A look at the abundance of Chinese patent information - with special emphasis on utility models

Oliver Pfaffenzeller and Bernd Wolter, Siemens

Over the last few years the output of Chinese patents has grown steadily , turning SIPO into the world's most prolific patent office in terms of numbers of applications and publications. We will shed some light on this unprecedented growth and then dissect the publications of one year to gain some insight into the areas where most of the growth happens. We will also compare fields of technology with patent publications of other regions of the world. One special field of Chinese patent information is utility model data. We will explain the history of and the differences between patents and utility models and outline the peculiarities and possible difficulties Chinese utility models may pose to the unaware user of the system. We will outline how we deal with this situation and expect the audience to contribute either case studies or solutions and tools of their own of how to master the vast amount of Chinese patent information.

How can patent information inspire research and technology development?

Krzystof Klincewicz

Typical uses of patent information are: identification of prior art, scoping the freedom-to-operate, and profiling potential suppliers, licensees or competitors. The presentation will cover other scenarios, when patent information helps create new technical concepts, refine innovative solutions and improve organisational practices. Business benefits of techniques such as tech mining, literature-based discovery and TRIZ will be introduced. Based on systematic exploration of data concerning past inventions, informed R&D specialists could stimulate corporate innovativeness and develop new products or technologies, inspired by their predecessors but offering new added value to customers.

Using patent analytics to engage senior management in patent strategy - moving patent information up the value chain

Tony Trippe

EPO President, Benoît Battistelli, at the 2013 EPO Patent Information Conference said, "Patent information is a top priority for the EPO". This was a significant endorsement of the importance of patent information by the highest official of one of the world's most influential patent offices. Looking at our own organisations, can patent information professionals say that their own senior management shares a similar view of the importance of patent information, and its practitioners? The key to increasing the value of patent information within an organisation is to apply it to critical business decisions, and to put it in terms that are understood by senior officials. Examples of how to accomplish this goal will be provided.

Spinning the wheel: How the protection of intellectual property has changed in the car industry

Giulia Trombini, Università Ca' Foscari - Venezia, Italy

Over the past decades, the development of a car has become a complex activity involving skills and resources from a variety of industries and actors. Technological and market forces have led companies in the car industry to radically change the organisation of their innovative activities, shifting from a closed vertically innovation model to a distributed one.

Patent protection continues to be a key measure to appropriate the benefits of research and development in the car industry. This speech reviews how the innovation model has changed in the last decades and illustrates how patent information helps to reveal the dominant patterns of patent protection in the industry.

An elusive pursuit: the odyssey of tracking patent ownership

Susanne Hantos, Davies Collison Cave

As patent data visualisation is a prevalent means by which the private and public sector including governments assess domestic and foreign patent related activity, the accuracy of the underlying bibliographic data is essential for proper conclusions to be drawn.  Patent ownership can often prove to be an elusive piece of information as the legal person or entity currently recorded in a national patent office register may only have been the patent owner at the time of granting the patent.  This presentation will look at the difficulties encountered in identifying patent owners and discuss the possible approaches towards improving the transparency of patent ownership.

An experts' guide to exotic features and future developments of the CPC

Marios Sideris, Pierre Held and Frédérique Lequeux, EPO

As users are getting more and more familiar with the new Cooperative Patent Classification scheme, they are discovering some of the refinements that  are not obvious even to CPC experienced users. This session covers advanced features of the CPC, and explain how using them can improve your searching. Examples of the topics that will be treated are:

  • Indexing codes: 2000 series breakdown and orthogonal codes; interleaved presentation
  • Combination sets
  • CPC Revision, Definition and Maintenance projects
  • CPC browser in Espacenet (advanced features)    

The presentation will also include a demonstration of future developments related to the CPC and an update of the use of the CPC by different offices.

CPC in action at Philips

Gerard van der Ligt, Philips Intellectual Property & Standards

Philips IP&S employs 40 patent information professionals, supporting all IP processes with value add information. This activity ranges from patentability searches and patent landscapes to strategic competitor analyses. In most phases of the information process, patent classifications can play an important role. How the CPC specifically contributes will be illustrated with a few examples

Using the CPC for patent intelligence: upgrading your analyses with expert know-how

Christian Soltmann, EPO

Patent intelligence can help to back decisions in companies, public institutions as well as in the field of economics. Potential fields of application range from analysing the competitive environment to identifying technical trends or partners for R&D projects.

