and some of the designs decisions. The Copyright Tribunal still has its own website though it is said to be moving to .gov.uk eventually.
I am not sure how easy it is for patent and trade mark attorneys who use the site far more than lawyers do. For a time I was detecting signs of frustration from one of them whenever I checked into Facebook. I should imagine it is a lot less user friendly for the businessman or other lay user. There was a lot to be said for keeping separate general and professional portals. No doubt there is a good reason for all this change and commotion which probably has something to do with cost savings.
The IPO are not the only ones to get a new website. Our chambers have launched one which you will find at http://www.4-5.co.uk/. Our intellectual property team is here and my personal page is here. If you want to get in touch with us you can still use the clerks contact form or call us on +44 (0)207 404 5252 during normal office hours.