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Intellectual Property Office promises ‘superfast’ patents

Changes in the way the Intellectual Property Office functions have been announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

They include the introduction of a “superfast” patent processing service, a campaign to educate smaller businesses, and education for young people about the harm of counterfeits and illegal downloads.

The IPO is a part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is responsible for the UK’s national framework of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, and copyright.

Cable announced the proposed changes in a speech at the Big Innovation Centre think tank on 17 December, and said they will come into effect in 2013.

Faster processing means that patents will be delivered within 90 days. In addition, a quicker trademarks examination service will aim to deliver a full examination report in five days instead of the present 10 days.

In addition to granting intellectual property rights, the IPO will begin supporting businesses. It will advise them on how to better exploit opportunities at home and abroad and will also offer a pilot IP advisory service for small and medium businesses that show potential for large growth.

The IPO says it wants to work more closely with government departments such as UK Trade and Investment, and with trade associations, chambers of commerce, banks and accountants. A business attaché will be posted to UK embassies in Singapore, joining those in Brazil, China and India.