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https://ipo.blog.gov.uk/2022/03/03/one-ipo-transformation-first-glimpse-of-the-new-customer-accounts/

One IPO Transformation – first glimpse of the new customer accounts

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: IPO, Transformation, User research

Chris Mitchell, Project Lead, explains what you can expect from the new IPO customer accounts and gives you a first glimpse of what the service will look like.

Our One IPO Transformation programme is now in full swing. The new patents service is launching in just over two years, followed by a new service for trade marks in 2025 and designs in 2026.

Transformation branding

I’m really happy to be working with the talented team of people that has been brought together to work on the Manage IP project.

“Our aim is to create digital customer accounts that allow you to effortlessly view and control your intellectual property all in one place.”

Designing new services is a collaborative process that starts with user’s needs and relies on continuous feedback and improvement. With that in mind, I want to give you an early glimpse of our work. I’d be really interested to hear your initial thoughts and feedback.Chris Mitchell, Transformation Project Lead

Why are we building you a customer account?

At the moment, managing your IP and account information is clunky. There are more than 30 different forms relating to ‘Manage IP’ services. You don’t get automatic updates or notifications to see how your application or request is progressing. Many requests have to be made separately for each IP right. There’s no single view of your IP.

We’re building a customer account that will allow you to manage all of your IP in one place. You’ll see several benefits from this:

  1. Securely view all your IP rights in one place and see their status
  2. Make changes to your account or IP, like changing your registered address, yourself in a matter of seconds
  3. Make changes to multiple rights at once
  4. Give colleagues access to the IP you manage
  5. Spend less time form filling - our new, digital service will remember your information.

We want our customers to be able to effortlessly control their IP and account information.

Where we are now

We’ve started designing and testing early prototypes of the customer accounts, focusing on the features which will be most tricky to get right.

Below is some more information and a demo video for each of those features. We’re still changing and improving the designs, so there’s plenty of time for you to give us feedback. The features that make it into the final design may change as we learn more.

Person using the Manage IP prototype

Account Dashboard

The account dashboard is the home page of the IPO accounts and is the gateway to our new services. It gives you a really good idea of what the IPO accounts could look like and how you’d make the most of everything they have to offer.

We’ve listed the services in order of what you’re most likely to want to use based on our testing so far. We plan to have different views for different types of customers.

The ‘View IP Rights’ page gives you a list of all your IP rights in one place. No more visiting different websites to search for different IP rights. It allows you to search your rights; filter them by type of right, status, filing date or expiration date; and download your list of rights.

View our short demo video where we run through our first design of the account dashboard.

Creating an IPO account

We’ve also looked at how account registration will work. Creating your account is straightforward and just like Amazon, Netflix or any other online service.

You’ll also need to link any IP rights you own or manage to your account. It should only take a few minutes and you'll only have to do it once. We've tried to make the process as easy as possible, and when the service launches, we’ll have people on hand to support you.

Below is a short demo video where we run through our first design of the registration and linking process.

Transferring ownership of IP

We also took a look at a service that we only offer on paper at the moment. We want to give you the ability to digitally record a transfer of IP ownership for multiple rights in a single transaction. We hope that this will help you keep more accurate records and keep the IP register more up to date, as well as saving time.

Currently, after you’ve bought an IP right you have to send us evidence that a transfer of ownership has taken place before we update our records. To make things easier, we’re exploring if we can do this without asking for evidence. Instead we would notify the seller that their IP right has been transferred to another account. They would then have the opportunity to login and challenge the transfer if they wish.

Below is a short demo video where we run through our first design of how you transfer ownership of an IP right.

What’s next

Over the next few months we’ll be refining and improving these designs and also designing other parts of the account, like:

  • how customers will give others access to view or edit IP rights that they own or manage. This could be clients or other people in your organisation
  • how customers change their account details, particularly focusing on change of address

We’ll also be doing further research into how we can link our services to IP management software. This would allow customers to view and edit their IP rights from their existing IP management software.

What do you think?

We’re always keen to get more feedback to build services that work for you. Feel free to drop something in the comments section, or if you’d like to see our new designs as we’re developing them, please email usertesting@ipo.gov.uk.

I hope you like what we’ve been working on so far, and we look forward to working with you to improve these designs and make the best service possible.

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4 comments

  1. Comment by RICHARD GALLAFENT posted on

    Puzzled about the observation about linking, which seems to imply that the account owner needs to do that. OK in principle, but surely you need a button which says "click on this to populate your account with all items where you are the current contact in accordance with our records"? You know this, we may well not. And it would show up items where the account holder thought they were still in his/her/its care, but where that was not in fact the case.

    Separate issue: Does customer only mean the person to whom you write, or can it be the rights owner? As well? E.g. if I have a customer account which includes all items I am responsible for, can those of my clients who have a modest portfolio of, for example, 25 trade mark applications and registrations, have their own "customer account" as well?

    Reply
    • Replies to RICHARD GALLAFENT>

      Comment by imogenpercival posted on

      Thank you for your comment.
      In answer to your first question: yes, that's correct. The account owner will need to link their rights to their account. This is to encourage customers to check that the correct rights have been linked to their account. However customers will not need to identify all of their rights, the IPO will do this based on a few pieces of information, such as the IP right number for one (but not all) of their rights. What we're trying to achieve is a balance between ensuring accuracy and making the process of linking rights to your account as simple as we can. The process might work a little differently to what's depicted in the video where we have low confidence that our data is accurate for a particular customer.

      In answer to your second question: yes, rights owners will be able to have an IPO account if they wish, but it is not a requirement. In addition to allowing them to view their portfolio of rights, this could allow rights owners to be automatically notified of how their request or application is progressing. We are still considering exactly how attorney and client accounts will interact, so we don't have all the answers to how this will work yet. The aim is to allow any IPO customer, whether they're an IP owner or representative, to have an account if they wish, while understanding that there will need to be checks and balances in the client / attorney relationship.

      We value your input as we develop the designs of the service and encourage you to get involved. Please do email usertesting@ipo.gov.uk with any further feedback.

      Reply
  2. Comment by Debra Smith posted on

    This looks like a much improved service or IP professionals & businesses. It also brings the UKIPO website much more into line with that offered by the WIPO, EPO & EUIPO meaning that it will become much easier for users to access and gain familiarity with the site structure.

    It looks really promising and I like it & will definitely e-mail your usertesting e-mail address to keep up-to-date with your new designs as they are being developed. Well done!!

    Reply
    • Replies to Debra Smith>

      Comment by imogenpercival posted on

      Thank you for your feedback Debra! It's really important to us to hear your thoughts as we develop the designs.

      Reply

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