Programme

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Please note that the time zone for the programme is GMT+2.  

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

09.00 hrs

Introduction

Gemma Mitchell, Chairperson of the Search Matters Committee, EPO

09.20 hrs

Welcome speech

Stephen Rowan, Vice-President, Patent Granting Process, EPO

09.30 hrs

Plenary 1: 

Additive manufacturing, space missions and IP: latest developments 

Tommaso Ghidini, Head, Structures, Mechanisms and Materials Division, ESA

10.30 hrs

Workshop session I

WS01

Artificial intelligence - one of the most disruptive technologies in history

Elena Virnik, examiner, EPO

WS02

Advanced features in Espacenet

Johannes Schaaf, administrator, Patent Knowledge Promotion, EPO

WS03

The problem-solution approach - a powerful search tool

Anne-Cécile Derrien, examiner, EPO

11.30 hrs
Break

11.45 hrs

Workshop session II

WS04

Patent insight reports: frontiers of additive manufacturing

Nigel Clarke, research manager, Patent Knowledge Promotion, EPO

Björn Jürgens, Senior Analyst, CITPIA patent information centre,

Innovation and Development Agency of Andalusia (IDEA)

WS05

The ABC of search engines

Andrew Thean, examiner, EPO

Stefan Ziegler, examiner, EPO

WS06

Lost in machine translation?

Maxime Delaitre, examiner, EPO

12.45 hrs

Closing remarks day 1

Gemma Mitchell, Chairperson of the Search Matters Committee, EPO

   

Thursday, 15 October 2020

09.00 hrs

Welcome to the day 

Gemma Mitchell, Chairperson of the Search Matters Committee, EPO

09.15 hrs

Plenary 2a:

Finding the way in the maze of disruptive technologies/1: exploiting the CPC

Pierre Held, administrator, Directorate Classification and Documentation EPO

Plenary 2b:

Finding the way in the maze of disruptive technologies/2: exploiting Espacenet, GPI and PATSTAT

Johannes Schaaf, administrator, Patent Knowledge Promotion, EPO

10.30 hrs

Workshop session III

WS07

Searching cross-technology inventions

Anna Kajzar, examiner, EPO

WS08

CPC international and Asian documentation

Bart Degroote, examiner/team manager, EPO

Yann Aubry, examiner, EPO

WS09

Forward search: a complementary tool to keyword- and class-based prior art searches

Marion Sigrist, examiner, EPO

11.30 hrs
Break

11.45 hrs

Workshop session IV

WS10

Beyond patent families - interrelated patents and applications

Alain Materne, examiner, EPO

Gershom Sleightholme-Albanis, senior expert/examiner, EPO

Nigel Clarke, research manager, Patent Knowledge Promotion, EPO

WS02

Advanced features in Espacenet

Johannes Schaaf, administrator, Patent Knowledge Promotion, EPO

WS03

The problem-solution approach - a powerful search tool

Anne-Cécile Derrien, examiner, EPO

12.45 hrs

Closing remarks day 2

Gemma Mitchell, Chairperson of the Search Matters Committee, EPO

   

Friday, 16 October 2020

09.00 hrs

Welcome to the day

09.15 hrs

Plenary 3:

Trends in industrial additive manufacturing and the relevance of patents

Mike Shellabear, Director, IP & Technical Services, EOS

10.30 hrs

Workshop session V

WS11

Computer-implemented inventions for additive manufacturing

Boyan Radev, examiner, EPO

WS02

Advanced features in Espacenet

Johannes Schaaf, administrator, Patent Knowledge Promotion, EPO

WS12

Access to Japanese prior-art using classification, indexing and citation information

Adam Cohen, examiner, EPO

Christoph Wirner, examiner, EPO

11.30 hrs

Plenary 4:

On the trail of disruptive technologies, clues from patent

analysis

Nigel Clarke, Patent Knowledge research manager, Patent Knowledge Promotion, EPO

12.15 hrs

Conference closing remarks

Xavier Seuba, Director, Patent Academy and EQE, EPO


Panelists and speakers

Yann AubryYann Aubry, FR, Mobility and Mechatronics. MSc in Mechanics (ENSAM, Paris and Lille). MSc in internal combustion engine (IFP School, Rueil-Malmaison). Joined the EPO as a patent examiner in 2012. Passed the EQE in 2017. Active in the Continuous Knowledge Transfer network and Asian Patent Expert Group.



