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Issue 3 | 2010 Patent Information News

CONTENT

2 What you missed in the last issue


3 Editorial
3 Tips for esp@cenet users
4 Changes to the IPC from 2011
4 Patent information training
5 News from Asia
6 PANTAS – online searching for
patents and trade marks at MyIPO
7 First examination reports
now on iPairs
8 Striking the right balance:
the role of patent offices in the
patent information world
9 ESPACE Bulletin as a single
online database
10 Browser-based access to
MIMOSA-type data sources
now available!
10 New citation data in GPI
11 Patent statistics for
decision-makers: "New
technologies, patent
quality and entrepreneurship" Patent disclosure
11 OECD database updates
11
12
Publications Corner
Other news
under academic scrutiny
Are patents failing to fulfil their function as a source of technical information?
An increasing number of people seem to think so.

Two recent papers from academics should be "readable teaching Other commentators have argued
in the United States could turn documents". that disclosure in patents is of little
out to be landmark works if they importance, as disclosure either
succeed in provoking a rethink in the In "The Teaching Function of takes place through other means
patent world about the disclosure- Patents", Seymore asserts that anyway or else the invention is self-
related side of patenting. patents could be a prime medium disclosing. Patent information
for disseminating technical knowl- specialists will certainly have some
In her 2009 paper entitled simply edge, but says that they do not difficulties accepting this point of
"Patent disclosure", Jeanne Fromer, succeed in doing that today. He cites view, as do Fromer and Seymore,
Associate Professor of Law at the "pervasive use of ambiguous who both feel that the disclosure
Fordham University in New York, or opaque language" as a major side of patenting has been unfairly
contends that the disclosure barrier. Fromer observes that today's neglected. They stress the dual
function is "under-performing". patent system allows the patent function of a patent document as a
applicant to "under-divulge". It gives legal instrument and as a descrip-
Sean Seymore, Associate Professor patentees, she says, an incentive to tion of a new piece of technology.
of Law at Vanderbilt University in "obfuscate information they provide
Nashville, believes that patents whenever possible". continued on page 2 >

Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010 1


continued from page 1 Sean Seymore introduces some RETROSPECTIVE
And it is in this descriptive function, concrete ideas for stripping away
they propose, that patents are the jargon from patents, his main
intended to stimulate innovation. proposal being to give patent
What you missed
The evidence available, including
offices the power to require work-
ing examples proving that the
in the last issue
studies done by the EPO, certainly claimed invention has been con- Alternate issues of Patent Informa-
supports any theory that technolo- structed and works for its stated tion News are published on our
gists do not use patents much as a purpose. website only, and not in paper
source of inspiration for their format. For those who missed it,
research. Fromer devotes a couple of Patent information specialists will here are some of the highlights
pages to analysing why this may be no doubt point out that patent from Patent Information News
so, noting that only 1.5% of US databases used as a source of tech- 2/2010 (available at www.epo.org/
patents are ever cited in scientific nical information generally contain about-us/publications/patent-
literature, and pinpointing what unexamined patent applications as information/news/2010.html).
she sees as four main areas of filed, not granted patents. Neither New Indian patent information
inadequacy: of the two authors tackle this point retrieval system launched
– the writer in their papers. It may be that this is The Indian Patent Office (IPO) has
– the index because there is no long tradition in recently enhanced the free data-
– the reader the United States for publishing bases available on its website and
– the enforcement patent applications, and that re-launched them as "iPairs", the
European academics will pick up the Indian patent information retrieval
In essence, she suggests that issue when they join the debate. system, bringing together the
patent documents are rarely used as First results from large-scale survey various options for free patent
teaching documents because they At the time of writing, there was of European industry searching provided by the IPO.
are not written in a way that lends very little trace of academic The EPO has recently carried out
them to that function, because they research in Europe in this area, but thousands of telephone interviews 36 years in patent information
are not classified such that a non- it cannot be long before we see new across all the EPC contracting states An interview with Peter Paris, one
patent expert can find them easily, work appearing. Dietmar Harhoff, and in the USA. The interviews were of the major architects of the
because there is a disincentive to Professor of Business Administra- aimed at ascertaining the level of INPADOC databases, who retired at
read patents due to the laws about tion at LMU Munich, is currently awareness of patent information the end of May, reveals his thoughts
wilful infringement, and because studying a recent survey of more among technology-based indus- on current developments in patent
neither the patent offices nor the than 9 000 inventors who have pro- tries, research organisations and information.
legal system in general enforce as vided estimates of the time saved universities, and establishing just
strictly as they could the rules on due to knowledge of the patent lit- who does – or rather, doesn't – use
disclosure that already exist. erature. It is likely that some analy- it, and why. Detailed results will be
She specifically notes, for example, sis of this will be published soon. published soon.
that current regulations "do not
systematically generate good titles". Sean Seymore will be one of the Divisional applications at the EPO
participants in the panel discussion A divisional application is a patent
In her paper, Jeanne Fromer on quality in the patent system application which derives from an
recognises that there are opposing on 19 October 2010 at the EPO earlier application. It is filed after
interests in this area and says that it Patent Information Conference in the earlier application (usually some
must be possible for strong patent Lausanne, Switzerland (see years later), but keeps the same
rights and effective disclosure to www.epo.org/pi-conference). filing and priority dates as the
coexist. As a first step she proposes earlier application.
the concept of "layering" patent
documents so that technical This article explained the legal
disclosure can function semi- framework relating to the filing of
independently of the legal aspects. divisional patent applications at the
EPO, some of the strategies in which
References:
Jeanne C. Fromer, "Patent Disclosure", Iowa Law they are used, and recent changes
Review 94, 2009, 539 (Fordham Law Legal Studies at the EPO which entered into force
Research Paper No. 1116020)
on 1 April 2010.
Sean B. Seymore, "The Teaching Function of
Patents", Notre Dame Law Review 85(2), 2010,
621-669 (Washington & Lee Legal Studies
Paper No. 2009-03)

