Guidance

How to file documents with the Intellectual Property Office

Updated 12 January 2015

1. File in person

We accept documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Intellectual Property Office
Concept House
Cardiff Road
Newport
South Wales
NP10 8QQ
United Kingdom

or

4 Abbey Orchard Street
London
SW1P 2HT

1.1 File patent applications where s22 directions are required

Patent applications where directions under s22 are required, for example when a government department, foreign government or classified government contract requires secrecy, should be filed in person between 9am and 5pm in envelopes marked ‘For the attention of Room GR70’.

The receptionist should also be informed that the application is for GR70 rather than the usual Front Office.

1.2 Pedestrian access to the Newport site

All visitors who are not pre-registered with us will be required to remain outside the perimeter until a member of the information team (public searches etc) or their host can identify them before being allowed on site.

During core hours members of the public who come to deposit applications unannounced will be met at our reception by a member of our information centre.

Visitors arriving outside of core hours to file applications, will need to press the buzzer on arrival at the main gate and inform the security guard (who will be in the CCTV room), that they wish to deposit an application. The guard will buzz them through giving them directions to IPO main reception following them using the CCTV on route).

2. File by fax

Warning: Fax services are not reliable. Your documents may be intercepted or misdirected due to operator or technical error. You must not fax anything which you think might include information of relevance to national defence and security. Anything you fax is at your risk, though we will make every effort to ensure an efficient and accurate service.

It is not advisable to send any documents by fax which rely on a good quality of image, such as representations accompanying an application to register a design, drawings accompanying a patent application or the representation(s) accompanying a trade mark application. If we have to ask for further copies showing a clearer image, you may lose your original filing date.

Please send all your documents to our main fax number +44 (0) 1633 817777.

Do not fax documents to any other number unless we have asked you to do so.

Our fax machine is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to receive transmissions, and is staffed from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Public holidays).

The system automatically records the date and time we receive a document.

Where a fee for a document is payable at the time of filing, you must either have a deposit account containing sufficient funds or pay by credit or debit card in order to secure filing dates.

You should fax only 1 set of documents and should not submit the original or additional copies of the documents until we request them.

Only send us the original documents as confirmation copies for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications and for evidence, such as a statutory declaration. Please clearly mark these documents ‘In confirmation of fax’.

Each document you send by fax must be legible and you are responsible for ensuring we can read it. If we cannot understand any part of the document received we will not give a filing date to that part.

Please consider documents which incorporate photographic or other forms of representation, such as colour, may not transmit clearly.

For confirmation we’ve received your documents, why not ask for a fax-back service?

For enquiries relating to fax filed documents contact +44 (0) 1633 814420.

3. File on-line

3.1 IPO web filing systems

Our web filing service asks you a series of questions about your filing and prompts you to upload accompanying documents as PDF files. The system creates the completed patent form, filing receipt and fee sheet for you.

With this system you can:

  • apply for a UK patent
  • request entry of an International application (UK) into the national phase
  • file certain patent forms and/or documents for pending application
  • request an electronic uncertified office copy from a published UK patent or patent application

Dos and don’ts

Action or issue Do Don’t
Subject matter   You should not use our system if your patent application contains information about military technology or could harm national security or public safety - there are special arrangements for filing this type of application
Email address You must have a valid email address where we can send the filing receipt  
Payment If payment is required with your submission at the time of filing, you must have a valid credit/debit card or details of a deposit account that you hold with us You cannot web file if you wish to pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer
Credit/debit card Payments For card payments, our web form will direct you to a secure payment page to enter your details. You have 1 hour to complete your payment Do not disclose credit or debit card details in any document you upload as a PDF
Patent forms   Our web filing system creates the completed patent forms for you. We will not accept the web filing of any other patent forms, for example, we will not accept a PDF upload of a completed patent form
Accompanying documents - format and size Documents can only be uploaded for filing if they are in a PDF format (except sequence listings which must be in a .txt format). PDF conversion software is freely available on the internet for you to download and use. Please note there is a total filing size limit of 20Mb  
Online session You must complete the web filing in one session (12 hour limit). You cannot save the session and go back to it later so please refer to the guidance provided to ensure that you have everything you need before you start  
Mandatory fields Fields in bold on a screen must be completed (if data is being added to that screen)  
Screen navigation To move back and forth through the screens you must use the ‘next’, ‘previous’ or (where applicable) ‘Go to Summary’ buttons within the form. You must not use your browser navigation buttons or the keyboard backspace to move through the form screens.
Data entry Data input on a screen will only be saved by clicking the ‘Next’ or (where applicable) ‘Go to Summary’ button. The ‘Previous’ button will not save the input data.  
Submission After you submit your filing, an acknowledgement screen and follow up email will confirm successful receipt.  

