Expansion of the UKIPO's Patent Opinions Service

June 30, 2014

The UK Intellectual Property Office is to expand its popular opinions service into other areas.

Amendments to the Patents Act 1977, introduced by the Intellectual Property Act 2014, will increase the powers of the UK Intellectual Property Office (the IPO) relating to patent opinions and revocation. Firstly, the new law will enable third parties to request the IPO to provide a non-binding opinion on the validity of a patent on a wider range of issues, not just novelty and inventive step as is currently the case. Secondly, in the event that the IPO opinion finds a patent to be invalid due to a lack of novelty or inventive step, the new law will also allow the IPO to revoke the patent. However, the IPO will not be able to proceed with the revocation before the patent owner has had a chance to request a review of the opinion, make observations and amend the patent specification to restore its validity. The provisions in the Intellectual Property Act will start to come into force from 1 October 2014.

If you have any questions concerning the above, please get in touch with your usual contact at Swindell & Pearson Ltd or Paul Chapman at [email protected]. Paul divides his time between our offices in Derby and Sheffield.