About us

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.

We operate and maintain a clear and accessible intellectual property system in the UK, which encourages innovation and helps the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas. We help people get the right type of protection for their creation or invention.

Who we are

The Intellectual Property Office became the operating name of The Patent Office on 2 April 2007. The Patent Office was set up in 1852 to grant patents, although the origins of the patent system date back a further 400 years.

We’re now a team of over 1,000, with offices in Newport and London. The team is made up of specialists in rights-granting, IT, finance and HR.

We have ISO accreditation for the following:

  • ISO 9001 for our patents pre-granting process and patents search service
  • ISO 27001 for our IT security
  • ISO 14001 for our environmental management system
  • ISO 9001 for its UK trade mark application process - from fee payment up to registration of the trade mark. Examination to certification of International Applications (after the payment of the handling fee). Filing to publication of International Registrations (after receipt of batch from WIPO)

The quality policies are available on request.

In addition, we also hold Investor in People and Customer Excellence awards for our training and development of staff and commitment to customer service respectively.

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • IP policy
  • educating businesses and consumers about IP rights and responsibilities
  • supporting IP enforcement
  • granting UK patents, trade marks and design rights

Our priorities

Our strategy and corporate plan set out how we are helping the UK to become the most innovative and creative country in the world by:

  • delivering excellent IP services
  • creating a world leading IP environment
  • making the IPO a brilliant place to work

Corporate information

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Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme. Find out about our commitment to Welsh language scheme. Our Personal information charter explains how we treat your personal information.