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.

Every conference delegate is entitled to participate in one discussion round. To register, please use the conference registration form.

13.30 - 15.00 hrs
Discussion round 1

Will the new ISO norm on innovation management have an impact on patent searching?

Representatives from the EPO were observers in the drafting process for ISO Norm "ISO 56002:2019", which lays down a standard for innovation management. Now that the norm has been published and can be applied, what effect will it have? And will it have an impact on the work of patent searchers and patent analysts?
Report (PDF, 67 KB)

Discussion round 2

Legal tech industry: a new player in IP?

Digital transformation is changing the way legal professions provide their services and expertise. The IP sector is no exception. Fortunately, ever more legal technology solutions are emerging that alleviate the work of IP specialists in areas like application drafting, document and file management, case law exploration, etc. This “kick-off” discussion round will open a dialogue among IP and patent professionals, and identify specific opportunities and challenges linked to these emerging services, in particular where patent knowledge management is concerned.
Report (PDF, 100 KB)

Discussion round 3

Enhanced patent data: past, present and future

For historical reasons and due to the large variety of sources, patent data may sometimes look inconsistent and defective. But patent offices, service providers and patent users have an ever-growing need for data and extra information above what is classically found on and in patent documents and above the procedural information collected during the life of an application or IP right.

Today, many initiatives exist which help to enhance the original patent data. However, are the efforts sufficient? And is the enhanced data available in way suitable to support the users?

This discussion round will test the temperature on the direction the patent information community would like to see the area evolving and the EPO to go.
Report (PDF, 66 KB)

Discussion round 4

To what extent is AI learning to "understand" patents?

Since the beginning of IT, unstructured information in general – and text in particular – have posed an exciting challenge for machines. Starting from simple absence/presence of terms (Boolean search) followed by term frequencies and bag-of-words approaches, today's deep learning models are starting to understand patent language on a deeper, more meaningful level. In this session, we will discuss how AI is “machine” learning to handle patent syntax to guide and assist the patent searcher. The EPO will introduce some of its own work, explaining how examiners' knowledge and experience (a unique asset to IP offices) is contributing. The session will address three areas of patent searching and AI: unstructured text, patent figures and the problem of multiple languages, and aim to derive conclusions with respect to professional patent search and patent machine understanding. We will also think about the risks of biases in the system that can have unforeseen consequences.
Report (PDF, 108 KB)

 09.30 - 11.00 hrs
Discussion round 5

AI implemented inventions as prior art

A key legal requirement in patent law is that an invention must be disclosed in a patent application in enough detail to enable a hypothetical person skilled in the art to understand and carry out the invention. With inventions that rely on AI, the specific details of how exactly the invention arose may not be available for a variety of reasons. This poses a challenge to both the patent drafter and the prior art searcher in all fields of technology where AI is applied. How does one describe or search for technical details that are difficult to explain or that are simply unavailable? Add to this the ever-expanding public domain repositories of computer generated data and the search for prior art indeed becomes an arduous task. During this discussion round, we will explore these issues and discuss some ways in which to cope with the inevitable concerns.
Report (PDF, 87 KB)

Discussion round 6

CPC website: what do you need to avoid getting lost in the CPC information labyrinth?

The EPO and USPTO created the CPC website (cpcinfo.org) when the CPC was launched in 2013. Since then, the CPC has evolved, and so have the needs of the user community. The EPO is planning to revamp the site in 2021 and would like to get as much input from its users as possible, to make the new website as user friendly as possible with easy ways to access all the information: no one should get lost in the new CPC website!

Participants to the discussion round are invited to familiarise themselves before the session with the CPC website (www.cpcinfo.org) and the "Cooperative Patent Classification - How to be kept up to date with CPC revisions?" given at the Patent Information Conference last year.
Report (PDF, 118 KB)

Discussion round 7

Non-patent literature: what are the searcher's needs and are they being met?

In recent years, the importance of non-patent literature for patent searching has grown dramatically. This session will explore how searching non-patent literature is different to searching patent literature, what data is available and where, and what today's tools can do to retrieve it. The session will also ask where the gaps are, how they could be met and by whom.
Report (PDF, 124 KB)

Discussion round 8

Espacenet one year on – does it meet the users' needs?

After one year of full operation of new Espacenet, it is time to reflect and discuss questions such as:

  • Have the objectives been achieved and the expectations been met?
  • Are the users satisfied?
  • What do users appreciate, and are there any gaps or needs not covered?

The discussion round will provide the opportunity for a vivid discussion looking back on one year of new Espacenet, its current status and the potential way forward. There will also be an opportunity to reflect on the feedback collected from the user community up to now and compare it with the findings of the discussion round.
Report (PDF, 138 KB)

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