SACEPO WP on Patent Documentation and Information

On 14 June, 24 experts representing key stakeholders convened as part of SACEPO Working Party on Patent Documentation and Information (WP PDI). Participants included representatives from BusinessEurope, epi, FICPI and UNION-IP, renowned institutions as well as specialist associations such as the Confederacy of European Patent Information User Groups (CEPIUG) and the Patent Documentation Group (PDG).

Update on recent developments at the EPO

User representatives were updated on the new structures and goals of patent intelligence at the EPO. Presentations touched upon the role of generative AI in improving access to patent information, the EPO’s Observatory on Patents and Technology and the Deep Tech Finder, a free tool which contains the funding profiles of over 8 300 investment-ready startups in Europe blended with their patent portfolios, helping to connect them with potential investors. In patent analytics, the latest developments and most recent patent insight reports and technology platforms were highlighted.

Looking to the future, the EPO underlined the importance of patent intelligence in serving the public interest and presented the role of patent knowledge in its Strategic Plan 2028, highlighting how the plan will contribute to sustainability. The meeting also included interactive demonstrations of upcoming products, notably the Technology Intelligence Platform. This platform is EPO’s next generation tool for processing, analysing and visualising patent data, enabling users to develop live code, extract patent knowledge and even conduct scientific research. Its ready-to-use functionality combined with access to extensive datasets and comprehensive learning materials will empower users to enhance their patent intelligence and share it with the IP community. A focus group – to which SACEPO PDI members were invited - will be given access to a beta version in the second half of 2024 to help test and refine the platform before it can be launched.

Gathering user feedback and ideas

SACEPO members expressed enthusiasm for the Deep Tech Finder, noting its potential value to the PATLIB network and young inventors. Similarly, members were eager to learn more about the Technology Intelligence Platform.

Following the practice initiated last year in SACEPO, participants were given the floor in a dedicated session to present their ideas for future product releases and user interface improvements. Examples included an alert service for Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) changes and the possibility to search third-party observations in the European Patent Register.

Finally, users welcomed the recent developments presented by the EPO. They provided feedback and offered suggestions to improve product documentation, for example, when searching Boards of Appeal (BoA) decisions. They also stressed the importance of correctly and consistently applying the "First" International Patent Classification (IPC) symbol to ensure that files are directed to the appropriate section of the Unified Patent Court.


Access to the technical information is becoming more important than ever, both for the general public and for researchers and inventors who have to stay abreast with the latest developments in their field. Patent information also covers crucial data, such as the countries where rights are in force, or the owners of such rights. Furthermore, the meta-data of every patent publication can be used to depict complex “patent landscapes”, which highlight emerging technologies and clusters of innovation. Organised annually, the SACEPO WP PDI represents a platform for users to be informed first-hand about these topics, provide feedback and express concerns and ideas.  

In addition to SACEPO meetings, the EPO gathers feedback via multiple channels. These include independent user satisfaction surveys, online public consultations, the Ombuds office and regular meetings with key applicants. This valuable input enables the EPO to continually enhance its products and services and develop initiatives that address evolving applicant needs.