The UK-IPO has just issued a press release with the rather worrying title: "Destruction of patent documents filed at the Office". This is actually all about the gradual transformation (which has been going on for some time now) of the Office into an all-electronic system, at least as far as patent prosecution goes.
Friday, 14 November 2008
As from the end of next March (or thereabouts), the UK-IPO will be introducing a "scan and shred" policy for documents submitted to them. Most things submitted will be kept only as a scanned copy, and everything submitted will eventually be destroyed.
The IPKat is glad to see that the UK-IPO appears to have thought this through very carefully, and have considered what will happen, for example, to colours and greyscales in as-filed drawings, which would otherwise be lost when scanned. There is also a safeguard for applications filed without an application fee, although the IPKat fails to see why these should be treated any differently from those where the fee is paid on filing. After all, the law only requires the application fee to be paid within the first 12 months, doesn't it?
Another important point to note, and one that most patent-wise people will already be aware of, is that one should never send originals to the UK-IPO (assignments being a good example). They don't need them in any case, but as from next year do not expect anything sent to be sent back, except perhaps in very small pieces.
Tufty would like to know why he can't have his patent application for multi-coloured cat toys published as he intended. Couldn't the system be brought up to date in this way too? Trade marks and designs can be in colour, so why not patents?