This accessibility statement applies to the following services;

These services are run by The Intellectual Property Office.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use these services. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • get from the start of the service to the end using just a keyboard
  • get from the start of the service to the end using speech recognition software
  • listen to the service using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the services text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible these services are

These services were tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 level A and level AA. We carried out these tests internally using the WAVE accessibility testing tool.

The results of this testing found that parts of these services are not accessible. For example:

  • there is text which has a very low contrast ratio
  • some error messages are unclear, or lack clear association with a specific part of a service
  • there are headings which are not in a logical nested order
  • there is text which has not been correctly marked up as a heading
  • layout tables have been used to position content on some pages
  • there are tables containing empty header cells
  • there are some ARIA references where the reference targets do not exist
  • there are links which do not clearly describe the link destination or function
  • there are adjacent links on some pages which go to the same URL
  • there are images which contain no, insufficient or irrelevant alternative text
  • PDF documents supplied by some of the services are not fully accessible to screen reader software

We are in the process of addressing all these issues.

Feedback and contact information

If you have difficulty using any of these services, or need something in a different format such as large print, audio recording or braille, then contact our general enquiries team:

Telephone lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays.

We'll consider all requests for different formats and get back to you within 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with these services

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of these services. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page, or think we are not meeting accessibility requirements, contact our customer insight team:

Telephone lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our offices have audio induction loops. If you contact us before your visit, we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter to help you complete the service in person.

Find out how to contact us

Technical information about these services’ accessibility

The Intellectual Property Office is committed to making these services accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

These services are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

There is text which has a contrast ratio of less than 3:1. This can cause problems for all users, especially those with low vision. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.3 level AA.

There are error messages which are unclear or lack clear association with a specific part of a service. This can cause problems for users when encountering errors within a service and understanding the actions required to resolve them. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 3.3.1 level A.

Headings on some pages are not in a logical nested order. This can cause confusion for users when using the keyboard or assistive technologies to navigate. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 Level A and 2.4.6 level AA.

There is text which has been made to look like a heading, which has not been correctly marked up using a heading element. This can impact navigation functionality for assistive technology users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 and 2.4.1 level A and 2.4.6 level AA.

Layout tables have been used within some of the services to position content. This can cause reading and navigation problems, especially for screen reader users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 level A.

There are pages containing tables with empty table headers. This can cause confusion for screen reader when trying to associate table cells with the correct column header. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 level A.

There are aria-labelledby and aria-describedby references where the reference targets do not exist. This may cause confusion for users of assistive technology which support the use of ARIA attributes. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 and 4.1.2 level A.

There are links which do not clearly describe the link destination or function. For example, 'click here'. This can cause confusion for users, especially those using assistive technology, as the link may not make sense when read out of context. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.4 level A.

There are adjacent links within some pages which go to the same URL. This can cause additional navigation and repetition for keyboard and screen reader users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.4 level A.

There are images within some pages, which contain insufficient, irrelevant or no alternative text. This can cause confusion for screen reader users when trying to understand the content and function of the image. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 level A.

PDF documents

No primary language has been set for PDF documents. This causes difficulty for screen reader users as screen reader software will not load the correct pronunciation rules. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 3.1.1 level A.

A descriptive title for the PDF documents has not been set in the document properties. This can cause problems for users of assistive technology when trying to determine the purpose of the document. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.2 level A.

We plan to fix these issues by 31 December 2021.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Third party content that’s under someone else’s control

Pages and websites that are linked to and from these services may not be fully accessible. These include:

  • our secure debit or credit card payment service
  • instruction pages on GOV.UK

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are currently working on an accessibility roadmap, which we will publish once complete. This roadmap will ensure all issues affecting our services are fixed within the timescale stated.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 22 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 22 September 2020.

The services were last tested on 4 August 2020 and were checked for compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA. The tests were carried out using in-house resources.