I have an old car, a 1993 MX5 to be precise. I only use it in the summer months, when I can drop the hood and feel the wind in my hair (yes I still have some hair). Last year, however, I didn’t use it at all. So having been sat in my garage for over 18 months it was with trepidation that I took it for a MOT last week.
But surprisingly with two new bulbs and a replacement radiator hose it passed. Now to get a tax disc, or rather no longer a disc, but an online system to notify anyone that I am allowed to drive it on the public highways.
Logging into GOV.UK, the whole process took a matter of minutes. None of that trying to find the log book, digging out the insurance and heading off to the Post Office. A few taps on the keyboard and I was able to get behind the wheel again.
Some of our customers may have noticed that the IPO website has also transitioned to GOV.UK. Things did take a few weeks to get used to, but now the majority of our applications are now also filed electronically. In fact 99% of the trade mark applications received in April were filed online.
The online system takes you through the process, prompting you if you have made a mistake, making the whole process simpler and quicker. We have also introduced a service called “Right Start”, if you want us to assess your application and tell you if it meets the rules for registration. We will issue an examination report for you to decide if you want your application to proceed.
You can even track a trade mark. This can be your trade mark or someone else’s. Check the status or find out when it is registered or opposed. 94% of customers now renew their trade marks online.
Even if you are not sure what IP you have we can help. Our IP Health Check online tool is free to use and will help you discover what you own. It’s broken down into the 4 IP elements. It covers patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. There is also advice on licensing intellectual property, managing confidential information and enforcement.
Just answer a series of simple questions and a tailored confidential report will be created for you, based on what you have told us.
The report will include:
- a list of recommended action points, to help you protect and exploit your IP rights
- an explanation of why we have made each recommendation
- guidance on how to put each recommendation into practice
- links to useful information, websites and other resources
If that’s not enough we have IP Equip, an e-learning tool helping businesses and business advisors understand IP. Containing 4 short modules it uses case studies to show why intellectual property is important.
Not forgetting our master class. Aimed at business advisers, this specialist course will enable you to develop a detailed understanding of IP and its relationship with business, culture and the economy, as well as sound practical skills you can apply to a business environment.
So what are you waiting for? Have a look at our online services. No matter what business you have, you will have some type of IP. Identifying what you have and making an informed decision to protect it, could be the best decision you ever make.
Now I’m just waiting for summer to begin.