The UK IPO’s Manual of Patent Practice goes gender-neutral


The UK IPO has announced that the Manual of Patent Practice (MoPP) has been updated to be gender-neutral.  Previously the MoPP referred to examiners, applicants and the Comptroller as “he” or “him”.  As of 1 October 2021, the UK IPO has upgraded all 1,028 pages of the 35-year-old manual to remove references to gendered pronouns and gendered terminology.  The UK IPO asked their patent examiners to volunteer with this update and have released a statement stating that they were overwhelmed by how many patent examiners volunteered to assist. This is a great step forward for inclusivity at the UK IPO and follows the EPO’s recent efforts to introduce gender-neutral language into the 2021 version of the Guidelines for Examination.

At Forresters, we are also championing inclusivity through our Equality & Diversity group, who, in combination with our Records and Professional Practice Committee, have reviewed our communications to ensure the language we use is gender-neutral. We are proud of the work that Forresters’ E&D Group is doing to make the IP profession more inclusive for all.