Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet ... IPO search for Latin lovers?

Filemot bear has his own way of searching ...
tytoc collie has been busily chatting to his friends at the UK Intellectual Property Office about their plans for Ipsum-- an exciting new online patent file system, the Beta version of which is being sprung on an unsuspecting world this morning.  The IPO hopes to launch the full service, with more functionality and documents, in October.of this year.  In the meantime, this Kat entered into a workshare agreement with his good friend, patent fiend and Filemot bear-keeper Barbara Cookson.  The deal was that Barbara would trial the system while tytoc collie would decide what "Ipsum" stands for.

First, here's Barbara's review:
The UK IPO bears all – well almost
If you are an avid follower of the Westlaw UK current awareness, did you wonder why the UK IPO put out two page updates within a quarter of an hour of each other on Thursday, 14 April ? They related to directions given by John Alty on 8 April that came into force that day to show how a request for uncertified copies of documents from a patent file would be fulfilled. In one version they are to be viewed online and in another they are to be provided by email or on compact disc. The latter version requires a fee. The online version is free and anybody can use it any time without bothering to file any of those tedious forms. How do they do that ? The answer is simple  - with  IPSUM – an exciting online new form of the patent register. 
 The beta version of the new IPSUM database is to be found at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/p-ipsum/
I looked for one of my old patents that had been granted in 2002 and found its case details neatly documented in alternating grey and white stripes. There were, however no documents, but there was a tidy list of the forms that had been filed  displayed with their dates. The case history was also there -- also presented in those nicely legible grey and white stripes. 
 The display of citations allows you to go straight to Espacenet [the service formerly known as Esp@cenet] to look at them. In Firefox, they kindly opened for me in a new tab.  On at least one file the Chinese and Japanese citations did not have Espacenet links.
 At the moment, you can only view by application number or  publication number, but that's just the same as the good old patents status enquiry. The existing searchable patents Journal http://www.ipo.gov.uk/pro-types/pro-patent/pro-p-os/pro-p-journal/p-pj  gives you lots more search options to find numbers relating to patents that you might be curious about. 
 For more recent applications the documents tab is populated and you can download everything as a PDF or just click on the View word next to each document for instant gratification. 
 If you search an unpublished application, you get case details but that little window on the right, inviting you into other aspects of the case, has disappeared and there are no documents or anything else to be seen. The status tells you it is “patent in force” and of course all you seasoned patent attorneys  and  lawyers will realise that a pending application is a pending application and not a patent.  The IPO have promised to deliver a more correct version of the status in due course. 
 For applications where the bibliographic details have not yet been published in the journal, you get a red warning message “This application is not yet published.” 
The documents on display are only for applications published after 1 January 2008. Rather disappointingly, it promises to show  only *most*correspondence sent by the IPO after 1  November 2010. The very bad and sad news is that I don't seem to be able to access correspondence sent to the IPO at all.  This is very disappointing. The EPO and the USPTO do not discriminate in their disclosure and it's very helpful in due diligence. I imagine the excuse will be copyright reasons, but surely I can only be looking at the patent application for research purposes or legal proceedings and these are permitted acts. Hopefully Hargreaves will propose a robust fair use provision that can be implemented in the UK without treading on Brussels' toes and we can see the whole file. After all, for a modest fee I could buy copies of those letters but then, presumably, they are being treated as public records for copyright purposes. Nevertheless, I suppose half the file is better than none.  Since we don't have a doctrine of file wrapper estoppel in the UK, it may well be safer just to look at the amendments - and these pages all seem to be there for the latest files.
This Kat hypothesises that "Ipsum" stands for one of the following:

* "Intellectual Property Search ...um"
* "Interactive personal search utility, mate"
* "IPO Programmers Solve Ultimate Mystery"

What do readers think?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit -- and more, here