Open Patent Services (OPS) version 3.2 beta now available

The EPO is pleased to announce the release of Open Patent Services (OPS) version 3.2. This is a public beta release, so while it provides access to the EPO production back end, certain features might still need slight adaptation at our end following more extensive usage and your feedback.

New features and changes

  • OPS web service (in general):
    • "Anonymous" test access option removed
  • OPS Published-data service/search:
    • CQL query behaviour streamlined with Espacenet query implementation
    • Searchable field "classification combination (cpcc)" added to search for CPC combination sets
  • OPS Published-data service/biblio:
    • CPC combination set retrieval enabled
    • Citations now provided in rich format where available
      Please note that although rich format is already supported, it is subject to the availability at the back end of citation data in the new format.
      Further details can be found under Rich citations in Patent Information News issue 3/2016.
  • OPS Published-data service/claims, description:
    • EP-B full-text documents available in character-coded format (XML), including claims in three languages
  • OPS Register service (in general): 
    • Adapted to accept new European Patent Register features linked to the implementation of the unitary patent (not yet visible to users)
  • OPS Register service/search:
    • Searchable fields "date of grant (grd)" and "appeal case number (apl)" added
  • OPS CPC classification service:
    • New CPC classification scheme (01.11.2016) available only in version 3.2 (that is, version 3.1 will continue to provide only the previous version of the CPC classification scheme)

To access OPS version 3.2 documentation visit

Planning

As was the case for previous releases, the two versions of OPS will remain in production in parallel for a certain length of time to ensure the users experience a smooth migration to the latest version. The planned schedule is as follows:

  • Current: version 3.1 production environment - version 3.2 public beta
  • January 2017: version 3.2 in full production - version 3.1 still available
  • As from Q2 2017: discontinuation of version 3.1

Encryption protocols

We would like to remind you that, as communicated in July, we have recently added the TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 encryption protocols to OPS version 3.1. As TLS 1.2 is now fully supported, you should ensure that your client code establishes a TLS1.2 connection with the server.

Migration steps

  • OPS version 3.2 uses the same credentials for accessing the service as OPS version 3.1.
  • However, as part of this migration, you need to perform some additional steps to ensure that your client code is running in the most robust way possible.For backward-compatibility purposes, our servers support the HTTPS protocols SSL3, TLS 1.0, 1.1 & 1.2.
  • Please note that 1.2 is the recommended security protocol for establishing an HTTPS connection.
  • When reconnecting your client code to OPS 3.2, please ensure that your client code supports TLS 1.2.
  • When starting your application and establishing a connection to OPS 3.2 for the first time, please check your connection logs and ensure that the handshake and connection correctly establish a TLS 1.2 protocol connection.
  • For best-practice purposes, you should also ensure that your client cannot establish any other kind of HTTPS connection.
  • The EPO plans to decommission SSL3, TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in 2017.To avoid losing access to OPS when this happens, we strongly recommend that you take the above steps now.

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