Advanced ICT for innovation in priority areas

Dimitar Karastoyanov, Professor, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Dimitar Karastoyanov, a Bulgarian Inventor of the Year Award 2017 nominee, will present a number of innovations developed by Sofia's Institute of Information and Communications Technologies. The Institute is active across a wide range of technologies, including ICT, mechatronics, clean technologies, energy efficiency, new materials and nanotechnologies, human health and quality of life. With the growing importance of information retrieval, Professor Karastoyanov and his team have looked at making it easier for blind people to work with today's technologies, inventing a braille computer tablet.

Our profession in control of its own future

Dietmar Pressner, Global Vice President for Intellectual Property, Royal DSM N.V.

We will have a look at the current force fields of the patent information arena;
An avalanche of primary data, high stake litigation cases and clients who are digital natives, living on mobile devices in a visual world.

As the competitive landscape becomes more volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous, it is a great moment for experts to adapt and connect even better to their clients to provide clarity and understanding.

But do we stand a chance in times of the rise of Industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence?

Will we be outdated or outstanding?

How patent information supports innovation – a recent survey by the EPO

Heiko Wongel, EPO

It is generally assumed and has often been communicated that patent information has a positive influence on the process of innovation. However, only few attempts have been made to confirm or to quantify this assumption. The EPO has tried to find a more solid basis for this statement in a survey made among actors in the innovation process.

From the large number of existing models of innovation processes, a four-phase model was selected as the basis for the investigation. Survey participants were asked to assign their innovation activity to one of these phases and were asked to identify the sources (both patent- and non-patent information) and the purpose of the information they use for this activity. Evaluation of the answers allows conclusions to be drawn about the value of patent information in the innovation landscape. The results can later serve, for example, to improve the services and communication strategies of the different players in patent information. The lecture presents some preliminary results and discusses possible reactions.

Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court – what patent searchers need to know

Yolanda Sánchez García and Hans-Christian Haugg, EPO

As the launch of the unitary patent draws closer, this talk will take a look at the impact that it may have for patent information users. It is already clear that the “Unitary Patent Register” will be part of the European Patent Register and what it will look like. The focus of this presentation is to address the legal framework and the structure of this newly established register. During this session we will also have a detailed look at what information the “Unitary Patent Register” will contain, how a search for patents with unitary effect will be performed and what the exchange of information from the Unified Patent Court into the UPP Register will be.

Linking patent data with other data sources

Ilja Rudyk and Geert Boedt, EPO

In a changing business and technological environment patent data analyses have often proven its value. Business and policy decision makers explore new ways of linking patent data to other information sources such as business, economic , trademark, design rights and standards-related (e.g. IEEE, DIN) data. The combination of multiple data sources allows users to extract further reaching insights beyond pure patent statistics. Best practices are presented demonstrating how PATSTAT, the EPO's flagship product for statistical patent analyses, can be linked to non-EPO data e.g. to analyse the impact of IP intensive industries on the European economy.

Linking patent with science data for collaboration spotting, a generic visual analytics platform developed at CERN

Jean-Marie Le Goff, CERN

The huge amount of patent literature publicly available offers an invaluable insight into new technology developments and innovation. The equally huge amount of science data contains essentially all the public information that is available on the research conducted worldwide. For instance, R&D on early stage technologies is often published some years before the first patents are filled. R&D and early patents may originate from academia or from industry while later patents are owned by industry, indicating manufacturing maturity. Publications on the use of newly patented technologies provide undisputed technical information on their use, capability and performance. Linking patent with scientific data can enhance significantly the understanding of the technology landscape and its development cycle.
To this end, one needs to build a very large multi-dimensional network and use visual analytics techniques to navigate this network and develop cognitive perception.
In this presentation, we propose to explore with practical examples important aspects of the patent and science data linkage using different dimensions of the network such as citations, authoring/owner organisations, and journal categories and patent classes.

Competitive analysis of IP professionals based on patent data

Lutz Maicher, Fraunhofer IMW Competitive Intelligence

Combining patent information with other sources of data has the potential to open up new knowledge domains and create new and innovative insights for the users. To this end, the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy (IMW) has created the IP Industry Base, a global non-profit database of IP companies to help users understand the IP value chain from the inventors to the products. This information system enriches company profiles with patent data to help users find the best IP service providers for the respective technological field. Professor Maicher will share his insights on how to set up advanced market analytics, and on lessons learned at Fraunhofer IMW.

Challenges and opportunities of multimedia information retrieval

Stefan Rüger, DynAikon Ltd and Knowledge Media Institute, Open University, UK

This talk examines the challenges and opportunities of multimedia information retrieval, ie, image, video and music search engines, with a particular view to patents and prior art searches.

