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Trip down memory lane

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: IP research

This will be a bit of a departure from the usual blog as I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the newest member of the Economics, Research and Evidence (ERE) team.

This blog is becoming an increasingly important tool for letting our stakeholders and customers know what we’re up to. I am Julia Leighton and, as the new managing editor for the blog, I thought it would be interesting to look at how our approach to doing that has developed over the years.

I’ve worked in the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for over 20 years. I have held several roles during this time starting in the Patents Directorate, then in our Information Centre answering a range of  enquiries from professionals and members of the public, and working on IP education on exciting initiatives such as Cracking Ideas, and now the challenge of the ERE team.

Customer needs

As an organisation, the IPO has kept up with customer needs - from the lone inventor to professional bodies - to be kept informed. Inevitably, what our customers want has changed with the times: the Information Centre, or Central Enquiry Unit as it was originally known, is one example of how the IPO adapted to respond to customer needs. When the office recognised the need for a central point of information, trained people were drafted in from across the organisation to answer customers' calls and make sure they got the service they needed.

Customer interaction has grown at a substantial rate and in ways I would have never imagined possible when I started 20 years ago. The office now uses all aspects of social media to promote, involve and keep our customers informed. It’s clearly popular - in fact the IPO (@The_IPO) has a bigger Twitter following than the European Patent Office and United States Patent and Trademark Office put together.

Work of the ERE team

Which brings us nicely to this blog and the point of today’s post? How well do we communicate the work of the ERE team? We:

  • publish an updated rolling research programme every year (this year’s programme will be published very shortly, so watch this space!)
  • hold open peer review events to debate and discuss the findings of our research
  • publish all of our outputs including the underlying data and methodology on the IPO website
  • use social media and this blog to try and reach out to a wider audience

Change in communications

But as Epictetus the Greek Philosopher said,

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

So, my walk down memory lane has a purpose, and in taking on the management of IPO Facto it has made me think about how communication has changed within the office. As one of our readers, I want your feedback, comments and suggestions on how you can help us disseminate the findings of our work further. What more would you like and what more could we do with this blog?  I look forward to hearing from you... you can even write to me if you wish! Email me via

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more exciting news as we kick off more research projects and publish more reports including the Government Response to Banking on IP and Estimating UK Investment in intangible assets.

If you have questions or feedback, do comment on this blogpost and we'll do our best to respond.

To keep in touch, sign up to email updates from this blog, or follow us on Twitter using the #IPOFACTO hashtag.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by marko jollanen posted on

    Really nice Julia! Can't wait to hear more about you and your project