2 Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010


EDITORIAL

Understanding patents
The article on patent disclosure in this issue of Patent Information News
makes it very clear that there is little point in reading a text if you can't understand
what it means. The question of understanding becomes even more acute if the
document you want to read is in a foreign language.

Consequently, it is of no surprise machine translation solutions. It is Italian and Spanish, with more
that one of the obstacles that has hoped that these will contribute European languages in the pipeline.
stood in the way of a successful towards finding an answer to the Beyond Europe, the EPO will be
agreement on the establishment of language question where the EU active on the international stage to
an EU patent is the whole issue of patent is concerned. contribute whatever it can to
languages. Europe is rightly proud of securing good machine translation Richard Flammer
its multi-lingual culture and Euro- Machine translation technology is technology for Korean, Japanese,
pean politicians have traditionally in any event becoming a much Chinese and the languages of India.
been very wary about taking any appreciated extra tool for patent
steps into the language minefield. searchers, especially now that Of course, translation is only one
translating automatically between aspect of understanding patents,
The EPO believes that technology Asian languages and English is which itself is a subject high on the
can offer the politicians a way of generating usable results. agenda at the moment. If you have Richard Flammer
vaulting over the minefield and views on this that you would like to Principal Director
is working intensively with its esp@cenet already offers machine express, then please write to me at Patent Information and
member states on a wide range of translation for French, German, rflammer@epo.org. European Co-operation

esp@cenet

Tips for esp@cenet users


In this regular column, the experts The standardised version of the To ensure clarity and consistency, esp@cenet displays all the cited
from the EPO's esp@cenet helpdesk name will be shown in the the standardised name is assigned documents available in the data-
team pass on useful tips based on "Bibliographic data" tab, even by the EPO and not the applicant. bases, regardless of their country of
the questions they receive from though this might not correspond origin. They are shown under the
users. In this issue, the focus is on exactly to the name on the original Search for cited documents "Bibliographic data" tab in the
the use of standardised applicant document. By clicking on the "+" in esp@cenet "Cited documents" section on the
names and on searching for cited sign next to the name of the inven- A "cited document" is a document right-hand side.
documents using the SmartSearch tor or applicant you will obtain the cited by an examiner in a search
feature. list of non-standardised names. This report. There is no specific search field for
feature makes it easier to avoid cited documents in esp@cenet in the
Standardised names missing documents in a search. various search masks (e.g. Advanced
When you search on an applicant's Search).
name in esp@cenet, the search Name
standardisation in
engine checks against both the However, it is possible to search
esp@cenet
"non-standardised" names as for cited documents using the ct
entered by the applicant on the field identifier in SmartSearch
application form, and a standard- (see the online help files for more
ised version of the name, if avail- information). For example, if you
able. Therefore a search for NIKON enter ct=EP1000000 in Smart-
will also retrieve applications filed Search you will find the documents
under NIPPON KOGAKU KK. in which EP1000000 has been cited
in the search report.

Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010 3


CLASSIFICATIONS

Changes to the IPC from 2011 A01M B21D B60R B82Y C07B
WIPO has announced changes to modifications will be the introduc- C08H C13B C13C C13D C13F
the International Patent Classifica- tion of a new sub-class, B82Y, C13G C13H C13J F16D F23B
tion (IPC) scheme that will enter which will allow offices to classify F24F F41H G01M G06F G06M
into force on 1 January 2011. specific uses of nanotechnology G06T G07B H01R H01T H04B
structures for the first time. A H04J H04N
The most significant impact on pioneer in this area, the EPO intro-
the structure of the IPC is that it duced the Y01N tags for nanotech- Table 1: Sub-classes affected by the IPC revision entering into force on 1 January 20111
will no longer have a "core" and an nology inventions into its ECLA
"advanced" level. From January, only scheme a few years ago. The EPO – H01R – several modifications to The changes are shown in tabular
one text will be published, corres- intends to transfer the Y01N scheme the area of electrically conductive format, using the following codes:
ponding to the current advanced progressively into B82Y once it connections D – deletion
level. Small patent offices will have becomes available. – H04B – some new sub-classes in C – modification with a change
the option (derived from the the details of transmission of scope or involving
Strasbourg Agreement itself) to Other sub-classes where substantial systems (H04B1) reclassification
classify down to main-group modifications will take place are: – H04N – major expansion to M – modification without a
level only. – A01M – several new sub-groups the sub-groups for pictorial change of scope and not
for scaring/repelling devices, such communication (television, etc.) involving reclassification
A second change will be to abandon as bird-scaring apparatus N – new
the (theoretical) three-month (A01M29) More information about the new
rhythm for revisions to the IPC, – B21D – new sub-groups for metal concept is available on the WIPO The EPO will update the IPC symbols
replacing it with an annual revision, shaping (B21D26) website at: www.wipo.int/ for all the documents in its data-
in January each year. – B60R – safety devices in cars, e.g. classifications/ipc/en/ bases in time for 1 January. It will
airbags (B60R21) also endeavour to bring its own
There will also be a number of – C13B – a new sub-class covering For full details of the changes to the ECLA classification symbols into line
changes in the scheme itself as the production of sucrose classification symbols, click on the with the new IPC as speedily as
from 1 January. The sub-classes (C13C-C13J deleted) "Compilation" tag at www.wipo.int/ possible.
affected are listed in the table. – F24F – reorganisation of ipcpub/.
Among the most noticeable sub-groups for air-conditioning
units (F24F1) 1) This information was correct at the time
of writing. However, further changes may be
– F41H – some new sub-groups for
added by WIPO prior to entry into force on
defence installations (F41H11) 1 January 2011.

TRAINING

Patent information training Virtual classroom training and training events. This will allow you
newsflashes live to put all your questions direct to
Classroom training Special topics at the EPO Patent The remainder of 2010 will see a the EPO's experts. Check out the
There are still a few seats available Information Conference range of patent information-related searchable calendar on the EPO
in the EPO's four-day advanced-level Specially designed training courses events online. Apart from the website for updates (filter virtual
patent information training at the EPO Patent Information Con- regular online patent information live events by selecting "Online
seminar: ference in Lausanne this October newsflash, scheduled to take place training" in the medium field).
will include new topics aligned with every last Thursday of the month
4th EPO Patent Information the conference programme. Training (except August and December),
Advanced Seminar, days at the conference are 18 and 21 there will be a number of virtual For details of these and other
8-11 November 2010 (PI08-2010) October 2010. Details can be found seminars on patent information events, visit www.epo.org/learning
Details and registration information at www.epo.org/about-us/events/ topics old and new, as well as or contact Roland Feinäugle at
can be found in the searchable IP pi-conference/training.html. sessions on the EPO's products and Patent Information Training at
calendar at www.epo.org/topics/ip- services. pitraining@epo.org. To sign up for
events/patent-event-search.html, patent information training e-mail
for example by searching with the For the first time, we will also offer alerts, use the online form at
code "PI08" in the free-text field. a dedicated online question-and- https://secure.epo.org/patents/
answer session for all participants email/pi-training/index.en.php.
in this year's classroom and online

