Instant response! IPO bows to Kat comment, changes logo

For many years, out of the kindness of his heart and despite having many better things to do, the IPKat has been telling the UK's Intellectual Property Office and its political masters what to do.  Sometimes his advice has been ignored, mislaid or kicked into the long grass; his stern instructions have been met with that happy blend of incomprehension and indifference which civil servants are sent on courses to acquire.  But occasionally -- just occasionally -- the Men from the Ministry and (this being the 21st century and an era of equality) the Women too will respond to the provocations of the IPKat and (this being the 21st century and an era of equality) Merpel.

The UK IPO: the motif on the left symbolises
the main product of Wales, where the IPO
is based -- rain drops
Only yesterday, in his review of a briefing on the L2Pro 3G mobile-enabled platform for delivering up-to-date IP advice for SME folk (see post here), this Kat posted the illustration of the IPO's current logo, with all those blue blobs on it, together with an unflattering comment with regard to their symbolism.  Little did he know that, on reading this post, the great and the good from Newport, Gwent, and their colleagues in London, had set to work in designing a new logo. The fruits of their labour may be seen in the material posted below, culled from the IPO's website, here:

IPO logo change and single government identity

We will shortly begin replacing our existing logo with the Royal Coat of Arms. This is part of a wider move to develop a consistent and cost-effective approach to branding across UK government departments and agencies.
New Intellectual Property Office logo
We will implement the logo change in a phased approach commencing in February 2013, starting with our web site and gradually replacing stationery as and when stock levels need replacing. During this period you may notice some inconsistency with our stationery as paper and material stocks are replaced.
Government's use of a standard logo will also make it easier for its customers to distinguish genuine government correspondence from official-looking and often misleading approaches by other organisations.
For those who want to take a closer look, the artwork of the logo is reproduced in greater size here. The lion, depicted on the left of the emblem, is an animal that sleeps for two or three days at a time after it kills and eats its prey, this period of time representing the approximate number of man (or woman) hours needed to examine a patent application. The unicorn, a fictional beast whose function is principally decorative and ceremonial, represents whoever's turn it is to be the Minister for Intellectual Property ...
Instant response! IPO bows to Kat comment, changes logo Instant response! IPO bows to Kat comment,  changes logo Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. Does this mean that some poor saps who need to get out more have been gleefully masquerading as the IPO and using their logo in 'official-looking and often misleading approaches'?? I can report that it's takenme all of 5 seconds to cut and paste the new logo and strapline from the IPO's website into a Word document, so I'm all set to do the same!

  2. It isn't all that long ago since their last logo change, is it? 2006?
    seen here

  3. Congratulations to the IPkat Jeremy for being able to be heard and responsible for such a great improvement.

    I wanted to bring your attention to a copyright UK 'satellite group' for an online short course. Some of the IPKat readers could be interested, not only because it's free and online, but mainly because of the high quality of the online material made available by the Berkman Center fellows and Professor W. Fisher (YouTube video lectures, an excellent Mindmap presentation and other jurisprudence materials). More is said here:
    Please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested as the course has just started and join our G+ community community CopyrightX. Tara Taubman

  4. Bravo Kats. What a pity they didn't take your advice about appointing an IP Tsar though

  5. I can't believe Her Majesty's Government chose Helvetica Neue. Haven't they seen the movie?

  6. Jeremy, how can you say that the unicorn is a fictional beast? Haven't you watched the Harry Potter movies?

  7. This is clearly a nice way of referring to the future. The change in logo (from the rainy old one to the new unicorn one) comes from the Blade Runner film, in which it rains a lot and in which a unicorn dream sequence allows [SPOILER ALERT] the main character played by Harrison Ford to discover who he really is.

  8. @Richard Smith

    I believe they changed from that logo to the present one in December 2008. So that's 3 logos in 7 years!

  9. @Richard Smith

    I believe they changed from that logo to the present one in December 2008. So that makes 3 logos in 7 years!

  10. The official description of the lion and unicorn in this coat of arms:

    Dexter a lion rampant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper, sinister a unicorn Argent, armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses patée and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or

    It could almost be a patent claim...

  11. Alan White

    Please note that unrepealed section 62 of the Patents and Designs Act 1907(c.29) states (with added emphasis): "The Treasury my continue to provide for the purposes of the Patents Act 1977 ... an office with all requisite buildings and conveniences,which SHALL BE CALLED THE PATEBT OFFICE"

  12. Modern times ....
    We're not amused

  13. As a Welsh man I take great offence that the current logo "symbolises the main product of Wales... rain drops"

    It doesn't rain here that often, honest.

  14. The logo which didn't entirely suit Jeremy's canon reminds me very much of the staircase atop the Palais Royal métro station in Paris, which to my eyes looks like a (royal) crown made of beads. The work, entitled "le kiosque des noctambules", was commissioned for the network's centennial in 2000 to artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. It did draw as much controversy as the bug-eyed architecture of Hector Guimard did in its time. I personally quite like it.

    On the other hand, the IPO's beady crown leaves me rather indifferent, I'm somewhat more concerned by the conservative return to outdated symbols of monarchy and imperial power. But who am I to criticize, I'm just a colonial.

    The overgrown kitten and the fancy pony vanished from the cover page of British patent documents at just about the same time the EPC entered in force, with the numbering of the patents issued under the new law beginning at GB2000001.

    In view of the current debate about the UK's relationship with Europe, I feel that a return to the old symbols is rather ominous...

  15. Hear Hear, Alan! I seem to recall that there was a fashion for renaming what were perfectly good and well-known company names (remember the fiaspco with the Post Office's "consiginia" ?) .

    I wonder if the use of the trading name "Intellectual Property Office" has diluted the effectiveness of Section 112 of the 1977 Act, given that a number of organisations were using Intellectual Property or IP in their trading names before the Patent Office decided to use it. I do not think that a commercial organisation whose exclusivity in their well-known and well-respected name was enshrined in an act of parliament would lightly stop using it.

  16. As a PS, I just had a look at the IPO's latest customer feedback update, covering the last quarter of 2012. It includes 80 pages of "informal" complaints, mostly concerning invoices for renewals from official-sounding outfits. About a quarter of these are from the "Intellectual Property Agency" (IPA), which operates from a UK address. Evidently the IPO doesn't consider Section 112 PA1977 can be used to deal with the IPO-IPA confusion that people are evidently having, as the IPO's advice is "Consult Trading Standards".


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