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On 19th July 2017, after being in existence since 1882, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) held their first ever webinar specifically for IP administrators/patent paralegals, on the subject of the formal and legal requirements when recording IP assignments at the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). This historic event, “attended” by IP professionals from multiple firms was moderated by the Chair of the CIPA Administrators’ Committee, our very own Vicky Maynard!

The webinar was jointly hosted by CIPA and the IPO. The IPO took the opportunity to announce plans to introduce new electronic ways for Applicants and IP law firms to interact with the IPO, to enable electronic correspondence and filing via customer accounts. The IPO also announced plans to replace their existing legacy systems with a cloud based system. Availability of the major new services was cautiously predicted to be “hopefully by the end of 2019”.

New President for the European Patent Office (EPO)


The website of the EPO gives details of a vacancy for a rather high-profile position in the IP world – that of being the next President of the EPO. This is for a five year term of office, that may be renewed, starting on 1st July 2018. Completed applications must be submitted by 14th September 2017. Among other essential requirements, the successful applicant must have “proven high-level management experience” and “a genuine aptitude for communication, negotiating skills and the ability to make opinions count”, must have the nationality of at least one contracting state of the EPO, and perhaps most significantly of all must have “official confirmation of that state’s support”. Less crucially, practical experience in patent matters, in-depth understanding of the patent system and knowledge of the European Patent Organisation would be an advantage.

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