01 April 2012

Intellectual Property Office to close Bloomsbury Branch

Almost exactly 160 years after its establishment, the Intellectual Property Office is to sever its last links with London. "Ever since the opening of Concept House in Newport it has been difficult to justify the Bloomsbury annexe" said Lawrence Smith Higgins on behalf of the Comptroller. "It is now used largely as a video conferencing studio for hearings with the occasional mediation and seminar. With the need to make economies across the board this expense, which has largely been for the convenience of London based intellectual property practitioners, can no longer be borne by hard pressed taxpayers throughout the country."

Initial reactions from the professions have been mixed.  "Outrageous" fumed a spokesman from the CIPA.  "I should like to know how we are supposed to commute to Newport on scale fees" mused patent and TM agent Richard Gallafent. "But I don't mind too much as we have an office in Llareggub."   "Paddington is not the easiest station to reach from Holborn" observed Barbara Cookson, another patent agent "and the train service has been nothing to write home about. But it could have been worse.  Suppose they had moved it to somewhere really awful like Leeds.   I am  much more worried about Tribunal Practice Notice 7/2012 which requires all statements of case and witness statements to be filed in Welsh as well as English," One of the patent clerks could actually see a positive side. "Several of my governors are into sailing" he said, "and Newport's not all that far from Cowes."

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