4 Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010


PATENT INFORMATION FROM ASIA

Searching in databases" section on The English text of the revised


News from Asia the EPO's virtual helpdesk at: www. Chinese Patent Law can also be
epo.org/patents/patent-information downloaded from this source.
India scheduled to join Madrid co-operation in search and /east-asian/helpdesk/chinese-
Protocol in 2010 examination, and the co-ordination taipei/search.html?update= JPO revises Examination Guidelines
The upper house of India's parlia- of measures against infringement patentinfo for Amendment of Description,
ment passed the Trade Marks and counterfeiting. Claims and Drawings
(Amendment) Bill 2009 on 10 Korean Patent Office implements Following a decision of the Grand
August 2010, paving the way for the Further information has been further fee changes Panel of the IP High Court, which
country to join the Madrid Protocol. released by China's official news The Korean Patent Office (KIPO) indicated the general definition of
The Indian government is now in agency Xinhua at: http://news. implemented further adjustments acceptable scope for an amend-
the process of finalising the imple- xinhuanet.com/english2010/china to its intellectual property fees on ment, the Japan Patent Office (JPO)
menting rules. According to official /2010-06/29/c_13376017.htm and on 28 July 2010, including a reduction has now revised the corresponding
sources, the Madrid Protocol is TIPO's website at: www.tipo.gov.tw/ in the examination request fee for Examination Guidelines. The revised
scheduled to become operational in en/News_NewsContent.aspx? utility models filed under the PCT, guidelines will be applicable to
India by the end of this year. NewsID=4603. an increase in the registration fee examination from 1 June 2010. More
information and links to the guide-
For more information, see "India lines are available on the JPO's
expected to join Madrid this year" in English website at: www.jpo.go.jp/
Managing Intellectual Property cgi/linke.cgi?url=/tetuzuki_e/t_tokk
(MIP), published on 12 August 2010: yo_e/amendment_claims_drawings
www.managingip.com/Article/2650 _e.htm
504/Search-Results/India-expected-
to-join-Madrid-this-year.html?Key China establishes
words=india+madrid&Quick=True& State IPR Advisory Committee
OrderType=1 On 5 August 2010, a "State IPR
Advisory Committee" was set up in
Further background is discussed in China. The Committee's work
an interview with P.H. Kurian includes research into develop-
(Controller General of Patents, http://twpat.tipo.gov.tw/tipotwoc/tipotwekm ments in intellectual property
Designs and Trademarks), published rights and consultation on strategic
in MIP on 1 May 2010: www.manag Taiwanese citations for patent term extensions, and an decisions, policies and regulations.
ingip.com/Article/2476571/Search- now also available in English increase in the fee for correction It is headed by former SIPO
Results/India-prepares-for-Madrid- On 1 July 2010, the Taiwan Patent requests filed electronically. There Commissioner Wang Jingchuan.
Protocol.html?Keywords=india+ Office (TIPO) launched a new are also changes to the fees for
prepares+for+madrid&Quick= English interface of the TWPAT data- amendments, patent applications For further information, see:
True&OrderType=1 base (http://twpat.tipo.gov.tw/ filed on paper, and trade mark and www.sipo.gov.cn/sipo_English/new
tipotwoc/tipotwekm), where users design opposition requests. s/official/201008/t20100813_531273.
China and Chinese Taipei can now also see examiners' cita- html and www.chinaipr.gov.cn/
agree to recognise tions. Citation data, which could For more information, please see newsarticle/news/government/
each other's priority rights previously only be accessed in KIPO news (782) published on KIPO's 201008/943589_1.html
Chongqing, China, was the venue Chinese, is available for patent website on 3 August 2010:
for the signature by Mainland China applications published after www.kipo.go.kr/kpo/eng/
and Chinese Taipei on 29 June 2010 1 January 2008. In addition to PDF For more news from Asia, go to
of an agreement on intellectual versions of original documents, the SIPO publishes official English http://eastmeetswest.european-
property protection and an Eco- English interface also includes the translation of revised Implementing patent-office.org/news
nomic Cooperation Framework related information published in the Regulations
Agreement (ECFA). Under the IPR gazette for laid-open and granted The revised Implementing Regula-
protection agreement, both sides publications. tions to the new Chinese Patent
agree to recognise the priority Law, which entered into force on
claims of the other's applicants up New step-by-step search guides on 1 October 2009, were published on 9
to one year after filing of the how to find citations and legal January 2010. An English translation
original patent application (six status information in TIPO's Chinese is now available on China IP Law
months for trade marks). Other and English databases are now Search at: www.ipr2.org/ipsearch/
items in the agreement include available in the "Chinese Taipei – index_en.php (click on "Patents").

Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010 5


PATENT INFORMATION FROM MALAYSIA

PANTAS – online searching


for patents and trade marks at MyIPO
PANTAS (Patent and Trademark Administration System) is a secure, web-based system
for searching and filing patents, utility innovations and trade marks from Malaysia.

