"I don’t know how many people are aware that the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) website is about to be swallowed by the central government GOV.UK site. If you go to www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office you will see that there is a space waiting for it and it is going to happen “soon”. There are rumours that the site will be re-designed in the process and I have contacted the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (of which the UKIPO is an executive agency) to find out when the site is to be moved, what changes will be made to it and by whom.Thanks so much, Martin. Now is the time for all good readers to mobilise! Write to your professional organisations [this often works] and your local Members of Parliament [this almost never does, but it's quite therapeutic]-- and then begin to pray that GOV.UK, a.k.a. GOBBLE.UP, won't be allowed to swallow up the excellent content and functionality of the current IPO website.
As we have seen with OHIM’s re-designed site [on which see Birgit's Katpost here and David Musker's post on Class 99 here], thorough testing prior to launch is essential to ensure a smooth transition so, unless the plan is to graft the current UKIPO site on to GOV.UK site (with, perhaps, some cosmetic changes) I hope there will be a robust testing schedule for the new site. UK businesses should also expect it to offer no less information and support than is available on the UKIPO site at present.
The theory ...
Let’s also hope that the new site isn’t put together by the people who have worked on the IP bits of the “Businesses and self-employed” section of the GOV.UK site (www.gov.uk/business). IP, sadly, doesn’t make it on to the “popular pages” section; but if you look at the bottom of the page, just above “Waste and environmental impact”, you will see “Trademarks, copyright and intellectual property”. I can forgive the misspelling of “trade marks” [Merpel can't ...], but where is the reference to patents? And wouldn’t links to the UKIPO site have been a better bet for information on IP than the rather amateurish efforts on the site? For example, under the heading “Register a trademark” it states “You can’t make changes to your trademark after it’s been registered.” What on earth are you supposed to do with a bit of information like that without further explanation?"
... and the practice
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Martin Krause (a partner in the patent and trade mark attorney practice of Haseltine Lake LLP) comes a wake-up call/cri de coeur which all good souls who use official IP websites should heed. He writes: