A single integrated registration process is to replace current separate procedures for handling patents, trade marks and designs under a five-year transformation announced by the Intellectual Property Office. The digital system will allow creatives, innovators and businesses to apply for, manage and research all of their IP rights in one place, seamlessly, the office said. 

According to a 'transformation prospectus' published yesterday the new system allow rights-holders and applicants to create a single account through which they can manage all information relating to their IP in one place. Data will be opened up to researchers, businesses and inventors to learn from and build upon. 

The new service will go live for patents in 2024, followed by trade marks in 2025 and designs in 2026. 'We are moving our patents service onto the new system first, because it is in greater need of an update than trade marks or designs,' the prospectus states. 

 Annoucning the five-year plan, IPO chief executive Tim Moss said: 'Our transformation programme is our pledge to up our game – to deliver excellent IP services that meet the needs of our customers. To achieve that we will not replicate what we do now, but completely transform the way we deliver services. This will not only result in more modern, flexible, digital services, but also opportunities to explore new services to help our customers protect, research and use their IP more effectively, reinforcing the UK’s place as a global innovation and IP leader.'

The IP minister, Amanda Solloway MP, lent her support to the plans, saying: 'The UK already has a world leading IP environment, but a service for innovators must itself innovate. Our vision is to provide the world’s best IP environment, whilst delivering fast, flexible and high quality digital services that remove barriers to innovation and make IP rights more accessible and useful.'