PANTAS is operated by the Intel- The patent search in PANTAS offers latest legal status information. The legal status search can be found
lectual Property Corporation of "simple" and "advanced" search Access to detailed information such at www.myipo.gov.my/ or at
Malaysia (MyIPO) and covers the modules. Users can search for pub- as the front page data, abstract, https://pantas.myipo.gov.my/work
102 330 applications filed at its
1
lished applications, granted patents claims, description and drawings flow/ENG/ (free, no registration
headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and and utility innovations. The simple (hyperlinked from the application required).
branch offices in Sabah and search screen is recommended for number in the results list) and
Sarawak, and the 41 2621 patents looking up application numbers, downloading patents are subject
and utility innovations granted in and the advanced search interface to a fee.
Malaysia since 1986. allows searches with names
(inventor, applicant/owner), IPC PANTAS can be accessed at:
Users must register to access the symbols, or keywords in titles and https://pantas.myipo.gov.my/
search interfaces in PANTAS. While abstracts. Users can search based on (registration required).
registering and searching are free, date ranges (filing, priority or grant
viewing detailed search results or dates) and using wildcards (*, ?) and
downloading full specifications is Boolean operators (AND, NOT, OR, Other search options on
subject to a fee (payable via NEAR). MyIPO's website
pre-paid account or credit card
payment). "Check Application" –
legal status search
Legal status information for
Malaysian patent applications can
be retrieved free of charge via the
"Application Status Enquiry" func-
tion. Clicking on "Check Application"
in the "online services" section on Fig. 2: Example of legal status display
the MyIPO homepage opens the (source: https://pantas.myipo.gov.my/
workflow/ENG/)
search screen. The search is by
application number or identification e-Gazette
number (for Malaysian citizens). MyIPO also publishes electronic
Legal status information is available gazettes for patents, trade marks,
for patents, utility innovations and industrial designs and geographical
trade marks. The "Application Status indications. The e-Gazette for
Enquiry" function provides details patents is broken down into the
of dates (filing, priority, grant, following categories: granted,
expected expiry), numbers (applica- lapsed, invalid, errata and reinstate-
tion, grant) and names (applicant/ ment of lapsed patent. Clicking on
owner), as well as the latest status each publication date will display
Fig. 1: Sample PANTAS result screen of the application. An additional simple tables (see Fig. 3) consisting
(source: https://pantas.myipo.gov.my/)
The result list provides basic infor- flowchart illustrates the steps in the of the application number, grant
mation on the documents found grant procedure and highlights the number, country of origin and IPC
and is displayed free of charge. current status of the application in (by section only). Trade mark
This free information includes the green (see Figure 2). gazettes are also searchable, the
application number, filing/grant
date, title of the invention and

1) Figures up to March 2010 (source:


http://www.myipo.gov.my/en/ip-statistics.html)

6 Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010


PATENT INFORMATION FROM INDIA

First examination reports


now on iPairs
New feature of Indian legal status information
The Indian Patent Office's "Indian Patent Information Retrieval System"
(iPairs) became operational in early 2010. One of the highlights of the new
system is the "Application Status" search function, which gives users access
to the prosecution history of patent applications pending with the Indian
Patent Office.

In June this year, the legal status information accessible via "Application
Status" was expanded to include examination reports. In India, the "first
examination report" (FER) is sent to the applicant following substantive
examination of the application. The applicant has to address and overcome
all the observations and objections raised within twelve months from the
Fig. 3: Extract from e-Gazette for granted patents date of issuance of the FER in order to "put the application in order for
(source: www.myipo.gov.my/en/patent/gazette-patents.html)
grant".

search criteria being gazette date, Wherever applicable, the "Application Status" function provides a link from
application number and class. The Useful links the basic legal status display to the examination report for the application
latest trade mark gazettes can be – MyIPO website: in question. iPairs currently contains examination reports issued from July
downloaded in full as PDF files. http://www.myipo.gov.my 2009 onwards, and older examination reports are being uploaded gradually.
– PANTAS Online:
To access the electronic gazettes on https://pantas.myipo.gov.my The "Application Status" search function is in a test phase now, so in critical
www.myipo.gov.my/, click on – News from Malaysia: cases users are advised to check back with one of India's four patent offices.
"e-Gazette" in the "online services" http://eastmeetswest.european-
section. patent-office.org/news Users can access the iPairs search system at
http://ipindia.nic.in/ipirs/patentsearch.htm

PANTAS - Quick facts For further details contact the EPO's


– registration required Asian patent information services:
– offers secure search environment Tel.: +43 1 52126 4545
(SSL) e-mail: asiainfo@epo.org
– free searching and basic
information access
– chargeable access to details
and downloads
– "simple" and "advanced"
search options
– search in patents/utility
innovations/trade marks
– search in bibliographic data,
title, abstract
– access to basic legal status
– full specifications available Sample examination report (source: http://ipindia.nic.in/ipirs/patentsearch.htm)
– payment via prepaid account
or credit card With the addition of the examination reports, information equivalent to the
entire file wrapper of Indian patent documents – including bibliographic
information, abstracts, full specifications and legal status data – is now
available via the Indian Patent Office's website.

Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010 7


SWITZERLAND

Striking the right balance: the role of


patent offices in the patent information world
In this article, Alban Fischer and Theodor Nyfeler of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual
Property discuss the patent information market and the balance between the commercial and
public sectors

On 19 to 21 October, Switzerland will play host for the first time to the EPO
Patent Information Conference. This conference is by far and way the most Value creation chain
important meeting-point for all those involved in the world of patent
information. Although we are still waiting for the final results from the Searcher
EPO's extensive survey, we already know that, despite the concerted efforts – Search
of the EPO and the national patent offices in recent years, the use of patent – Processing
of results
information in Europe lags far behind that of the USA. We would like to use
the occasion of the conference and the results of the study to put forward
Patent attorney Provider
the view of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property ("the Insti-
– Interpretation – Added value
tute") on the use of patent information, the responsibilities of the main – Strategy – Search engine
players, in particular the patent offices themselves, and the division of roles
among the parties involved.

In the classic value creation chain for patent information, the first link User Patent office
involves patent offices, in particular the EPO, collecting basic information – Applicant – Basic
and making it available to the commercial service providers, who process it – Third parties information
– Technical
and make it searchable. Patent searchers then search for relevant content,
information
which they in turn also process. Patent attorneys interpret the results and
advise their clients on the optimum strategy for their intellectual property. Non-user

For professional users, who know what they want and where to get it, there Information Support
is a lively market, with private providers at every link in the chain. Well-
informed users can pick and choose from a broad range of providers to suit
their requirements. These users are also prepared to pay the cost-covering
prices that private providers are obliged to charge. offering it themselves, citing the need to promote innovation: businesses
should be filing more patent applications, and should be making better use
While the patent information market works well for experienced users, it of patent information. As a result, private providers, with their competitive
is clear from various studies, not least the EPO's own investigations, that advantages such as quality and specificity, can no longer compete with
inexperienced users do not know enough about patent information to be state-subsidised providers.
able to decide whether or not they need it. Being informed is, however, a
fundamental prerequisite for a functioning market. The aim must therefore From our point of view this development is not welcome, because where
be to find simple and efficient ways of getting inexperienced users – in competition is destroyed by state intervention, problems with quality and
particular SMEs – to recognise their need for patent information and to customer service soon follow, along with wastage of public money. In
decide whether they wish to make use of what is available, and if so, in Switzerland, therefore, the principle of subsidiarity prevails. In other words,
what form and with what degree of quality. the state will only intervene if the market fails. If, however, a state authority
does get involved in the market, it must conduct itself like a private
With this aim in mind, an increasing number of state authorities are taking company. In particular, it must charge prices which at least cover its costs.
on the tasks in this value creation chain – frequently at cross-subsidised
prices - and in doing so are destroying the established market structure. Against this background, the Institute differentiates between the patent
Some national patent offices, for example, offer searches at rock-bottom information services it offers as follows:
prices, in order to provide work for their examiners. The EPO itself has long
since become a service provider with its esp@cenet service. More and more – The provision of national patent data, in particular to the EPO and
often, state agencies are also subsidising strategy consultancy, or even commercial data providers
The crucial factor here is the quality of the data, because any services
that follow can only be as good as the data on which they are based. The

8 Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010


Institute therefore places great importance, within the framework of prices. Under these conditions, the Institute's commercial services are an
substantive examination, on the quality of the clarity and disclosure of important source, enabling it to find out more about the needs of
patent applications as well as on full and timely data provision. industry and to continuously improve, which in turn is of benefit to the
public services too.
– The provision of information services for individual inventors,
SMEs and universities The differentiation of customer needs, quality assurance and the separation
This category includes measures to improve awareness and training, of public and commercial services are therefore the main criteria to be
as well as what are known as "assisted" searches, where inexperienced applied by any patent office when selecting and developing a new patent
users can find out about the patent system and carry out a search information service. If one or more of these criteria are not met – either in
together with a patent expert. In this area there is a partial failure of the part or in full – there is a risk that competition will be distorted, which will
market, as such services are frequently of little commercial interest. do more harm than good to the overall aim of improving the dissemination
Nevertheless, it is still important to make a clear separation from the of patent information and the utilisation of the patent systems in Europe.
services provided by commercial providers. As these services are We therefore very much recommend taking a careful and considered
cross-subsidised, ignoring these boundaries will lead to competition approach when introducing further measures of state support.
being distorted, with the resulting negative fall-out referred to earlier in
this article.

– The provision of professional patent and technology information services


for attorneys, industry and other experienced users of the patent system
This is one of the tasks of the Institute which was specifically laid down by
the Swiss legislator. The Institute must cover all costs and charge market

PATENT INFORMATION EXPERT SERVICES

ESPACE Bulletin – a turbo-booster for the


European Patent Register
ESPACE Bulletin will soon be redesigned into a single-volume online database, with additional
features to make it even more accessible to users.

Available online and updated weekly, ESPACE Bulletin provides access to


bibliographic and procedural information on all published European patent
applications and granted European patents. It is the up-to-date electronic
version of the entire collection of the European Patent Bulletin paper-form
books.

