Friday 28 February 2014

A bit more on the UKIPO customer visit programme -- and how is this done elsewhere?

Barbara (here) and I (here) have already noted the determination of the UK IPO, in the person of Nigel Hanley, to find out what it is that solo and small-scale IP practitioners want (other than a regular flow of helpful clients who are sensitive to deadlines and pay when asked, affordable professional indemnity insurance, peace on Earth and goodwill to all men ...).  Just to rub it in, here's the tick-box form that the IPO is using as a means of setting the agenda for a fruitful dialogue with its users:
IPO Customer Visit Programme Discussion Topics

IPO Customer Visits are an opportunity for us to tell you what is happening at the IPO and also for you to discuss issues that matter to you. To shape the agenda please complete this form, selecting the topics you’d like to cover:

 Patent Prosecution Highway basic discussion OR

 Patent Prosecution Highway presentation (approx 20 mins that qualifies for CPD)

 Opinions Service and mediation

 Update and questions on the Unitary Patent and Court

 Update and questions on the IP Bill

 PO Electronic Services – recent and forthcoming changes to IPO Services v 
 Service Issues you are currently experiencing and your suggestions for service improvement

 Search and examination targets and practice

 Excluded matter – e.g. Computer Programs

 Bio-Technology

 Accelerated Services

 Colour Drawings

 Section 20 compliance period

 Electronic citations

 Excessive claims

 Patent Box

 Guidance for Small Firms and obtaining finance

Would you find it helpful to meet representatives from:

 Trade Marks

 Patents Formalities

Any other topics or questions you’d like to cover:


Please return [this form] to Nigel Hanley by email to
Apart from the obvious question of what would people like to add to this list, which looks pretty good at first blush, this blogger is curious to know if any intellectual property offices outside the UK are currently engaged in similar outreach exercises. If so, which ones are they -- and how do their attempts to hear and respond to the voice of the small practitioner community compare with that of the UK?  Does anyone know?

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