On 1 June the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) launched its Peer to Patent (P2P) scheme, which will run on a trial basis until the end of the year. The scheme will allow the public to participate in the patent application process through the IPO’s website. It is hoped that members of the scientific and technical communities will participate in this process by providing IPO examiners with a body of specialist information and opinion to draw upon when considering an application’s originality.
The goal is to improve the overall strength of the patent system by ensuring that patents are only granted to truly novel and inventive works. During the trial period, the P2P scheme will operate only in relation to IT patents. Those wishing to contribute can do so by registering on the IPO’s website from 1 June.
The P2P scheme is one of three proposals put forward by the Government in its Blueprint for Technology paper, which is aimed at making the UK a more fertile ground for innovation and technology. The other two elements are the updating of the UK’s intellectual property laws (which produced the recently published Hargreaves Review) and the proposed “Entrepreneur Visa”, which aims to make it easier for overseas innovators to set up in the UK.
The corporate & commercial team at Blackadders is well placed to offer businesses a range of services in registering, licensing and protecting their intellectual property.Stewart Dunbar Trainee Solicitor