It contains bibliographic data and information relating to the examination


and opposition procedure for all these documents, from the first publication
until the end of the procedure before the EPO.

With more than 70 search criteria, the diversity and richness of the
information in ESPACE Bulletin is ideal for creating specific data sets that
can be analysed further. Watch out for further announcements on the EPO website.
For more information, contact epal@epo.org
With just a little practice you can easily generate EP patent statistics.
Combine the search and retrieval power of ESPACE Bulletin with the
online European Patent Register, which contains many additional details
concerning the examination, oppositions and appeals, and you will enjoy
truly comprehensive access to everything there is to know about any
European patent application, from publication to the end of the procedure.

Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010 9


PATENT INFORMATION EXPERT SERVICES

New citation data in GPI


Global Patent Index (GPI), the EPO's premier product for patent searching,
is about to be enhanced by the inclusion of a number of new search fields
for citations.

The new citation search criteria will be available in the search group
"DETAILED SEARCH/Citation" as follows:

Code Label

CPIS Patent (international search report)

CPSS Patent (supplementary search report)

Browser-based access to
CPPE Patent (international preliminary examination phase)
MIMOSA-type data sources
CNIS NPL (international search report)
now available!
CNSS NPL (supplementary search report)
Users have long been asking for a tool that provides the data coverage
of esp@cenet and the search capabilities of the EPO's MIMOSA software, CNPE NPL (international preliminary examination phase)
all through a simple internet browser, without the need for additional
software.

Their wait will finally come to an end with the launch of the EPO's new
browser-based access to the ESPACE databases at the EPO Patent
Information Conference, taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland, from
18 to 21 October 2010.

The introduction of the EPO's new "EPO Patent Information Expert Services"
client platform will enable users to access resources via a browser using a
Rich Internet Application.
Extract from GPI of patent and NPL citations with search categories
The new interface offers professional search capabilities, allowing users
to run complex queries, display, download and print their search results, and More information can be found in the GPI user manual v1.5, addendum 1,
create diagrams to visualise them using statistics. Additionally, the output which can be downloaded from http://www.epo.org/patents/patent-
can be customised to suit individual needs. Access to the subscription information/subscription/gpi/details.html
ESPACE online databases via this new interface is via a username and
password.

What is the URL?


https://data.epo.org/PIES_latest/ria.html

Learn more about the browser-based access tool and the ESPACE products
in the EPO's virtual classroom series and training courses –
see www.epo.org/patents/learning/pi-training.html.

For more information about EPO Patent Information Expert Services,


contact epal@epo.org.

10 Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010


PATENT ANALYSIS

Patent statistics for decision-makers:


"New technologies, patent quality and entrepreneurship"
Don't miss the conference in Vienna to meet other users as well as to learn about new trends in
on 17 and 18 November 2010! members of the EPO PATSTAT team, measuring patent quality and
who will be available to answer your patent valuation, and how these
We would be pleased to welcome questions. trends will affect patenting strate-
you at the "Patent statistics for gies and promote innovation.
decision-makers" conference. If you Our programme boasts some highly
are interested, please register soon experienced keynote speakers, and a For more information, see
at www.epo.org/about-us/events/ fascinating collection of presenta- www.epo.org/aboutus/events/
patstat.html tions from academics and represen- patstat.html
tatives from industry and patent
Existing (and prospective) PATSTAT organisations (www.epo.org/about-
customers should also register for us/events/patstat/programme.html).
the pre-conference workshop that
will take place at the EPO's premises This conference is more than just an
in Vienna from 14.00 to 17.00 hrs on opportunity to find out more about
Tuesday, 16 November 2010. This patent statistics and to network with
session represents a unique chance fellow users. It is also an opportunity

OECD database updates


The OECD has released updates to The Triadic Patent Families database WO equivalents to the patents The OECD statistics portal
its REGPAT, Citations and Triadic covers European and Japan Patent cited, in order to facilitate further (http://stats.oecd.org/) includes
Patent Families databases. Office applications and US Patent consolidation of the data. data on predefined indicators at
and Trademark Office grants that regional and country level for
The June 2010 edition of REGPAT share the same priorities. The datasets are available for down- patents in selected technology
attributes applicants' and inventors' load by writing to sti.contact@oecd. domains (ICT, biotech, nanotech
addresses to micro-regions for more The Citations database includes org. Please mention "OECD patent and environmental-related
than 30 countries, in line with the citations (patents and non-patent database" in the subject line and technologies).
latest Nomenclature of Territorial literature) in patents at the EPO or specify the name of the dataset you
Units for Statistics (NUTS). filed through the PCT. The data, are interested in. Further informa- www.oecd.org/sti/ipr-statistics
derived from the EPO’s PATSTAT tion can be found at www.oecd.org/
database, includes a list of EP or sti/ipr-statistics.

