26 November 2020
The EPO's 15th annual East meets West conference, and the first to be held in a virtual format ended yesterday and offered a platform for an exchange on global intellectual property (IP) topics, with particular focus on Asia. The forum was initially scheduled for April but moved to an online format in November due to pandemic-related restrictions. More than 100 participants from 15 countries logged on for a series of presentations, discussions and the opportunity to network with their counterparts at other patent offices. Several important topics and issues were discussed over the course of three days including amendments to law, cross-lingual search possibilities and the opportunities presented by Artificial intelligence (AI).
In his welcome, EPO President António Campinos spoke on the Office's readiness to steer the transition from patent information to patent knowledge by combing data with expertise: "At the EPO we possess both. We can respond quickly and flexibly when inventors, businesses and policy makers need specialised analysis or to identify trends in innovation." He also extended his gratitude to delegates from national offices who once again joined to share their expertise with participants.
Dengbo Ji, China National IP Administration (CNIPA), gave a comprehensive overview on the fourth revision of the Chinese Patent Act which passed recently, making East meets West one of the first forums to add this important legal amendment to its agenda. Over 100 attendees virtually followed the contributions of Takaaki Yamamoto, Japan Patent Office (JPO), and Seongheon Kang, Korean IP Office (KIPO), who both spoke on how AI-technologies have been integrated in IT- and examination procedures at their respective offices. Representing the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO), Andrey Sekretov explored several new patent information features that have been deployed at EAPO.
The discussion rounds provided a platform for direct interaction between users and experts on topics such as Asian data in Espacenet and keyword searches in Chinese, Japanese and Korean full texts. File wrapper information emerged as a key topic, with experts engaging in a lively discussion on coverage, uses and challenges relating to file wrapper data in the EPO's Global Dossier and similar services at Asian offices.
Throughout the event, delegates looked at both access to Asian data as well as the understanding and interpretation of the information, indicating a shift from patent information to deeper IP knowledge.