Anne-Cécile DerrienAnne-Cécile Derrien, FR, examiner, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO The Hague. PhD in biomaterials from the University of Rennes 1 (FR) in 2004. Joined the EPO as an examiner in 2005. Also active in opposition proceedings. Involved in recruitment and coaching of new colleagues. Has been a presenter at Search Matters and Examination Matters for several years.

Nigel ClarkeNigel Clarke, GB, Patent Knowledge Research Manager, EPO Vienna. PhD in neutron science. After a career in R&D, joined the EPO in The Hague as a patent examiner, going on to become an IT project manager. Moved to international co-operation at the EPO in Vienna as co‑ordinator of the PATLIB programme. Responsible for Espacenet and the EP Register for many years. Now in charge of the Future and Emerging Technologies analysis projects. He has many years' experience of presenting patent information to the user community worldwide.

Adam CohenAdam Cohen, GB, examiner, Mobility and Mechatronics, EPO The Hague. PhD in electrical and information sciences/photonic engineering from Cambridge University. Worked in Japan, Canada, the USA and in the UK. Joined the EPO as an examiner in 2003. Gives Japanese classification workshops at internal and external training seminars, manages internal IT projects and is involved in quality control activities and machine translation projects. Coaches new examiners and is an expert on Japanese translation queries. Former committee member of the Asian Patent Expert Group.

Bart DegrooteBart Degroote, BE, team manager, Information and Communications Technology, EPO The Hague. PhD in physics from the University of Leuven. Worked for Imec, a micro- and nanoelectronics research centre, for three years. Joined the EPO as an examiner in 2006. Member of the Asian Patent Expert Group. Passed the EQE in 2018.


Maxime DelaitreMaxime Delaitre, FR, examiner, Mobility and Mechatronics, EPO Munich. Engineering degree in material science from the University of Technology of Troyes (UTT) in France. Worked in the steel industry on the quality and development of flat steel coils, and in the nuclear industry as a process expert and trainer. Joined the EPO as a patent examiner in 2012. Involved in oppositions since 2018. Passed the EQE in 2018.

Tommaso GhidiniTommaso Ghidini, IT, is the Head of the Structures, Mechanisms and Materials Division at the European Space Agency. After obtaining his PhD in Germany, and before joining ESA, he worked for Airbus on all major civil and military programmes of the European aeronautical industry including the A380, A350 and A400M aircrafts. He has received a number of international awards for major aerospace industrial achievements and developments and has been invited to lecture in some of the most prestigious European universities.

Pierre HeldPierre Held, FR, administrator, Directorate Classification and Documentation, EPO The Hague. PhD in organic chemistry, University of Strasbourg. Joined the EPO as a patent examiner in 1997 and moved to the Directorate Classification in 2004. Co‑ordinates all of the directorate's international classification activities and manages the trilateral and IP5 co‑operation on classification. Member of the EPO-USPTO bilateral Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) Joint Governance Board and of the Asian Patent Expert Group. Trainer and presenter at in-house and external events.

Björn JürgensBjörn Jürgens, DE, is a senior analyst at the CITPIA patent information centre of the Innovation and Development Agency of Andalusia (IDEA), a major public institution dedicated to fostering innovation and R&D for SMEs in southern Spain. He has worked for more than ten years in the field of patent analytics and competitive intelligence and has extensive practical experience in patent searching and using patent databases on a daily basis. He holds a degree in information and knowledge management from the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt (Germany), a master's degree in information science from the University of Granada (Spain), and a PhD in the field of bibliometric patent analysis.

Anna KajzarAnna Kajzar, PL, examiner, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO Munich. PhD in biophysics and worked as a scientist at a research institute (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany) before joining the EPO as a patent examiner. Works in the fields of particle and light therapy and surgery and is also active in opposition proceedings.


Alain MaterneAlain Materne, FR, examiner, Information and Communications Technology, EPO Berlin. Degree in electronic engineering from ENSEA in Cergy-Pontoise (FR), completed with a thesis project at Berlin's Technical University. Worked in the electronics industry at Wandel & Goltermann in Reutlingen, Germany, prior to joining the EPO in 1988. Develops various ranking scripts in ooRexx for retrieving related files and prior art.

Boyan RadevBoyan Radev, BG, patent examiner, Information and Communications Technology, computer aided design, EPO Munich. Master's degree in computer science and computer systems from the Technical University Sofia, Bulgaria. Worked for five years in industry and three years at the Bulgarian Academy of Science. Joined the EPO as an examiner in 2003. Experienced chairperson in examination and opposition, coach, classification expert ("gérant").

