EPO Patent Data User Day goes online in 2021

7 June 2021

On 17 March 2021, the EPO Patent Data User Day went online, allowing invitations to be sent to each of the 2 500 active users of bulk data sets and Open Patent Services (OPS). The event was a tremendous success, providing both the EPO and patent information users with a great opportunity to meet and exchange views. An impressive total of 300 participants registered for the event.

The annual event typically provides participants with an advanced technical overview of EPO patent data. It aims to prepare patent information professionals and commercial providers using EPO data for the coming year by highlighting important developments relating to the EPO's bulk data products and services and offering a sneak preview of new patent information product features. It also enables the EPO to gather feedback from the user community.

Prior to the event, participants were invited to suggest topics of interest, so that the programme could be aligned to their current needs.

Updates from the EPO and participant presentations

As in previous years, the EPO team presented the latest advances in extracting XML from EPO worldwide bibliographic (DOCDB) and legal event data (INPADOC) databases. These two datasets are unique and form the backbone of many commercially available patent databases worldwide. 

The EPO also announced that the categorisation and XML enhancement projects were making good progress. Participants gave presentations on prior-art data in the era of machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation. EPO updates on linked open EP data and EP full-text data for text analytics were followed with great interest and gave rise to many questions. 

The data team gave a short OPS status update and took the opportunity to highlight less well-known services such as the European Publication Server and to provide additional insight into IP standards.

A new format with added value

The presentations in the new online format were kept short (10 mins). Time was reserved between each session for the usual Q&A as well as for more in-depth discussions on data, data formats and content with the data experts.

Although the chance to meet in person and exchange news and views over a cup of coffee was clearly missed, the opportunity to reach out to many more participants than usual proved a great bonus.

This year's event once again highlighted how the demand for data continues to grow. The patent data team would like to thank all those who took part and is already looking forward to Patent Data User Day 2022.

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