Axe falls on search service -- but who will feel the blow?

The IPKat's friend and a vigilant informant Chris McLeod (Hammonds; ITMA Treasurer) has drawn his attention to a sad little notice from the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) to the effect that it is to cease its designs search service in December 2008.

Right: the IPKat likes to conduct his own searches, sniffs out worthy initiatives that have been kicked into the long grass ...

According to the notice:
"... the Designs Search service for designs registered in the UK and the European Community provided by the UK-Intellectual Property Office will no longer be available after 12 December 2008. The reason for this is that there has been very little demand for this service since it was introduced in October 2006 and its provision has become unsustainable.

Any requests for this service received by 12 December will be processed as normal. This does not affect any part of the UK designs application process.

We ... remain committed to providing information to customers before they make a decision on whether to make an application to register a design. Our Central Enquiry Unit staff will be happy to provide general guidance on registrability and information can also be found on our website. You may also like to know that we are currently looking at providing a new pre-application service offering a number of options to customers, possibly from late 2009, and will post any further information on our website in due course".
The IPKat was just mewsing on the true significance of this when he received further information from the same source, this time in the form of a notice concerning trade marks. This notice is almost identical, except that the UK-IPO mentions that its website "includes a free search facility". The IPKat isn't sure whether he should be mourning the passage of a useful service which many people may not have known about, or rejoicing at the making of savings in public expenditure, or what? Do tell him ...
Axe falls on search service -- but who will feel the blow? Axe falls on search service -- but who will feel the blow? Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, November 13, 2008 Rating: 5

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