Johannes SchaafJohannes Schaaf, DE, administrator, EPO Vienna. MBA and master's degree in physics. Worked as an engineer and innovation consultant in the corporate technology unit at Siemens and led the community of practice "innovation management". Examiner in the area of laser technology at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. Joined the EPO in Vienna in 2005, and now works in the directorate Patent Knowledge Promotion, PATLIB.

Mike ShellabearMike Shellabear, GB. Graduated in mechanical engineering at Loughborough University of Technology (England) where he also gained his PhD. In 1991 he joined EOS GmbH of Munich, Germany, as an engineering manager for 3D optical metrology, and has held positions as market development manager, assistant to the management board, product manager for direct metal laser sintering and head of technical management metals since then. He is currently Director of IP & Technical Services. He has more than 25 years' experience in additive manufacturing and has presented and published many papers relating to laser-sintering technology and applications.

Marion SigristMarion Sigrist, FR, examiner, Mobility and Mechatronics, EPO The Hague. Degree in engineering and PhD in fluid mechanics (IMFT, Toulouse). Studied patent law at CEIPI in Strasbourg. Worked as a junior patent attorney in France. Joined the EPO in 2014. Passed the EQE in 2019. Examiner in the field of horology (mainly mechanics). Member of the EPO's Corporate Governance Service.

Gershom Sleightholme-AlbanisGershom Sleightholme-Albanis, GB/AU, senior expert, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO Berlin. Degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Melbourne and a doctorate from the University of Cambridge. Worked for several years in the steel industry, at Jaguar Cars and in the British civil service prior to joining the EPO in 1996.


Andrew TheanAndrew Thean, GB, examiner, Information and Communications Technology, EPO The Hague. Patent examiner in the fields of image processing (G06T), pattern recognition (G06K9) and speech technology (G10L) since 2008. Member of the EPO artificial intelligence core team.



Elena VirnikElena Virnik, DE, examiner, Information and Communications Technology, EPO Berlin. PhD in applied mathematics. Joined the EPO in 2009. Works in the field of complex mathematical methods and, in particular, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Passed the EQE in 2017 and has been a CEIPI tutor since 2018.


Christoph WirnerChristoph Wirner, DE, examiner, Information and Communications Technology, EPO The Hague. Studied physics at Technical University Munich and conducted research at the affiliated Walter Schottky Institute. Completed the EU Science and Technology Fellowship programme at Osaka University, and worked at Fujitsu Laboratories in Japan. Joined the EPO in 1997. Member and former chair of the committee of the Asian Patent Expert Group and member of EPO's Japanese language expert group.

Stefan ZieglerStefan Ziegler, DE, examiner, EPO The Hague. Studied media technology at TU Ilmenau and obtained a PhD in computer science from University of Rennes 1 working on speech recognition. Joined the EPO in 2014 as an examiner in the field of speech recognition and audio coding.


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Workshops

WS01

Artificial intelligence - one of the most disruptive technologies in history

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are considered by many as being the most disruptive innovations in history. The number of applications involving AI and ML algorithms is mushrooming in many different technological fields. But

searching these applications is challenging:

Firstly, AI/ML algorithms are essentially mathematical and computational methods. This makes it difficult to use the patent classification system to search them.

Secondly, a particular AI/ML algorithm may find applications in diverse technical areas ranging from chemistry to aerospace, which often necessitates a very complex and extensive search.

Thirdly, when searching for AI/ML methods, you are often faced with the additional problem of how to search for mathematical formulae or numerical algorithms.

Finally, a major part of the prior art is to be found in non-patent literature, which adds a further layer of complexity to the search.

So for AI/ML it is essential to develop efficient and effective search strategies, in particular using the World Wide Web.

In this interactive presentation based on examples and case studies, we will show you how to develop search strategies best suited to dealing with these challenges.

Keywords: AI (artificial intelligence), internet search, case studies
Level of knowledge: field-specific, advanced


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WS02

Advanced features in Espacenet

In this interactive workshop we will demonstrate advanced features of searching with Espacenet. We will explain the CPC classification system and how to search with CPCI and CPC indexing codes (2000 series) in Espacenet. We will use the Advanced search function of Espacenet to construct more complex statements using amongst others the proximity operators. It will be demonstrated how the filter module can help users to limit and create basic statistical analyses of the result set. We will also indicate when it is advised to use more professional tools such as GPI and PATSTAT.

The examples used will be from the field of chemistry and also include disruptive technologies in biotechnology. However, the workshop is suitable for experienced searchers from any technical field.

