30 November 2008

Practice: UK Patent Office changes its Name, Logo and Website. Again!

What we had called the Patent Office for over 150 years has just got a new website, a new logo and even a new name.   

My first impression was that the new logo (sorry “device mark” if It has been registered) looked like the flag of Barbados (see below).  "Inspired" by the flag as one of my clients who was defending a passing off case once said. 

But having compared the two close by I think that the logo is an extraordinarily honest piece of work.  The little blobs must be pound coins and the bigger blobs £2 coins representing money going down the plughole.  


You see the similarity to the new logo? A good allegory of intellectual property perhaps.  Or indeed the money spent on a new website not long after the last makeover and 18 months after the last quite unnecessary name change.

According to Sean Dennehey:

"A lot of work has gone into refreshing the website. We hope that businesses small and large, new and longstanding will find it much easier to get the information and guidance they are looking for."

I am not sure that it makes much difference really.   The bits of the website that I used most are the unofficial consolidated statutes and the report of hearings. I got to the Patents Act 1977 from the home page. There is now a new IP Pros page which has a number of tabs one of which is Law and Practice where links to all the Acts and Rules are to be found except the Registered Designs Act 1949.   I was a bit concerned to see that missing because that is the one statute that really needs an unofficial consolidation having been turned inside out twice, first by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 in 1989 and later by the legislation implementing the Designs Directive in 2001.  Fortunately, it is still there but you have to ferret around for it in the “Designs” section.

You know if the Intellectual Property Office really wanted to modernize its website it would introduce an RSS bit feed just like the EPO and WIPO and indeed this blog so that one can keep up to date with British IP news as one can with European patent and domain names news without hoofing around the internet.   Now that really would be worth doing.

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