IPO moves patent inspection service online

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched a new online service to remove the cost to businesses of requesting patent documents.

Called Ipsum, the service allows users to obtain a document for free rather than pay a £5 application fee. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills claims it could save UK business nearly £100,000 a year. Another benefit, according to Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Wilcox, is that Ipsum is updated in real time, meaning businesses no longer have to wait days for the information they need to come through the post. The service is open to anyone, and is expected to benefit businesses researching patents, patent attorneys working for clients protecting their IP rights, and potential inventors looking for the best way to find information on patent applications. Baroness Wilcox said: "Ipsum is free so it removes unnecessary costs for businesses. The service will give businesses, universities and consumers instant access to the information they need so they can understand the progress of patent applications and save money. "Patent examiners around the world will also benefit as they can now immediately understand why the UK Intellectual Property Office did, or did not, grant a patent. This could help reduce the global back log of applications benefiting UK business hoping to get their patents processed in another country." The service is available on the IPO website here.