Case studies will be presented which illustrate how patent intelligence can help to get an overview of emerging and interdisciplinary areas of technology. The main focus of the presentation will be put on how CPC classes can provide the basis for advanced patent statistics, and how results may be processed to meet the needs of the target audience.

Espacenet, Patentscope and Depatisnet: a look at their features and differences

Björn Jürgens

Espacenet, Patentscope and Depatisnet are well known to the patent information professionals as the main multinational patent database which are available free of cost to the public. As all three of them have substantially improved in the last years this presentation wants to give a comparison of their functionalities and capabilities for patent searching but also for statistical patent analysis. Case studies will be presented which demonstrate the pro and cons of each database.

Asian legal status: what is available and where?

Christine Kämmer and Jürgen Mühl, EPO

A long-standing users' wish became reality: with the current update of data from Korea, the EPO's databases now include legal status information from all major Asian patent offices.

This session will provide you an overview on the Chinese, Japanese and Korean legal status data available in the EPO's databases. We will also tackle questions of time lags and data coverage and have a look on further legal status search tools provided by the national offices.

Understanding the ‘legal’ behind the ‘status’ in China, Korea and Japan

Hyewon Ahn, df-mp

As more and more legal status data from China, Korea and Japan becomes available to patent searchers, there is an increasing need to understand what it means. This presentation will give a brief overview of the main steps in the patent granting procedure in these three countries, highlighting major similarities and differences between the three, and in comparison with the European system. The focus will be on the information that patent searchers need when assessing the data they retrieve in their legal status searches.

Beyond the Big 3

Peter Kallas, BASF SE

The integration of patent legal status data from China and Japan into INPADOC was a milestone in the field of patent information. The next will - hopefully – be coming soon: patent legal status data from Korea.

Instant access to legal status data from Asia’s Big 3 is a big boost for patent analysts everywhere. But when we look at the map we see that there is plenty of white space with regard to data and even the Big 3 are patchy. Data delivery does not happen overnight and we need to plan today for where we want to be five years hence. This presentation examines which legal status data events are still missing from the Big 3 and looks at what might come next from Asia. 

The unitary patent and the role of the EPO

Pierre Treichel, EPO

In 2012, EU member states and the European Parliament agreed on the "patent package" - a legislative initiative consisting of two regulations and an international agreement, laying grounds for the creation of unitary patent protection in the EU. The contracting member states to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court which sets up a single and specialised patent jurisdiction are now in the process of ratification. Once the patent package becomes operational, it will be possible to obtain a European patent with unitary effect at the EPO - a legal title ensuring uniform protection for an invention across 25 EU member states on a one-stop shop basis, providing huge cost advantages and reducing administrative burdens. The unitary patent will be administered by the EPO, which will be performing additional tasks such as receiving requests for unitary effect, keeping a register for unitary patent protection, collecting and distributing the single renewal fees and administering a compensation scheme.

Function-oriented search as a TRIZ tool

Sergei Ikovenko, Director and Chief Specialist, Innovation Leadership Programs

TRIZ, the Russian acronym for the phrase "Theory of Inventive Problem Solving", is a collection of forecasting and problem-solving tools derived from analysis of the world's body of patents to identify global patterns in inventions. TRIZ is based on the following notions:

  • patterns of technical evolution are repeated across industries
  • problems and solutions are repeated across industries
  • innovation can be taught and learned

Today, TRIZ is a globally accepted approach for developing innovative solutions to complex technical problems. Many of the world's leading corporations actively use TRIZ for various types of innovation projects.

Function-oriented search is a problem-solving tool that uses functional criteria to help identify existing technologies in leading areas of science and engineering. To successfully apply the tool, we begin by identifying the functions in the system that need to be improved. These specific functions are then translated into generalized functions that will become the targets of an external search.

Typically, function-oriented search produces a range of potential solutions, each with its own set of adaptation challenges. By stratifying solutions along two dimensions - potential efficacy of the technology and degree of difficulty to implement (time and resources) - we illuminate the choices available in a way that facilitates decision making.

Successfully deploying function-oriented search enables the client to reach far outside its industry to identify enabling technologies that could be critical for unlocking breakthrough innovation.

A trip to 2024

Frédérique Klein, DSM and Dominique Winne, EPO

Ten years ago, tweeting was for birds.
Ten years from now, just imagine how the information environment will evolve.
Two patent searchers, one from the EPO and one from industry, will share their vision and discuss differences of how the patent-searching environment will change in the future.

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