IPReg Annual Report 2020 Headlines

Through what was a strange and difficult year for everyone, the IPReg team achieved a significant amount. The following are just some of the 2020 headlines…

Working from home: we hardly had time to unpack in our lovely new office when the pandemic started. From March 2020 the entire IPReg team has been working from home and have continued to provide a good service to our registrants and consumers.

Regulatory arrangements review: it was obvious early on in the pandemic that it would be sensible to postpone the launch of our major review of our regulatory arrangements until everyone had adapted to their different working environments. That decision paid off - we have had very good responses (in number and quality) to our Call for Evidence which closed recently; we are absolutely sure that this would not have been the case if we had launched the process in March 2020 as originally planned!

Customer Relationship Management: the first three months of 2020 were spent ensuring the new annual renewal process worked well and the most recent cycle began in November 2020 (for 2021 fees) and ran very smoothly. The annual renewal process includes a requirement on firms and sole traders to report on the complaints they received in 2020, the most reported of which was costs information being deficient or more than expected. This continues to reinforce the importance of providing clear information to consumers about price, service and quality, please see the Transparency Guidance which will be re-issued.

Education matters: a new trade mark qualification pathway was accredited as offered by Brunel University and we accredited their patent attorney qualifying pathway as well as the Basic Litigation Skills Course provided by CPD Training UK was also reaccredited. We introduced annual reporting requirements for all IPReg-accredited agencies and worked with them to determine how best for assessments to go online in light of the pandemic. We introduced an accreditation withdrawal procedure which we hope to never have to use but it is important to have a transparent and accountable process in place in case of such circumstances.  We also published Frequently Asked Questions regarding the attorney qualifying pathways.

LawTech: we were delighted to be invited to join Law Tech UK’s Regulatory Response Unit (RRU) and contribute regulatory expertise to its regulatory sandbox pilot. The sandbox has been designed to fast track potentially transformative ideas, products and services that address the legal needs of businesses and society. IPReg is working closely with all the organisations represented on the Regulatory Response Unit to ensure the success of the pilot. 

For more information on these, and other activities, please see the Annual Report 2020.