Computer technology has changed our access to information tremendously: now we are able to issue keyword searches within the full text of unimaginably large repositories to identify the authors, titles and locations of relevant resources. What about the corresponding challenge of finding multimedia by fragments, examples and excerpts? Can we hum a tune to find a song? Can engineers submit a sketch of a design to search for solutions? Can you find slightly modified images that were reused from another source? Can software watch videos to build an understanding of the topics that are dealt within it?

I will discuss which techniques can already be used reliably, where we are on the road of tackling above problems, and will gaze into the crystal ball what this could mean for patent and prior art searches.

Machine translation: searching and understanding the world of patent information

Ian Wetherbee, Google

Machine translation is the first step in using machine-readable patent data to make patents more accessible worldwide. In this lecture we will look at the role and effectiveness of machine translation in the patent system, from searching patents to understanding their contents. We will also analyse the technical advancements in architecture and quality in neural machine translation systems, as well as exciting developments from the latest research.

Enriching patent search by external keywords: a feasibility study

Galia Angelova, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

This talk presents an idea how to add keywords automatically to patent texts in order to enrich patent indexing with monolingual term synonyms and their translations in multiple languages. External keywords could be borrowed for instance from Wikipedia - a free, multilingual, peer-reviewed and constantly updated source of information. This would allow increasing patent search recall, and it is the solution we propose for recognising vague and inventor-specific term definitions. The talk presents initial experiments in the automatic recognition of Wikipedia articles relevant to the patent’s topic, as a first step towards enriching patents indexing with Wikipedia terms, and discusses problems and achievements. In fact, any external terminological dictionary can be used as a source for additional indices. This approach might be reasonable in the future when high-quality public resources will appear with the wider adoption of open data framework.

“As we may search” – the impact of technical change on the role of the human searcher

Stephen Adams, Magister Ltd

The demise of the intermediary searcher has been forecast at least as far back as the launch of the earliest ‘end-user’ electronic search tools. The technology which we use to search is, however, only one facet of the problem. An equally challenging issue is whether searchers in the future will be able to acquire the knowledge of the technical domains underlying – or dominating – the subject of their search. As these innovations affect worldwide manufacturing industry, who (or what) will have the skills to assess whether search results are relevant or not? Some parallels to these challenges can be found in the effects of the 1998 State Street decision in the US, which opened the floodgates on business method patents, and in so doing created a new dimension to the challenge of effective prior art search.

Patent searcher and patent attorney – an inseparable team

Andreas Feichtner, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH

Henry Ford said "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” and Mother Teresa said “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things”. It sounds so simple and promising, but experience has taught us that teamwork can be a challenge. Let us have a look in the complex partnership between patent searchers and patent attorneys and let us try to find some basic rules to successfully form a team that jointly creates freedom to operate – for both the partners and the products.

Dead, alive – or in the twilight zone? How to search and interpret information on the status of Asian patents

Jürgen Mühl, EPO

When conducting freedom-to-operate searches for Chinese, Japanese or Korean patents, it is often challenging to clearly identify the current status of the documents on your result list. Many documents are neither “alive” nor “dead” but in a “twilight zone”. Some of the typical challenges you might be facing are as follows:

  • Can a lapsed patent in Japan be restored and if so, how long is this possible?
  • Does a patent in Korea always falls in the public domain again after 20 years from filing? Or do I have to consider possible term extensions for certain parts of the document?
  • If there was a partial invalidation of a patent in China, how can I find out which claims are still in force?
  • If an applicant does not file an examination request on time in one of the three countries, can I be absolutely sure that the application is abandoned? Or is it possible to reinstate the application later on?

This presentation will provide some help for you in making a diagnosis on the validity of patents that might block your product’s launch on the Japanese, Chinese or Korean market. We will have a close look on some of the most important regulations to consider and in particular on how you can retrieve this information in free available sources like J-Plat Pat, KIPRIS or tools provided by SIPO.

How Chinese patent information supports innovation

Xu Zhijiang, Assistant Commissioner, SIPO

This presentation will highlight the important role that patent information plays globally in technology innovation, and display the latest development of IP work in China and the effective measures that the Chinese government takes to promote patent information utilisation.

The latest developments of the CPC in China

Lu Huisheng, Director, Patent Documentation Department, SIPO

This presentation will briefly update the audience of the CPC implementation at SIPO and the next-step plan of this office.

So many references, so little time – freedom-to-operate opinions and China’s avalanche of patents

Thomas T. Moga, LeClairRyan attorneys

The “Freedom to Operate” (“FTO”) opinion is critical in determining whether or not the testing or commercializing of a product is possible without fear of infringing someone else’s valid patent rights. The strength of the FTO relies on an effective data base search. With the dramatic increase in invention, utility model and design patent grants in China, the number of patents to be searched in that country risks outstripping the ability of searchers to do their jobs with a comfortable level of reliability. The problem is growing but practical and cost-effective responses may be possible

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