UKIPO Visit with the Informals – June 2017 – trip report

UKIPO Visit with the Informals – June 2017

On 1st June, 9th June and 15th June, the UKIPO and CIPA Informals committee organised three successful visits for CIPA members to the UKIPO in Newport.  After places getting fully booked within 10 minutes of the announcement, 72 lucky CIPA members were able to see the UKIPO office, enjoy numerous activities and meet Examiners and other staff members.

The days were split into morning sessions, lunch and afternoon sessions, both sessions having a selection of workshops, presentations and lectures.

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Update: Visit the UKIPO with the Informals

Please sign up by emailing your details (name; firm; technical background; level of experience and dietary requirements) to

The Informals Committee is happy to announce that the highly popular annual Informals trip to the Patent Office in Newport has been arranged. This year’s visit will take place on:


  • 1st June 2017
  • 9th June 2017
  • 15th June 2017


This visit is a great opportunity for trainee patent attorneys of all levels of experience to gain an insight into the work of the IPO.

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Opportunity to visit the UKIPO with the Informals

The Informals Committee is happy to announce that the highly popular annual Informals trip to the Patent Office in Newport has been arranged. This year the visit will take place on the:

  • 1st June 2017
  • 8th June 2017
  • 15th June 2017

This visit is a great opportunity for trainee patent attorneys of any level of experience to see what happens in the Patent Office.

Previously the programme included:

  • Various talks organised by the IPO on topics such as accelerated patent prosecution, litigation and dispute resolution and seminars on either patentability of biotech inventions or excluded matter
  • A claim drafting workshop
  • A meeting with an examiner
  • A buffet lunch

Due to the high demand of the visit, places are limited and you will therefore have to sign up. Places are allocated on a first come and first-served basis. An email detailing how to sign up will be sent to all CIPA student members in the coming weeks.

We look forward to seeing you all.

Sanam Habib
Informals Patent Liaison Officer

CIPA visit to UKIPO, 30 October 2015

On 30 October a group of CIPA members visited the UKIPO in Newport to meet examiners and other staff members, and to discuss areas in which the two organisations could work together to improve the IP industry in the UK.  Ben Charig and Harry Muttock went on behalf of the Informals committee.

The day was divided into sessions, including discussions entitled “What makes a good IPR granting system?”, “Outreach and education”, “Joint CIPA/IPO professional development”, and “Computer implemented inventions and business methods”.

Unsurprisingly, many answers were offered to the question of what makes a good IPR granting system.  Some people asserted that making sure applicants have access to high-quality advice and support (e.g. commercially-minded IP professionals!) was key.  Others spoke in favour of reforms to the existing UK patent system, such as increasing the cost of applying for a patent, or introducing different lengths of patent protection for inventions in different industries.  Somebody even mentioned utility models…

The “Outreach and education” discussion was lively and positive.  Both CIPA and the IPO are working hard to promote the IP professions among not only university students but also primary and secondary school pupils.  The IPO has even helped found Nancy and the Meerkats, a “soon-to-be world famous pop group”, to educate children about IP.

Following a conversation in the “Joint CIPA/IPO professional development” session, the Informals committee is in discussions with a senior examiner to try to organise a reciprocal version of the long-running Informals trips to the IPO.  The reciprocal version of the trips would allow trainee examiners to visit private practice firms and/or in-house departments, to learn from and connect with patent attorneys and applicants.  More information about this will, we hope, follow in due course.

At the “Computer implemented inventions and business methods” discussion, CIPA members asked examiners about the different approaches the UKIPO and the EPO take when examining applications in the field of computer-implemented inventions.  The CIPA members commented that the decision of whether to apply at the UKIPO or the EPO can be significantly influenced by the differences in the ways the offices handle such inventions.  This prompted a robust debate about the two offices’ approaches to examining computer-implemented inventions.  It was particularly interesting to learn that examiners from the UKIPO and the EPO had met to discuss the different approaches.

The visit ended with closing remarks from CIPA President Andrea Brewster and IPO Deputy Chief Executive Sean Dennehey, who thanked all the organisers and participants, and said that they intend to make the CIPA trip to the IPO an annual event.

We would like to thank CIPA and the IPO for inviting Informals committee members to take part in the visit.  We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the IPO, and in particular to improving learning opportunities for trainee patent attorneys and trainee examiners.

Visit the UKIPO with the Informals

Back by popular demand the annual Informals’ trip to the Patent Office in Newport has this year been arranged for 14 May, 28 May and 4 June. This is an ideal opportunity to see what goes on at the Patent Office and is very useful for trainee patent attorneys of any level of experience. As in previous years, the programme will start at about 10:00 am and finish at 4:00 pm.

Last year the programme was:

  • A meeting with an examiner, individually or in small groups
  • Talks organised by the IPO on accelerated patent prosecution and either patentability of biotech or excluded subject matter
  • A buffet lunch
  • A claim drafting workshop (run by Rhys Williams of Abel & Imray)

As places are limited you will have to sign up and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. An email about how to sign up will be sent out in the next couple of weeks to all student members of CIPA.

Simon Binnie

Informals Foundation Lectures 2015

Each year, the Informals’ Committee runs a series of lectures to introduce junior trainees to key areas in IP, and to help trainees at all levels to prepare for the UK and European exams.

The 2015 Informals’ Foundation Lectures begin on Monday 12 January 2015 at 5.30pm, at CIPA Hall. The introductory lecture will be given by Gwilym Roberts (Kilburn & Strode) and Stuart Forrest (Carpmaels & Ransford). The lectures will also be broadcast via WebEx for those who can’t attend in person. The WebEX login details will be circulated by CIPA prior to the lecture, and are also made available on the CIPA website: In addition, recordings and notes will be made available on the CIPA website shortly after the lecture.

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Foundation Lectures 2012

The following lectures are confirmed for this year’s Foundation Lecture series.  Be sure to check the blog for updates, and keep an eye out for emails from CIPA with reminders and information about any last-minute changes.

5th March 2012: Renewals, Reinstatement and Restitution –  Pippa Griffin – Mathys & Squire

12th March 2012: US Patent Law – Mark Simpson – Saul

19th March 2012: Infringement – Chris Mercer – Carpmaels

26th March 2012: Computer Patents  – Simon Davies – D Young

2nd April 2012: Security Provisions – Mike Leaning – UKIPO

16th April 2012: Ownership and Entitlement  – Akash Sachdeva – Allen & Overy

23rd April 2012: EPC2000 – Alison Care – Kilburn & Strode

30th April 2012: Agreements Relating to Patents – Anna Duffus – Bird & Bird

14th May 2012: PCT – Robert Stephen – Olswang

21st May 2012: Biotech Patents – Phillip Webber – Dehns

28th May 2012 Patent Searching – Brendan Churchill – UKIPO

11th June 2012 Introduction to Trade Marks – Emmy Hunt – Olswang

18th June 2012: Claim Construction – James St Ville – 8 New Square

25th June 2012: Introduction to Design Rights – Chris de Mauny – Bird & Bird

2nd July 2012: Introduction to Copyright – Rachel Fetches – Bird & Bird

9th July 2012: Basic English Law -Tim Harris – Bird & Bird