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History of the Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office became an operating name of The Patent Office on 2 April 2007.

The Patents Law Amendment Act 1852 introduced the world's first "modern" patent law. The same law brought The Patent Office into being on 1 October 1852. The infant Office had responsibility for:

  • Patents;
  • The Patent Museum, inventors could contribute models of their inventions, which was at South Kensington. This was passed over to the Science Museum in 1884, and
  • The Patent Library which rapidly became one of the United Kingdom’s (UK's) premier technical and scientific collections. The library remained part of The Patent Office until the 1960s when it passed to the British Library as the Science Reference Library.

1875 - 1876 saw new responsibilities as The Patent Office took on registered designs, which had previously been with the Board of Trade and for the newly created registered trade marks, which protect the brand identity of articles and now services.

Southampton Buildings, London office

The first home of The Patent Office.

Newport, South Wales

Our home since 1991, Concept House, is open for ideas.

The current location of our London Office is Abbey Orchard Street. We moved to this location in May 2012 from 21 Bloomsbury Street. Prior to that our London Office was located in Harmsworth House, Bouverie Street.