Keywords: Espacenet, CPC
Level of knowledge: intermediate / advanced, not field specific


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WS03

The problem-solution approach - a powerful search tool

The problem-solution approach (PSA) is the key method used at the EPO to determine if an application is inventive. It provides for objectivity and reduces the risk of using ex post facto analysis in the assessment of inventive step. While this approach is well known to applicants in the context of the examination procedure, the aim is to show that it is also a powerful tool at the search stage.

In this presentation we will discuss the impact of the PSA for evaluating and adapting a search strategy, bearing in mind the following two questions:

  • What are the important conditions for correctly assessing inventive step?
  • How can the PSA be used at the search stage?

In order to answer these questions, we will focus on the following points:

  • Definition of key notions: Inventive Step, Closest Prior Art (CPA) and Problem Solution Approach (PSA).
  • What are the different steps of the Problem Solution reasoning?
  • How to focus and refocus a search, using the PSA.

Developing the problem solution approach using examples but also starting from your expertise in search, we will explain how the search strategy can be refocused, resulting in increased efficiency and reactivity in the search strategy.

Keywords: closest prior art, inventive step
Level of knowledge: general


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WS04

Patent insight reports: frontiers of additive manufacturing

Recently the EPO has started to produce reports based on patent data. Such reports are often called "Landscape Reports" even though they do not always include "landscapes". We called ours "Patent insight reports".

Our Patent insight reports, focus on future and emerging technologies - in other words technical fields that have yet to reach a critical mass of patent applications. They are designed to provide valuable insights into these potentially disruptive technologies.

The methodology and data underlying these reports are free to use, meaning that anyone can apply our analytical approach to reveal trends and prospects in other future and emerging technologies.

In this session you will build your own Patent insight report. You will learn how to identify emerging trends in additive manufacturing, how to create search queries, how to extract , clean and analyse data, and report. You will have hands-on experience of visualising patent data at the frontiers of this disruptive technology.

Keywords: future & emerging technologies, insight, visualising patent data
Level of knowledge: general


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WS05

The ABC of search engines

Search engines are the primary tool of patent searchers, yet many regard them as black boxes whose inner workings are a mystery. This workshop demystifies search engines by introducing the computer algorithms behind document retrieval. No background in computer science is required.

The presentation explains how search engine algorithms compare keyword queries to millions of documents and rank matching texts according to their relevance. By better understanding how document retrieval works, participants will be able to design more effective queries whichever search engine they use.

The workshop will cover topics such as choosing keywords, influencing the importance of individual keywords, using keyword order, and the role of grammar in query construction.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore the concepts covered using

hands-on examples that illustrate tips and tricks for bridging the gap between the results returned by a search engine and the intended target of the search.

The presentation will conclude by discussing recent progress in document retrieval and looking forward to the next generation of search engines, exploring topics such as semantic search, multilingual search and audio-visual search.

Keywords: search engine, computer algorithm, document retrieval
Level of knowledge: general


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WS06

Lost in machine translation?

Machine translation has developed rapidly and today represents an important tool in the world of patents, be it in drafting, search and examination or prosecution. As such, the use of machine translation has been directly incorporated into the work of the EPO in all phases, and is defined as a valuable tool in the EPC-guidelines.

In the future, the role of machine translation can only be expected to increase in importance, especially as, in the framework of the unitary patent, manual translations into languages other than the official ones of the EPO are no longer foreseen.

This presentation aims to shed light onto the development of machine translation, and to provide an overview of tools currently available to applicants, as well as the current capabilities and shortcomings of the technique. Furthermore, overlap of machine translation algorithms and artificial intelligence will be highlighted.

Finally, open questions regarding machine translations, for example concerning their validity as prior art, and most particularly questions regarding errors in the translations and the influence thereof on the legal path of a patent will be addressed.

Keywords: machine translation, tools, validity
Level of knowledge: general


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WS07

Searching cross-technology inventions

Creativity means thinking out of the box, combining seemingly unrelated concepts and ideas. However, patent offices and scientific sites organise documents into technical field classes to facilitate document search. But what if you are interested in a cross-technology invention not fitting into any "box"?

This workshop will show you how to tackle this challenge. We will discuss in particular:

  • finding and combining relevant classes
  • finding important keywords
  • getting more out of a web search.

One of the cross-technology fields we will be discussing relates to medical treatment planning using AI, but the workshop does not require field-specific knowledge.

Keywords: CPC, Espacenet, cross-fields
Level of knowledge: general


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WS08

CPC International and Asian documentation

The CPC International project was launched in August 2019. It enables all CPC allocations to be stored at simple patent family level, whether they are provided by the EPO, USPTO, or any other CPC National Office.