PUBLICATIONS CORNER

"Publications corner" is a regular feature of Patent Information News, European patent publications
providing readers with statistics and general information about EPO January – September 2010
publications. Weekly Total Change
I EP-A1: European patent applications published with search report average 2010 Jan-Sept 2010 vs. 2009
I EP-A2: European patent applications published without search report EP-A documents
I EP-A3: European search reports EP-A1 851 33 205 0.9%
I EP-B1: European patent specifications EP-A2 316 12 310 –15.3%
I EP-B2: revised European patent specifications Total EP-A1 + A2 1 167 45 515 –4.1%
Percentage EP-A1 of total A1+A2 73.0% 5.2%
Note: The table does not include statistics on European patent applications filed via the
EP-A3 324 12 621 –8.0%
PCT route (Euro-PCT applications). These are published by WIPO and are not made
available by the EPO unless they are in a language other than English, French or EP-B documents
German. Currently about 70% of all European patent applications are Euro-PCT filings. EP-B1+B2 1 117 43 555 9.1%

Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010 11


OTHER NEWS

Some important New EPO publication –


telephone numbers Case Law of the Boards of Appeal (6th edition)
esp@cenet helpdesk The revised and expanded sixth December 2009, plus a number of The book is available from the EPO
Tel.: +43 1 52126 4051 edition of the "Case Law of the important ones from the first two website (www.epo.org/ordering)
Fax: +43 1 52126 4533 Boards of Appeal of the European months of 2010. Its individual and booksellers:
e-mail: espacenet@epo.org Patent Office" was published in chapters have also been compre- – ISBN 978-3-89605-101-6
August 2010. hensively updated in the light of (English edition)
Electronic publications advice line the EPC 2000 revision. It will be an – ISBN 978-3-89605-102-4
Tel.: +43 1 52126 2411 The book takes account of decisions invaluable source of information for (French edition)
Fax: +43 1 52126 2492 available in writing at the end of anyone concerned with European – ISBN 978-3-89605-100-8 (German
e-mail: epal@epo.org patent law – as will the annual edition)
supplements published as special The EPO also plans to make the
INPADOC helpdesk editions of the EPO Official Journal. "Case Law of the Boards of Appeal
Tel.: +43 1 52126 115 of the European Patent Office"
Fax: +43 1 52126 3292 The sixth edition is available in all available electronically on its
e-mail: inpadoc@epo.org three EPO official languages. The website.
English, French and German edi-
Asian patent information tions cost EUR 72 each, or you can P U B L I C AT I O N I N F O R M AT I O N
Tel.: +43 1 52126 4545 order all three volumes together for
Fax: +43 1 52126 4197 EUR 177 (prices include postage and Publisher: Richard Flammer
e-mail: asiainfo@epo.org packaging). Editors: D. Shalloe, K. Maes
Contributors: P. Aladenise, E. Ambros,
Training G. Boedt, R. Feinäugle, A. Fischer (IPI),
Tel.: +43 1 52126 1043 N. Horn, R. Iasovoli, C. Kämmer,
Fax: +43 1 52126 4533 P. Le Gonidec, T. Nyfeler (IPI),
e-mail: training.vienna@epo.org "East meets West" in Vienna – C. Pentheroudakis, I. Schellner,
D. Shalloe, H. Wongel
Customer Service Centre (CSC) save the date Design: Atelier 59
Tel.: +43 1 52126 4547
Fax: +43 1 52126 2491 The "East meets West in Vienna" Patent Information News is
e-mail: csc@epo.org forum is the EPO's annual event published by the
that brings together patent Principal Directorate
for subscriptions: information experts from Asia with Patent Information,
Tel.: +43 1 52126 4546 users from around the world. The European Patent Office,
Fax: +43 1 52126 2492 next forum will be held on 14 and Vienna sub-office,
e-mail: csc@epo.org 15 April 2011. Rennweg 12,
1030 Vienna, Austria
Switchboard For more information on previous Tel.: +43 1 52126 0
Tel.: +43 1 52126 0 forums, please visit www.epo.org/
about-us/events/archive/2010/ The opinions expressed in this
EPO Customer Services are open emw2010.html or contact the EPO's publication are not necessarily those
for your enquiries on all matters Asian patent information services at of the EPO.
relating to European patents: asiainfo@epo.org. ESPACE and esp@cenet
Tel.: +49 89 2399 4636, are registered trade marks.
e-mail: info@epo.org
ISSN 1024-6673

www.epo.org

12 Patent Information News 3 | 2010 September 2010