The IPO starts digitising seven million historic files.

21 March 2013

The IPO starts digitising seven million historic files.

In order to start reducing the cost of storing huge volume of paper records, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has selected Northgate Public Services to undertake a complete end-to-end digitisation of over seven million historic records.

Based in Newport, the IPO (which operated as The Patent Office prior to 2007) was set up in 1852 to act as the United Kingdom's sole office for the granting of patents. The origins of the patent system stretch back at least a further 400 years. The IPO is the official government body responsible for Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. These rights include Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Copyright. The IPO is an Executive Agency of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Northgate began delivering the service in January 2013 and over the next six months we will convert millions of records, some of which date back to 1617, into digital images that will then be safely transferred to the IPO's secure server for storage and access. The service will be provided through Northgate's Document Services Processing Centre in Sale.

Northgate was selected by the IPO following a competitive tender exercise where we were chosen as the preferred bidder.  With records dating back 400 years it was particularly important that the IPO were able to choose a supplier that they believed could meet their requirements. Northgate has been providing document management solutions and services to the public sector for over 15 years and in that time we have digitised around a billion paper records.