Free Online Patent Inspection Service (Ipsum) Launched

Businesses can check the status of their patent applications for free online, following the launch of a new service by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

The Online Patent Information and Documentation Inspection Service (Ipsum) allows users to view up-to-date information on their patent application and its status, making it easier for them to track progress or understand why a patent was rejected. Businesses can also search for information on European patents.

Previously, businesses would have to pay £5 for each document requested and postal delivery could take up to ten days, meaning that details were often out of date on arrival.

IPO spokesman Dan Taylor said that Ipsum was designed to be "accurate, accessible and easy to use for small businesses".

"Firms simply need to tap in their patent application number to access the documents, and all information is updated in real-time. The service will really save time and hassle, as there is no need to chase the IPO for updates on applications."

Minister for IP Baroness Wilcox said the Ipsum service would give "businesses instant access to the information they need so they can understand the progress of patent applications and save money."

The name ‘Ipsum’ was chosen following a staff competition at the IPO. The word is from Latin meaning ‘the very thing itself’ and is a reference to the Latin origin of ‘patent’ and that the service allows users to see the patent documents themselves.

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