3.2 Patent forms available

Form Description
Form 1 Apply for a UK patent
Form 3 Make a late declaration of priority
Form 7 Statement of inventorship
Form 9a Request a search
Form 10 Request a substantive examination
Form 23 Request an electronic uncertified copy from a published UK patent or patent application
Form 52 Request an extension to a prescribed time limit
Form NP1 Request entry into the UK national phase
Renew Patents renewal service

3.3 Trade mark forms available

Form Description
TM3 Application to register a trade mark
TM7a Notice of threatened opposition

4. File by other electronic methods

4.1 European Patent Office’s (EPO) online services

EPO online services is the package of software for secure online services. With this software you can electronically file:

  • UK national patent applications and associated forms
  • European patent applications
  • International PCT patent applications and other documents
  • UK national patent forms and other documents

To join you must complete the following processes:

If you have an existing EPO smart card and move organisations, but still wish to file UK national patent forms and documents, a new smart card will be required. Unlike the EPO, the UK Intellectual Property Office links the smart card number to the organisation’s deposit account, when the smart card was auto enrolled with the UK Intellectual Property Office.

You will need to make sure your UK software is kept update to date with the latest UK EPO online service software. Further information about the EPO online service is available from the EPO. If you have problems setting up or using the software, or have any concerns about EPO online services, please contact us by telephone +44(0)16 3381 3500.

4.2 PCT-Safe

PCT-Safe is the World Intellectual Property Office’s secure online service for filing:

  • International PCT patent applications

You can join the service and get background information, download the software and get passwords for the service, from the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO).

4.3 Priority Document Access Service

The Priority Document Access Service enables GB applicants to:

  • electronically file a GB application and request that an electronic copy be held in a secure database
  • substantiate a claim to priority from an earlier application by utilising a copy of the priority document held in or accessible via a secure database at WIPO

Further information

For further information regarding the PDAS please contact the PDAS helpline +44(0)16 3381 4870

The Priority Document Access Service is linked to the WIPO DAS - Digital Access Service

5. Hours of business

5.1 Times and days we are open for business

Class of business Opening hours for patents and trade marks Opening hours for designs
The filing of new applications NOT claiming priority All days and at all times Monday to Friday, 9am to 11.59pm

9am to 1pm Saturday
The filing of new applications which claim priority Midnight Monday to 11.59pm Friday Monday to Friday, 9am to 11.59pm
Renewal of existing IP rights Midnight Monday to 11.59pm Friday Monday to Friday, 9am to 11.59pm
The filing of all other forms and documents Midnight Monday to 11.59pm Friday Monday to Friday, 9am to 11.59pm
Any other class of business Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

5.2 Weekends and Bank Holidays

The Office is deemed to be closed on weekends, Good Friday, Christmas Day and all other UK bank holidays for all types of business except for the filing of new applications not claiming priority. If documents are filed for these types of business at times when the Office is deemed to be closed, they will receive an official filing date of the next working day.

5.3 Official time periods

Any official time period which expires on a weekend or any other day on which the Office is closed is extended to the next working day.

5.4 International and European applications

The Office will receive and process European and International patent and trade mark applications filed directly with us under the Patent Co-operation Treaty, European Patent Convention, Madrid Protocol and Community Trade Marks systems.

The hours of business for filing these applications and any associated documents are the same as detailed above for the filing of UK patent and trade mark applications.