Date published: 15 March 2020
From 8 March 2020, the IPO will no longer offer the option to request a paper copy of patents that are cited in patent searches. However, the patent documents are available from Espacenet and paper copies of cited non-patent documents will still be sent.
The IPO is making this change to significantly reduce the amount of paper consumed and to to streamline IT systems. The free availability of patent citations via Espacenet means this service is no longer justified.
The Form 9 and online filing channels will be updated to reflect these changes. If the first search was requested before 8 March 2020 paper copies of patent document citations will still be sent through the search and exam stages, the changes only apply to requests that are made on or after the 8 March.