GovWire

Renew a patent, trademark and design beta assessment report

Government Digital Service

February 11
10:34 2020

From: Government Digital Service
Assessment date: 10/12/2019
Stage: Beta assessment
Result: Not met
Service provider: Intellectual Property Office

Service description

Under its Transforming the IPO Digitally (TRIPOD) programme, the IPO will deliver a whole range of new enterprise wide digital end-to-end services for its customers.

The IP Renewals project will deliver the first of those services, providing customers with a single unified digital service for the renewal of patents, trademarks and designs including the facility to request both single and bulk renewals.

By its very nature this project will fully support a channel shift from costly paper processing to straight through processing from the customer, where decision making on renewals is fully automated, and the complexities of manual renewals case resolution are significantly simplified or removed.

In order to deliver this form of digital transformation it is important to standardise the delivery of technology services, designed once with the sole intent of re-use across the IPO organisation and its customers to deliver excellent customer service and online experience for both individual and agents.

Service users

  • Unrepresented applicants
  • Company In house IP Services
  • Attorneys
  • Renewal Agents

1. Understand user needs

Decision

The service did not meet point 1 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has done some great user research with most users and that did come across very well within the service assessment

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • increase understanding about the needs of novice users, it was clear in the assessment that more research and learnings are required from this user group
  • conduct continuous research and testing with users with limited digital capability and users of assistive technology

2. Do ongoing user research

Decision

The service met point 2 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has a good plan in place but it is imperative that this plan incorporates novice users, further research and testing with assisted digital users and users of assistive technology

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • ensure their plan includes further research to understand needs of novice/non expert users. Also ensure the end to end service is tested with such users

3. Have a multidisciplinary team

Decision

The service met point 3 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team demonstrated that they have the right skills and capabilities in place to iteratively develop the service
  • there seems to be the right level governance in place to support the team in developing the service

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • continue to ensure there is a good balance between permanent and contractors to run and integrate the service

4. Use agile methods

Decision

The service met point 4 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team was working in a good and effective way to develop and iterate the service
  • the team has good agile processes, ceremonies and hygiene to continue to develop the service

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • continue to follow good agile processes and ceremonies in developing the service

5. Iterate and improve frequently

Decision

The service met point 5 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has shown that they regularly iterated the service

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • continue to regularly iterate the service

6. Evaluate tools and systems

Decision

The service met point 6 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team have taken a sensible approach to dealing with legacy systems by introducing standard integration points to develop new digital services whilst providing continuity for existing client applications
  • the team are using best practices to ensure the resilience of the service

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • a decision to upgrade the current payment solution has been deferred to another team, however, this has a material impact on the accessibility of the service. The team should address the issues of this particular integration sooner rather than later

7. Understand security and privacy issues

Decision

The service did not meet point 7 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has minimised the information collected from users to avoid unnecessary data being collected
  • the teams data architecture is generally robust
  • the team are utilising best breed Cloud security infrastructure and patterns where possible

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • address concerns about why the PDF generation module cannot be open sourced and whether this reliance on black box security in the code is a vulnerability to be addressed
  • provide a more robust authentication mechanism for users that does not rely on email domain whitelisting mechanisms

8. Make all new source code open

Decision

The service did not meet point 8 of the Standard.

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • open source the project and adopt working in the open as the standard way of delivering
  • consider that open sourcing isnt intended merely as a benefit of others who will value their work but also improves the quality of the technology they deliver. This is especially important given concerns around security noted above

9. Use open standards and common platforms

Decision

The service did meet point 9 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team are using common government components where available such as Gov.uk Notify
  • the team have a sound integration and migration policy for working with their legacy systems

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • explore alternatives to the proprietary closed systems such as in payments and front-end forms
  • investigate using Gov.uk Pay to enable card payments for the service

10. Test the end-to-end service

Decision

The servic

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