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Our history

The Intellectual Property Office became an operating name of The Patent Office on 2 April 2007.

The Patent Office was set up in 1852 to act as the United Kingdom’s sole office for the granting of patents, although the origins of the patent system stretch back at least a further 400 years.

The Designs Registry was set up in 1839 to protect industrial designs and its responsibilities transferred to The Patent Office in 1875.

The registration of Trade marks became a Patent Office function in 1876.

Intellectual Property Office

Based in Newport, South Wales The Intellectual Property Office has had a colourful history.


Dating back to the scholars of ancient Greece, copyright has protected creativity for centuries.


Originally introduced to protect textile designs the scope of design protection has extended over the years.


From the first granted patent in 1449, the United Kingdom has a vast history of invention.

Trade marks

The marking of goods to show origination dates back to ancient times, read about the history of trade marks.

Internet links