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Patent renewals public beta: 1 month and 1000 renewals later

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Exemplar projects, Guest blog, Programme updates

Hi, I’m Geoff Court and I’m the Service manager for Patent renewals at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The service is one of the 25 exemplar digital services being transformed for the benefit of users.

The IPO already has a number of core transactional services online, including applying for and renewing a trademark and applying for a patent, but Patent renewals is a brand new service offered through GOV.UK which allows people to renew their GB patent or European patent (UK) online.

Together with Fiona Evans (Product Owner for the Patent renewals service) we have been working closely with colleagues at GDS to develop and enhance our new service which was recently released as a public beta. Moving into this phase involved removing the password protection function that had restricted the service during its early development, to enable access for a wider group of users.

Our agile development team has worked hard to make sure the processes which support the new online transaction are as clear and easy to use as possible. A large and critical part of that work has involved working closely with our users, whose input has been vital in helping us deliver a service that not only works effectively, but truly meets the needs of all our users, professionals and non-professionals alike.

Don’t underestimate the value of user feedback

The public beta phase has seen the service undergo rigorous testing and refining. We have continued to work closely with our group of trusted users and have received additional feedback from others who, through word-of-mouth, have come to use the service on GOV.UK.

Our users have helped us to hone the service to the point where it is “definitively easy to use and time saving”. Their insight has also made sure we deliver an experience in which they have confidence. One user said:

Our firm has been testing and using the service for a month now. It is well designed; the procedure is easy to follow and takes little time to complete. We also appreciate receiving all confirmatory emails shortly after completing payments.

Since moving into public beta, not only have our UK users used the service but some of our international users in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand have also been renewing patents quickly and simply online. In total we’ve seen over 1000 renewals completed successfully since going public and we've received detailed and overwhelmingly positive feedback from users.

The next step

Fiona and I will be working to take the Patent renewals service  live in the coming months.  We have a Digital by Default Service Standard assessment next week, so please wish us luck.

The Patent renewals scrum team
The Patent renewals scrum team

Geoff Court is Service manager for the Patent renewals exemplar at IPO, which is part of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. Contact him for more information about the project.

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