IPO launches digital IP renewal service
Following the CEO's call for the Intellectual Property Office to become the world's leading IP agency, the organisation has announced a new digital renewals service that slashes bulk renewal time for IP rights from 5 days to 5 minutes has now been opened up to all customers.
The new service is the first example of the Intellectual Property Office’s ‘One IPO’ service’, providing a single, integrated renewal service across all registered IP rights. It scored a 96% satisfaction rating from customers during a pre-launch trial period.
For the first time, customers who need to renew a registered design can do so online. Customers can also renew up to 1500 IP rights, - including combinations of patents, trade marks and designs - in a single digital transaction.
"Our ambition is to be the best IP office in the world, and our One IPO Transformation programme is central to this," said David Holdsworth, Deputy CEO and Director of Operational Delivery at IPO. "Over the next five years, we want to completely transform what we do to deliver better services for our customers and increase the value we contribute to the UK economy. Our digital Renewals service gives a taster of what you can expect in future. A single, integrated system where you can complete all of your renewals in one place, whether it’s a patent, trade mark or design. In future, all IPO services will work this way – One IPO service for all of your IP needs in one place."
The new service has already handled around £138 million worth of transactions during an initial trial period between April and December last year. This trial period saw around 550,000 individual IP rights renewed using the new platform.
Going fully digital makes the bulk renewals process more streamlined, providing instant validation of renewal applications and eliminating errors resulting from a manual process. Customers get automated electronic delivery of correspondence and receipts, certificates, and can complete transactions at the time and place that suits them.
The testing period saw the team work through a number of challenges to bring the service online. A major lesson learned was about the value of testing new services with a representative group of users reflecting different needs. This helps iron out any issues early on, and ensures that the focus remains on the customer throughout. [Check out this interview with IPO's Deputy Director of Customer Experience].
Our new renewals service has proved that we are more than capable of delivering on our promises of radically improved digital services and we’ll continue this journey with the needs of our customers at the core," said Peter Slater, Deputy Director of IPO’s Technical Change team. "The journey toward introducing a new service isn’t always going to be seamless, particularly at the very earliest stages. Therefore, the value of testing new services with a range of customers with different needs could not be clearer."
These design principles will be reflected across the rest of the One IPO Transformation Programme, which will provide a single, integrated system for all registered IP rights.