Top 10s from the PIUG 2015 Annual Conference: Product Updates and Presentations

The Patent Information User Group (PIUG) 2015 Annual Conference was held this year at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois (right outside of Chicago), and this year’s program took us on a trip around the world and across a wide range of uses for patent information.  As Kristin Whitman described last year, the schedule of the PIUG Conference is always a 3-day extravaganza of panels covering a broad variety of topics in the patent information field, and three extra days are also dedicated to various workshops. There’s no way I’d be able to cover every panel and workshop in a single blog post (you can see the abstracts and speaker biographies for all panels here), so instead, I’m just going to share the Top Tens for the conference under two categories:

  1. Product updates
  2. Conclusions that I came away with from the presentations

If you’d like to see the slides for all 2015 presentations, as well as gain access to the slides for all PIUG Conference materials dating back to 2007, then I’d highly recommend becoming a member of PIUG. The group is the perfect organization for patent searchers, patent analysts, and librarians in the IP field to use for networking, continuing education, and career development.

Continue reading for the top 10 product updates and takeaways from presentations at the PIUG 2015 Annual Conference!

Top 10 Product Updates

More than 20 patent search, analytics, and translation vendors were at the PIUG Conference this year, as exhibitors and/or presenters.  Here are a few of the most exciting product updates for patent searchers:

  1. PATENTSCOPE from WIPO – According to a product presentation, a full-text New Zealand patent collection will be available on PATENTSCOPE in late 2015 or early 2016. There is currently very limited partial/full text access for New Zealand patent documents, so this is exciting news!
  2. European Patent Register from the EPO – The Federated European Patent Register was just recently launched, and it “displays official bibliographic and legal status data relating to European patents in the national post-grant phase of the designated states concerned. It’s important to know that this information is hosted in the national patent registers, not in the European Patent Register. The Federated Register retrieves this legal status information and displays it in the European Patent Register. “
  3. STN from CAS and FIZ-Karlsruhe – Within the next few months (according to a product presentation), both DWPI Markush® (DWPIM, produced by Thomson Reuters) and MARPAT® (produced by Chemical Abstracts Service) will be available on the New STN platform, creating a unified platform for conducting Markush searches.
  4. PatBase from Minesoft and RWS Group – A new version of PatBase Analytics recently came out and includes “new Legal Analytics, JP and CN native language interface & bubble activity charts.”
  5. from Questel – According to a product presentation, FamPat (the family database on Orbit) will eventually be adding more detailed citation fields to records, which differentiate between self-citations, citations by others, and examiner vs. applicant citations.
  6. Thomson Innovation from Thomson Reuters – A Latin American patent collection is now available on Thomson Innovation, including full-text Argentinian, Mexican, and Brazilian patent documents.
    1. Note: A product presentation also mentioned the eventual redesign of the Thomson Innovation interface, where the search forms and results area will be integrated in a single view.
  7. LifeQuest from GenomeQuestThe LifeQuest search platform, which searches the full text of patent documents related specifically to the life sciences, has been released by GenomeQuest.
  8. IFI Claims from IFI CLAIMS® Patent Services – In 2014, CLAIMS Direct 2.0 was released and included a number of content updates (according to a product email) such as:
    1. Assignee/Applicant Standardization (initially, only for US)
    2. Probable Assignee – for US pre-grant applications
    3. Current Assignee/Applicant
    4. Patent status and expiration
    5. Claim counts and hierarchies
    6. Missing data from pre-1976 for over 1 million US records
    7. Expanded US titles for 1.2 million chemical patents and IFI Chemical Vocabularies
  9. PatSeer from Gridlogics – PatSeer has a number of useful updates for April 2015, such as the new Search Query Migrator, which allows users to convert queries from other search platforms into PatSeer syntax.
  10. ChemCurator from ChemAxon – This standalone desktop application can be used to “extract Markush and other structures from English, Chinese and Japanese patents.”

Top 10 Takeaways from Presentations

I attended all three days of technical sessions, as well as one workshop presented by the USPTO on searching within the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).  Below are 10 of the most important conclusions I walked away with:

  1. It would be a better use of everyone’s time if we focused on promoting innovation in small businesses instead of arguing over labels like “Patent Troll”. In the Keynote Presentation Patent Trolls – The Myth and Reality”  by Raymond P. Niro of Niro, Haller & Niro, we learned that the evolution of the term “patent troll” is a lot more complicated than previously thought, and this argument over terminology is overshadowing the plight of small entities who often have trouble obtaining patent protection for their innovations.
  2. The uses of patent analysis ranges widely, from decisions on competitive licensing to planning government funding. “A Case Study in Intellectual Property Landscape and Taxonomy Development” by consultant Kevin J. Hess discussed the use of intellectual property landscapes in developing competitive licensing programs. “Using Patent Analysis to Trace Knowledge and Inform Federal Funding: A Case Study of Additive Manufacturing” by Vanessa I. Peña of the Science and Technology Policy Institute gave an overview of the use of patent analysis to trace the path of federal research funding in the additive manufacturing (AM) field and industry.
  3. You need to customize patent search and analysis reports to meet the needs of the clients or users. David S. Saari of Science IP, CAS Search Service discussed the many ways to add value to customized search reports using advanced Microsoft Word and Excel functions, while Diana Koppang of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg described how she creates very concise technology landscape reports for use by attorneys.
  4. Both lawyers and academics agree that a Google search just doesn’t cut it, when researching patents. Moderated question  and answer panels with users of patent information, ranging from patent lawyers to professors teaching patent search skills, all agreed that young searchers need to learn to use a variety of search systems and Boolean search skills, beyond just keyword searches in Google and Wikipedia.
  5. Valuation of Intellectual Property is a complex process with many variables to take into consideration.  In “Valuation of IP from Cradle to Grave – Guidelines for Patent Search Professionals”, Kartar Arora of Landon IP discussed the many factors to consider when deciding the value of intellectual property, including the type of IP, scope of the technology covered, commercial use of the IP, and external indicators (including number of backwards and forwards citations).
  6. An official certification for patent search professionals is in the works. Susanne Hantos of Davies Collison Cave described the current status of the planned international certification scheme that will be used to certify Qualified Patent Information Professionals.
  7. Translation of EP patents into national languages may be an indication of national validation status. Stephen Adams of Magister Ltd. gave a timeline of how the requirements for EP patent translations have changed since 1976, and how the Unitary Effect will further change the translation requirements in some European countries.
  8. National and regional patent offices and organizations are educating their users on patent search skills, through both online outreach and in-person training. The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has created an online portal that gives detailed information on national patent registers around the globe. The European Patent Office (EPO) offers online training modules, webinars, and in-person classes to teach users about patent search skills.  Finally the Patent Search Grand Prix (PSGp) of Japan, which is funded by the Industrial Property Cooperation Center (IPCC), offers Japanese patent searchers a unique way to test and hone their skills.
  9. Sometimes the best way to find the earliest version of prior art is to look in unlikely places. Ron Kaminecki of Kaminecki IP described in “Finding Correct Prior Art” how searchers sometimes need to check corrections or retractions in order to locate earlier versions of a publication.
  10. Finally, the main takeaway from the CPC searching workshop: When using the CPC for a patent search, be sure to carefully read the notes, warnings, references, and definitions for all relevant classes in the CPC hierarchy.

Did you attend the PIUG 2015 Annual Conference? Share your thoughts on product updates, technical sessions, and workshops in the comments!

Patent Searches from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.

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