Highlights of the upcoming Patent Knowledge Week

11 October 2021

Some people might think that patent knowledge is a niche subject, of interest only to a limited audience of specialists, but the organisers of Patent Knowledge Week know better! They have come up with an exciting programme of events that will unlock the power of patent knowledge for a whole range of audiences, with dedicated tracks for SMEs, patent attorneys and paralegals, universities and users interested in patent knowledge from Asia and the PATLIB 2.0 project. This article provides a sneak preview of what you can expect.

Main track – 2-4 November

The main track is dedicated to a more advanced audience. Packed with fascinating presentations, it kicks off with a look at the transition from patent information to patent knowledge, taking in the changes in the patent information environment that have given rise to the need for patent knowledge – and all from a multitude of perspectives, including the EPO, industry, commercial providers and users.

SME track – 2 November

This track is all about SMEs. There’s a session dedicated to helping SMEs work out which patent knowledge tasks can be done in-house and which are best outsourced to external experts. We will also be looking at the features required for the successful use of patent knowledge, as well as discussing potential barriers to the effective use of patent knowledge. We will focus on the importance of patents as a unique source of information on competitors’ activities, new technological trends and the potential for co-operation. Meanwhile, case studies and testimonials will demonstrate how successful SMEs use patents to protect their products and services.

Patent attorney track – 3 November

The patent attorney track will highlight the role of patent information professionals (PIPs) in the IP process and explore ways in which they can boost their impact and add more value to the IP process. PIPs are well equipped to play a more service-oriented and active role than simply performing search tasks, and we will find out how patent attorneys could profit from closer collaboration with them. Working together hand-in-hand is vital for these two professions - after all, they are part of the same process and they share the same goal: perfect patent protection!

PATLIB track – 3 November

The aim of the PATLIB 2.0 project is to strengthen the PATLIB network, support innovation, technology transfer and commercialisation, and boost competitiveness, skilled employment and economic growth throughout Europe. This track, open to all event participants, will update PATLIB members on the latest developments in the project. Highlights include a shared session with the patent attorney track on the positive impact of collaboration between patent attorneys and PATLIB centres, and a presentation on the successful long-term collaboration between a PATLIB centre and a patent attorney. Discussions will focus on whether PIPs and patent attorneys should consider themselves as being in competition with each other or as providing complementary services for the benefit of all their customers. We look forward to an exciting debate!

University track – 4 November

All too often, patent information fails to transition into knowledge and receives little if any consideration from researchers embarking on new research projects. According to the head of the technology transfer office (TTO) of a leading European university: ”The content of 40% of the research projects that land on my desk are already fully known from the patent literature!” In one of the highlights of the day, Professor Andrea Piccaluga, Vice-President of Italian TTO association Netval, will address this hot topic in his keynote speech, and will use recent surveys and studies to illustrate why the relationship between patent knowledge, universities and TTOs is so essential.

Asian patent information track – 5 November

Our main topic - “Who’s who? Challenges when searching Asian documentation for applicants and owners” - examines the standardisation of names, which has long been an issue for patent data searchers. Do we transliterate or translate them into the Latin alphabet? Or take a different approach? Why do we need to have names displayed in the original language as well? In order to be able to spark innovation through statistical analyses, we need to be able to understand and rely on this data. This is even more important when there is a strong interrelation between IP policies, public research institutions and universities, such as in China, where the funding of institutions is based on the number of granted patents.

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