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Patent Renewals – Service Assessment

We are publishing the reports from assessments against the Digital by Default Service Standard on this blog, starting with the Intellectual Property Office’s Patent Renewals service below. More reports for other services will follow over the next few days. After that we’ll be publishing the reports on every assessment shortly after they take place.

Companies, intermediaries and individuals will be able to Renew apply their Patents in a simple to use and integrated on-line service that is far easier, more cost effective and more convenient to use than the current paper based approach.

Department / Agency:
BIS / Intellectual Property Office

Date of assessment:

Moving to:
Public Beta

Pass with conditions

Lead assessor:
B. Andrews

Service manager:
G. Court

Digital leader:
C. Smith

Assessment report

The Patent Renewals service is seeking permission to continue development as it moves from Private Beta to Public Beta.

Outcome of service assessment

Pass with conditions.

After consideration GDS have concluded the Patent Renewals has shown good progress and evidence of meeting most pre-April 2014 criteria. The service should proceed to Public Beta after meeting the specific conditions detailed below.


  • The team demonstrate good user research and analytics practices. They have plans for ongoing user research in a designated lab.
  • Similarly with analytics, they are retrieving data that shows entrance and completion rates, and also drop-out rates that will reveal how to improve performance.
  • This is a good, simple to use service and use of the front-end toolkit has ensured most of the correct design patterns have been followed. With some very minor adjustments, the site would be in line with the current design patterns and would also render properly on a mobile.
  • The team have a properly set up development, release and deployment infrastructure and processes in place.
  • Plans to open sourcing the .NET version of the template will be a great value for the rest of government.

Conditions for approval

The Patent Renewals service was reviewed against the pre-April 2014 criteria of the Service and must meet the following conditions before proceeding to Public Beta:

  • The Patent Renewals service should pass an IT Health Check with the Senior Information Risk Officer signing off (which usually means addressing any critical issues).
  • The service needs to be reviewed by the GDS Accessibility Digital Lead, before moving to public beta.
  • On the knowledge that Urchin was discontinued in 2012, the Patent Renewals service should ensure it is satisfied by its contractual arrangements for this package regarding data security, data ownership and privacy and service level agreements.
  • The service should provide a link to a privacy statement, but GDS understands that this is just pending legal review

 Other recommendations

  • GDS would like to see all code open sourced, regardless of usefulness to a wider audience or not. The only exceptions are configuration management code, code that contain sensitive information (e.g. fraud detection components) or can pose a security risk if open sourced. Publishing the source code will be a mandatory requirement when the service is seeking approval to go fully Live.
  • One open source Analytics platform that the service can have a look into is Piwik. GDS has commissioned a market overview and are happy to share the output when this is available.
  • A GDS content designer with experience in transactions should review the service to ensure that lessons learnt from other services are used to enhance usability.
  • It would be good to hire a designer in the team, possibly to share resource with other projects.
  • Discussions with the GDS Performance Platform team should continue, to ensure that the data necessary for a holistic view of government service performance can be provided.
  • Patent Renewals service should look into an automated browser and device testing service like Browserstack or Saucelabs. The latter can just run your Selenium scripts.
  • The service should set up it’s own cookie page and not use the standard GOV.UK page

Next steps

The assessment has shown that the Patent Renewals service does not yet fully meet the pre-April 2014 criteria of the Digital by Default Service Standard. Patent Renewals service should meet the conditions and follow the recommendations made in this report and see the Government Service Design Manual for further guidance. In order for the service to proceed to Public Beta, GDS require written confirmation of the actions taken to meet the conditions above.


In summary GDS are pleased to report that, subject to completing the above conditions, this service can proceed to Public Beta.