Following the announcement of a re-orientation plan for patent information centres in June 2010, a pilot project involving a limited number of PATLIBS began in November of the same year.
SMEs, which tend to lack means of exploiting the patent system, are to eventually benefit from the project. Patent information centres will be able to cover a wider range of patent-related innovation support services.
The main objectives are to:
- improve quality of existing services to provide advanced IP services to clients
- provide a wider range of patent-related innovation support services for clients to support their business activities
- enable PATLIB centres to provide patent-related support services in the pre-filing and commercialisation phases of inventions
- make these services sustainable
- establish a network of support institutions; foster networking; encourage direct contact between experts.
Participating in the pilot project are 17 PATLIB centres from 11 countries (CZ, EE, ES, FI, FR, IT, LV, PL, RO, SK, TR).
The project has the following phases:
- Start-up phase: November 2010 - April 2011, with a focus on extended search services;
- Implementation phase: May 2011 - April 2012, with a focus on supplementary services (commercialisation support, patent strategy development, assessing economic value of IP, networking contacts);
- Consolidation phase: May 2012 - November 2013 (with possible extension), with a focus on business development and the sustainability of PATLIBs.
After successful completion of the pilot project, larger scale implementation is planned, with non-pilot PATLIBS also to benefit from the improvements.