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Reviewed 25 August 2010

What's in a name?

Ron Marchant, Chief Executive of the Patent Office, today welcomed the Patent Office name change on 2 April 2007 to "UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO)".

Ron said;

"I believe that the new name 'UK Intellectual Property Office' (UK-IPO) truly reflects the wide range of intellectual property services offered and dispels confusion and uncertainty for our customers."

The change of name to UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) was a recommendation of the recent Gowers Review of Intellectual Property. The name "The Patent Office" has been used for many years, during which time businesses have built upon other forms of Intellectual property, such as Copyright, Trade Marks, and Designs. The strong recognition of the importance of all forms of Intellectual Property for successful and competitive UK businesses meeting the challenges of the global economy is reflected in the name change to the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Editors' notes:

  • The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property is available from the HM Treasury website External Link.
  • The Patent Office was set up in 1852 to act as the United Kingdom’s sole office for the granting of patents, although the origins of the patent system stretch back at least a further 400 years. The Designs Registry was set up in 1839 to protect industrial designs and its responsibilities transferred to The Patent Office in 1875. The registration of Trade marks became a Patent Office function in 1876. Historical information is available.
  • The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) will remain an Executive Agency of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) within the Office for Science and Innovation (OSI) and responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patent, designs, trade marks and copyright
  • From 2 April 2007 the Patent Office will be working under its new name, 'United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office' (UK-IPO). The new website address will be 'www.ipo.gov.uk' though the existing address 'www.patent.gov.uk' will redirect you to the new site.
  • A number of changes need to be made to the law, but this does not prevent the Office from using its new name. To avoid any doubt the words 'UK Intellectual Property Office is an operating name of the Patent Office' will be used on material until the legal changes have been made.
  • The office name change is accompanied by a new logo which is available on request.

Date of release: 30 March 2007