Examining patent applications relating to artificial intelligence (AI) inventions

The guidelines and scenarios explaining how the IPO examines AI inventions have been updated following the Emotional Perception judgement.  This includes a new section discussing artificial neural networks, as well as more information on examining applied AI and processes lying outside the computer.  The updated guidelines and scenarios can be read here

Research and Analysis – Public perceptions of IP in UK media

The UKIPO commissioned independent research on the public perceptions of intellectual property and specifically the presentation of IP in the UK media.  Overall, key themes drawn out from the research highlighted trends in the use of social media as an enforcement strategy and suggested that media and social media backlash impacts the decision making of rightsholders.  Consistent inaccuracy in reporting was also observed, which could impact public perception and lead to public misunderstanding around IP rights.  The full report has now been published and may be read here.

Research and analysis – IP Awareness and understanding among UK SMEs

A detailed report has been published discussing the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) IP Awareness Survey, which explores and assesses the levels of IP awareness, understanding and perceived use among UK SME businesses.  Awareness of intellectual property is high with 79% of businesses being familiar, and 63% saying they use at least one measure of IP protection.  The full report can be read here.

Research and Analysis – Green Technology

A landscape analysis of trends in patents and trade marks relating to green technology has been published, with 5.1% of patents relating to climate action and around 6% of trade mark applications being identified as green.  The executive summary of the report can be read here and the full report is available on request from the UKIPO.

Research and Analysis –The Metaverse IP landscape

The metaverse is a rapidly emerging sector with little specific regulation.  This UKIPO report provides an overview of the IP landscape of the metaverse, and specifically looks at both patent and trade mark trends in this sector.  Some key findings of the report include that the UK shows a degree of specialism in this sector compared to some other nations, and that the number of International Patent Families relating to the metaverse increased 68% in 2018 compared to 2013.  The full report can be read here.

UKIPO Strategy 2024 to 2027

The UKIPO’s new strategy, IPO 2027: IP for a creative and innovative UK, sets out the framework for how it will deliver its mission to help grow the UK economy.  The full report can be read here.  As part of this, the corporate plan for 2024/25 has also been published and includes launching the One IPO patents service and new online IP search tool.  More details on the 2024/25 corporate plan can be read here.

Standard Essential Patents: 2024 forward look

The UKIPO have published their key objectives concerning Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) ahead of a public technical consultation later in 2024/25.  More information can be found here.

UK-China IP

The UKIPO publishes a newsletter targeted at UK stakeholders and including updates on recent development in Chinese IP.  The latest edition of this newsletter can be found here

Filing statistics

The statistics for April 2024 are now available here.  Statistics for previous months can be found here.

Customer service standards

The latest update on how the IPO are doing relative to the targets they have set themselves can be found here.


Revision of WIPO Standard ST.26

The Committee on WIPO Standards adopted version 1.7 of WIPO Standard ST.26 at its 11th session. This new version will enter into force on 1 July 2024. As of 1 July 2024, sequence listings for European patent applications for which a Standard ST.26 sequence listing is required must therefore comply with either version 1.6 or version 1.7 of the standard. For international applications filed on or after 1 July 2024, the new version 1.7 applies, while sequence listings submitted after filing of an international application filed before that date may use either version 1.6 or version 1.7.

More details here and here.

PPH Programme Between the EPO and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Chile

The European Patent Office (EPO) and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Chile (INAPI) announced on 11 July 2023 their intention to launch a comprehensive Patent Prosecution Highway pilot programme. The PPH pilot programme between the EPO and INAPI will commence on 1 June 2024, for a period of three years ending on 31 May 2027.

The requirements of the programme are set out here.

New Features of MyEPO Portfolio

The EPO has launched new features of MyEPO Portfolio.  As of 1 June 2024, successful EQE candidates will be able to request their entry on the list via MyEPO Portfolio, simplifying the registration process. Professional representatives who previously featured on the list and were subsequently deleted from it are also able to request their re-entry on the list via MyEPO Portfolio. In addition, the representative profile in the representative area will feature two new, optional fields where representatives can indicate an email address for personalised correspondence from the EPO and the epi, and their epi student number, if applicable.  Details available here.

A number of other new features are detailed here, here, and here.

Abolition of Fax as a Means of Filing Patent Applications

On 1 July 2024, a decision of the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) will enter into force abolishing facsimile (fax) as a means of filing European and international patent applications and other documents with the EPO. This decision applies to all European patent, Unitary Patent and PCT proceedings, including opposition and appeal proceedings.  Details available here and here.

Decommissioning of the Mailbox

With effect from 1 July 2024, it will no longer be possible to access the EPO Mailbox using the old Mailbox service interface (generally referred to as “legacy Mailbox”), and the My Files service and Administration facility will no longer be available.  These services are instead incorporated into MyEPO Portfolio.  Details here and here.

OLF2.0 Storage Limitations

As of 1 April 2026, data stored in Online Filing 2.0 for longer than five years will no longer be accessible. Users who have stored such data in Online Filing 2.0 will need to transfer it to their own repositories by 31 March 2026 if they wish to access it in the future.  More details here.

Acceptance of Electronic Signatures

As of 1 April 2024, the EPO now accepts digital signatures on documents.  More details here, here, and here.

New Refund Procedure

As of 2 April 2024, the EPO has made available an enhanced fee refund procedure that has been further digitalised to make the process of claiming refunds online even simpler and more efficient. Under the revised procedure, users of MyEPO Portfolio will be able to claim their refunds directly in Central Fee Payment without having to receive a refund code first. In addition, users can manage their access rights to delegate the task of claiming refunds.  More details here.