Discussion rounds

The discussion rounds at the conference are your chance to get involved and help the EPO to set its priorities for European patent information in future.

Except for a super-workshop for expert users which is planned for 14 November, all discussion rounds and tutorials will take place on 12 November 2018.

IMPORTANT! Pre-registration is required for the discussion rounds.

Every conference delegate is entitled to participate in one discussion round (depending on seat availability). To register, please use the online form. We will not grant admission to people who have not registered in advance.

09.00 - 10.30 hrs
Discussion round 1

How does linked open data help us unlock more value from patent information?

In the summer of 2018, the EPO launched its first linked open data product, offering data on European patent applications and granted patents in RDF format. This discussion round will look at the new product from the EPO fits in to the wider open data landscape. Participants will be encouraged to debate the potential of linked open data, and how patent offices can move forward with this kind of service in the patent information landscape.

Summary (PDF, 141 KB)

Report (PDF, 105 KB)

Discussion round 2

The future of legal event data

Legal event data for patents, with the EPO's INPADOC database as a central source, has been an indispensable resource of information for patent information users for decades and is likely to become even more important.

Various activities by patent offices, patent information service providers and stakeholders aim at increasing the coverage, accuracy and timeliness of legal event data, and making users' lives easier.

In this interactive session, you will have the chance to play your part in a discussion on the future of legal event data - and on which priorities should be set: be it the need for data from more countries, more comprehensive legal event data or better ways of retrieving and using the data.

Summary (PDF, 146 KB)

Report (PDF, 275 KB)

Discussion round 3

Searching using classifications what stumbling blocks remain?

Searching using classifications is a complex task. With the introduction of the CPC, the EPO and USPTO offer an even more advanced level of classification search. Espacenet, on the other hand, provides a tool that eases the novice user into classification-based searching in a supported way. IPC and CPC revisions are now well documented and the number of offices classifying in the CPC is growing, including China and South Korea. So what stumbling blocks remain? This session will discuss what further improvements can still be found on the users' wish-lists.

Summary (PDF, 170 KB)
Report (PDF, 25 KB)

Discussion round 4

Artificial intelligence – how will we use patent information ten years from now?

Artificial intelligence is a ubiquitous topic these days, and with good reason. This discussion round will ask to transport themselves ten years into the future and imagine how we will be using patent information in a world where artificial intelligence has become the norm. What steps can be taken today already, by users, suppliers and patent offices, to move us towards that future in the best way?

Summary (PDF, 276 KB)
Report (PDF, 20 KB)

10.45 - 12.15 hrs
Discussion round 5

Federated Register and Global Dossier a critical look at the current service

Just a few years ago, collecting decentralised data and presenting it live in real time was a long-off wish for many patent specialists. Today, the Federated European Patent Register and the Global Dossier are mature products, there initial development complete. It is therefore the right moment to take a look at both of them and ask what the next steps might be. This session is your chance to exchange views with the EPO's experts on possible future improvements to these services.

Summary (PDF, 179 KB)
Report (PDF, 14 KB)

Discussion round 6

Blockchain will it impact IP?

Barely a day goes by without the word "Blockchain" appearing in the news headlines. This technology seems set to make a mark, but will it also impact IP, and how? This session will discuss how Blockchain technology is already potentially having an impact on the IP field and invite discussion on how it might evolve in future.

Summary (PDF, 160 KB)
Report (PDF, 19 KB)

Discussion round 7

Searching databases for software-related inventions what exactly to search for

The EPO estimates that the number of patent applications it receives that contain a software element will approach 50% in the coming years. A niche activity in the past, searching prior art databases and other kinds of documentation for software-related inventions is set to become a standard task for any patent searcher. This session will ask what exactly to search for in this complex area. An EPO director specialised in the computer software area will also participate.

Summary (PDF, 151 KB)
Report (PDF, 65 KB)

Discussion round 8

"Do we have a strong IP position?" – how to answer this and other questions from the Board

Patent searchers are increasingly being asked to produce analyses that go beyond conventional patent search and provide input for strategic corporate decision-making. "Is our IP position strong?" "What's our competitor's patent arsenal like in comparison to ours?" These are questions that are arising more frequently than in the past. How should a patent searcher react, and what are the best approaches for providing an answer that is useful to the person who put the question? This session will be an open debate on these and related issues.

Summary (PDF, 140 KB)
Report (PDF, 21 KB)

Further information on registering for discussion rounds

There is space for about 30 participants in each discussion round. Based on the principle of first-come, first-served, we will place each conference registrant in their first choice. If this is not possible, we'll look for a place in the second choice. We try to avoid placing two participants from one company or organisation in one discussion round.

During the final two weeks leading up to the conference, any remaining places in the discussion rounds will be filled by taking into account registrants' second and third choices.

Discussion round chairmen

Are you interested in chairing a discussion round? Please write to conference@epo.org.

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