Accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to the following services;

This statement also covers the trade mark electronic correspondence service. Links to this service are applicant specific and supplied in direct correspondence between the examiner and applicant

These services are run by The Intellectual Property Office.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use these services. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • get from the start of the service to the end using just a keyboard
  • get from the start of the service to the end using speech recognition software
  • listen to the service using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the services text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible these services are

These services were tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 level A and level AA. We carried out these tests internally using the WAVE accessibility testing tool.

The results of this testing found that parts of these services are not accessible. For example:

  • language has not been set using the <html lang> attribute
  • there is text which has a very low contrast ratio
  • there are form controls which do not have a properly associated text label
  • there are form controls which have more than one label associated with them
  • there are form labels which have not been correctly associated with a form control
  • there are visually hidden headings which contains no information
  • there are headings which are not in a logical nested order
  • there is text which has not been correctly marked up as a heading
  • there are some pages which do not contain any headings
  • pages regions have not been used to identify different page areas
  • the navigation order of page elements within the service has been set using a tabindex value
  • JavaScript has been used on some pages to trigger a new web page
  • layout tables have been used to position some of the content
  • there are links within the service which do not clearly describe the link destination or function
  • there are images which contain insufficient, irrelevant or no alternative text
  • PDF documents output by a service are not fully accessible to screen reader software

We are in the process of addressing all these issues.

Feedback and contact information

If you have difficulty using any of these services, or need something in a different format such as large print, audio recording or braille, then contact our general enquiries team:

Telephone lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays.

We'll consider all requests for different formats and get back to you within 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with these services

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of these services. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page, or think we are not meeting accessibility requirements, contact our customer insight team:

Telephone lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our offices have audio induction loops. If you contact us before your visit, we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter to help you complete the service in person.

Find out how to contact us

Technical information about these services’ accessibility

The Intellectual Property Office is committed to making these services accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

These services are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Language has not been set by using the <html lang> attribute. This can cause problems in ensuring screen reader software reads content in the appropriate language. This may also cause problems for the automatic translation of content. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 3.1.1 level A.

There is text which has a contrast ratio of less than 3:1. This can cause problems for all users, especially those with low vision. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.3 level AA.

Some form controls do not have a properly associated text label. This can cause problems for screen reader users as the function or purpose of the form control will not be described to them. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 Level A and 2.4.6 level AA.

Some form controls have more than one label associated with them. This can problems for users of assistive technology as the correct label may not be read. This does not meet WCAG success criteria 1.1.1, 1.3.1 and 3.3.2 level A and 2.4.6 level AA.

There are form labels which have not been correctly associated with a form control. This can cause problems for assistive technology users as information about the form control will not be described. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1, 1.3.1 and 3.3.2 level A and 2.4.6 level AA.

There are visually hidden headings containing no information. This can cause confusion for screen reader users to determine its purpose. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 level A.

Headings on some pages are not in a logical nested order. This can cause confusion for users when using the keyboard or assistive technologies to navigate. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 Level A and 2.4.6 level AA.

Some page regions are not present. This can cause problems for users of assistive technology as the different page regions will not be identified. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 and 2.4.1 level A.

A tabindex value has been used to specify the navigation order of some page elements. This can cause navigation problems for assistive technology users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.3 level A.

JavaScript has been used on some pages to trigger a new web page. This can cause navigation problems for assistive technology users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.1.1 and 3.2.2 level A.

Layout tables have been used on some pages to position content. This can cause reading and navigation problems, especially for screen reader users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 level A.

There are images which contain insufficient or irrelevant alternative text. This can cause confusion for screen reader users when trying to understand the content and function of the image. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 level A.

PDF documents

No primary language has been set for PDF documents. This causes difficulty for screen reader users as screen reader software will not load the correct pronunciation rules. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 3.1.1 level A.

A descriptive title for PDF documents has not been set in the document properties. This can cause problems for users of assistive technology when trying to determine the purpose of the document. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.2 level A.

PDF documents have not been correctly tagged. This can cause problems for keyboard and assistive technology users, who may not be able to understand the content. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.2 level A.

The tab order of PDF documents has not been set correctly. This can cause problems for keyboard and assistive technology users, who may not be able to understand the content. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.2 level A.

Tables which have been used to layout content within some of the PDF documents, have not been marked up correctly. This may cause navigation problems for assistive technology users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 level A.

Some PDF documents contain content visually presented as a list. Some of these lists have not been marked up correctly using list elements, which may cause navigation problems for assistive technology users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 level A.

Some PDF documents contain headings which are not in a logical nested order. This can cause confusion for users when using the keyboard or assistive technologies to navigate. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 Level A and 2.4.6 level AA.

Some PDF documents contain images where alternative text is not present. This can cause confusion for screen reader users when trying to understand the content and function of the image. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 level A.

We plan to fix these issues by 31 December 2021.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Third party content that’s under someone else’s control

Pages and websites that are linked to and from these services may not be fully accessible. These include:

  • our secure debit or credit card payment service
  • instruction pages on GOV.UK

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are currently working on an accessibility roadmap, which we will publish once complete. This roadmap will ensure all issues affecting our services are fixed within the timescale stated.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 21 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 21 September 2020.

The services were last tested on 11 August 2020 and were checked for compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA. The tests were carried out using in-house resources.