We regularly review changes to patent law and practice at the UKIPO, EPO and in other jurisdictions so that we can keep abreast of the latest developments. Please feel free to contact your usual GJE contact if you have questions on any of these changes or how they might affect specific cases.


‘SEARCH’ – The UKIPO’s new search tool

In July 2023, the UKIPO began using a new patent search tool ‘SEARCH’.  This is based on the search tool used by the European Patent Office and allows examiners to identify potential citations during patent examination more effectively.  The full press release can be read here.

One IPO Transformation – Second consultation

A second public consultation has been launched for the One IPO transformation.  This second consultation is chiefly concerned with trade marks, designs, and tribunal services.  More details on the consultation including how to respond can be read here.

Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances – New consultation

Following a previous Call for Views, the UKIPO has launched a consultation on implementing the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances.  The Treaty is an international agreement to provide intellectual property rights in audiovisual performances, including those by actors, musicians, dancers and other performers that are incorporated into films, television programmes and other audiovisual recordings.  The consultation can be found here.

Innovation and Growth Report 2022/23

This annual report details how the work of the UKIPO has supported innovation and economic growth during 2022-23.  The full report can be read here.

UK-China IP newsletter

The newsletter is targeted at UK stakeholders and includes updates on recent developments in Chinese IP.  The latest edition of this newsletter can be found here

Filing statistics

The statistics for July 2023 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.


J5/23 – handwritten signatures required for assignments

In J5/23, the Board of Appeal considered the meaning of the term “signature” in Art. 72 EPC, which stipulates that assignment of a European patent application requires “the signature of the parties to the contract”.  The Board decided that “In the absence of a different definition in the Implementing Regulations, the term ‘signature’ in Article 72 EPC must be understood as referring to a handwritten depiction of someone’s name (Reasons 2.9).”