In this workshop we will present the impact of the CPC International project on searching Asian patent documentation. We will demonstrate how to analyse the patent documentation coverage of the CPC vs. other classification schemes to arrive at an efficient classification-based search strategy.

In particular, we will focus on searching inventions where two remote technologies that are covered by different classification symbols are being combined, for example inventions where additive manufacturing techniques are applied in a specific field of application, e.g. airplane engines or printed electronics.

Keywords: Asian prior art, CPC, additive manufacturing
Level of knowledge: general


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WS09

Forward search: a complementary tool to keyword- and class-based prior art searches

Prior art searching is most commonly carried out using keyword- and/or class-based search strategies. In this workshop a complementary technique to these more traditional prior art search strategies, namely forward prior art search, will be presented. By definition, prior art search involves looking backwards, whereas forward searching implies taking as a starting point a known prior-art document and retrieving related prior-art documents through citation indexing between the known document and documents citing it as well as through document similarity ranking.

At the end of the workshop you will be fully aware of the advantages such a "forward" approach can bring, such as:

  • greater efficiency in searching for subject-matter/concepts difficult to express in words
  • greater confidentiality in searching online
  • revealing the timeline in technology development
  • defining the context and the technical problem when drafting patents
  • adding further search dimensions to keyword and class search.

The presentation will use a case study to illustrate the recent evolution of available online search tools that make forward searching even more efficient.

Keywords: Espacenet, google patent, scopus, webofscience
Level of knowledge: general


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WS10

Beyond patent families - interrelated patents and applications

Beyond patent families there are other closely interrelated patents and patent applications. Firms who wish to be active in a particular area of technology need to ensure that their products will not infringe existing patents or existing patent applications which might later be granted. This requires an adequate patent search to uncover all interrelated patents and applications. Frequently, these are from a single applicant, but often with multiple inventors or sets of inventors and concern similar but not identical subject-matter.

The challenge is to identify such relationships between patents and applications, as distinct from other relationships such as citations or patent families, which may include divisional applications.

This workshop presents simple-to-use but effective techniques to retrieve such related applications. The techniques are based on the applicant name, inventors and titles. Additional possibilities derive from the application number, priority dates and classes. Compared to existing techniques such as patent landscaping, the ones proposed here are simpler to use, quicker and less expensive.

Examples from various fields of technology will be presented using Espacenet.

Keywords: Espacenet, interrelated applications/patents
Level of knowledge: general


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WS11

Computer-implemented inventions for Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing (AM) ranges from various AM materials, covers apparatus and methods for AM and extends to the application of the products - from medical to aerospace.

AM technology depends on the corresponding computer implemented inventions (CIIs). CIIs are used for designing, simulating and optimizing the parts before manufacture, modifying the shapes and processing the geometry to produce a series of commands for controlling AM equipment. CII in the field of AM are implemented using mathematical algorithms.

Searching such CIIs poses unique challenges due to the complexity of the algorithms themselves, the broad range of technical fields which need to be identified, and the fact that non-patent sources may bring the best results.

Moreover, CII are often drafted using abstract non-technical features. An extra effort of analysing and identifying the features with technical character is required. A successful search strategy must be based on this analysis.

This interactive workshop, based on examples, aims to provide a better understanding of CIIs for AM, identify the available search tools, and elaborate on the challenges of this field in order to arrive at efficient and effective search strategies.

Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, CIIs, non-technical features
Level of knowledge: general, field specific


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WS12

Access to Japanese prior art using classification, indexing and citation information

The purpose of this workshop is to optimise prior art retrieval via Japanese FI classes and F-term indexing terms, alone and combined with keyword searches. Strategies are presented for efficient and complete searches in Japanese documentation using publicly available sources and search tools. The workshop is suitable for those who already have an understanding of the FI classification and F-term indexing systems and at least basic experience of finding the appropriate codes and using them in simple search strategies.

The workshop will include the following topics:

  • the underlying "philosophy" of the Japanese FI classification and F-term indexing systems, and their concordance with the IPC
  • the dynamics of the Japanese FI and F-term systems: amended and new schemes, reorganisation of existing classes/terms, international co-operation
  • publicly available sources, with a focus on J-PlatPat, in particular the major changes (including full-text keyword searching) introduced in 2018 and 2019
  • access to prior-art citation information retrieved by the JPO and its outsourced search organisations
  • search engines, search syntax, search strategy
  • example cases

Keywords: Asian prior art, F-terms, keywords, J-PlatPat
Level of knowledge: intermediate / advanced


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