Upgrade takes down AU IP regulator

A technology upgrade will force the nation's intellectual property regulator to disable some aspects of its online services for four and a half days in late January. "IP Australia is undertaking a major upgrade of its financial accounting computer system," wrote the organisation in an e-mail to users of its Web site late yesterday afternoon.

A technology upgrade will force the nation's intellectual property regulator to disable some aspects of its online services for four and a half days in late January.

"IP Australia is undertaking a major upgrade of its financial accounting computer system," wrote the organisation in an e-mail to users of its Web site late yesterday afternoon.

As a consequence, online services relating to patents will become unavailable from 11pm (AEDT) on the 25 January, returning at 7am on 30 January.

"When accessing IP Australia's services via the Internet during the upgrade, patents customers will not be able to ... register or modify a customer online, file a patent online, or make an online payment to IP Australia for patent products or services."

"Other IP Australia services will be available as usual. Trademarks and designs will be unaffected," the e-mail said.

Pundits wanting patent services were adviced to take the old-fashioned route or submit their paperwork early.

"Over that period, IP Australia will be open for business on Friday 27 January with some restrictions, and will be delivering services in person, by phone, mail (post, e-mail or courier), or fax."

"The Web site will also be functioning -- except for patents interactive online services, which will remain unavailable during the upgrade," the e-mail stated.

A spokesperson for IP Australia declined to comment about the nature of the upgrade, with the initial e-mail saying only: "The changes ensure that IP Australia's financial systems are maintained at the latest industry levels."

"Following the completion of the upgrade to the financial accounting system on Monday 30 January, customers will not be aware of any of the changes to the system."