Get ready for some great presentations at the PIUG 2014 Annual Conference!

The all-volunteer PIUG annual conference planning committee has been working hard to put together this year’s program, and as usual, they’ve done a fantastic job.  The upcoming PIUG 2014 Annual Conference will take place from April 26 – May 1, 2014 in Garden Grove, California.  I strongly recommend attending the PIUG conference if you work with patent data.  The program is always excellent, and includes in-depth analysis of challenges we encounter in our daily work.  In addition, the networking opportunities are wonderful, because this conference is attended by a highly concentrated group of experts in the field.  Anybody you bump into in the buffet line or sit next to in a workshop is guaranteed to have some fascinating information to share.

Intrigued? Read on for some highlights of PIUG’s 2014 annual conference program, and start booking your tickets to Garden Grove.

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The future of patent legal status information: A recap of the EPO’s Patent Information Conference (EPOPIC 2013)

Recently I was fortunate to attend the EPO Patent Information Conference (EPOPIC), held October 22-24th in Bologna, Italy. In addition to enjoying beautiful sights and delicious food, I was also treated to an excellent conference program on patent information. Read on for the highlights of my EPOPIC 2013 conference experience.

The major theme of this year’s EPOPIC was legal status information, and there were many European Patent Office experts on hand to discuss the subject. Other topics of interest included both the Cooperative Patent Classification, and the new Unitary Patent.

Patent legal status is one of the most challenging aspects of patent information. It’s difficult to find, difficult to interpret, and difficult to trust. At EPOPIC, suggestions were raised for the future development of better methods to provide patent legal status to the masses. Read on to learn more about ideas discussed at the conference.

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Ready or Not, the Cooperative Patent Classification Has Arrived!

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The patent world is about to get rocked by the upcoming 2013 roll-out of the new Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC), which will replace both the current US patent classification system and the European patent classification system (ECLA).  This rollout is coming so quickly that after January 1st, 2013, the CPC will completely replace ECLA, and all US published applications (also known as PG-Pubs, or A documents) will carry CPC classifications.

The US Patent and Trademark Office held an External User Day Event on July 10th at the US Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA.  This event was an opportunity for the USPTO to listen to input and concerns from the patent search community regarding the CPC.  Upon invitation from the USPTO, Landon IP’s Director of Training and Special Projects, Jonathan Skovholt, served on the External User Panel to provide his analysis and comments on the effects of the planned transition.

How will these changes affect you? Read on to learn about the features of the new system, and Jonathan Skovholt’s analysis of its possible effects.

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How I found my way in patent information

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Our online community for discussing challenges in patent and prior art search, Intellogist, has now been around for a few years.  Recently somebody asked me a tricky question regarding patent families, and I soon found myself digging through my personal files.  Some of the older stuff I turned up sent me down memory lane, and I figured the blog would be the perfect place to reminisce.

The days when I was first putting Intellogist content together didn’t feel very productive.  Mostly they were spent reading and cross referencing the existing literature on patent information sources – of which there was, or so it seemed to me, surprisingly little.  This industry is so important, yet its practices are so lightly documented.   It might astonish you to know that before I put together the information in the earliest Intellogist glossary articles and reports,  I had to perform literally months of research.   I was actually quite hard on myself about it, really, because I was sure a perfectly drawn, crystal clear, up-to-date article on the history of patent families and other patent information developments had to be floating out there on the internet, ready for anyone to read.

If that document exists, I haven’t found it yet (so please forward it to me at your earliest opportunity).  In this post I’ll share what resources worked for me, and I’ll give some perspective on what it means to be just starting out in this industry.

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Pump up your search with better sources

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If you’re familiar with our in-depth Reports, you know that Intellogist contains lots of resources related to general patent searching tools.  However, I was reminded recently that the site can also be a resource for finding subject-specific files and databases when I used it to discover collections on traditional medicine.

Recently, we introduced an Intellogist Community Report for a new product known as the World Traditional Natural Medicine Patent Database.  Community Reports are open wiki pages where Intellogist community members can add information about search products, including their own user experiences.  (To learn more about creating and editing Intellogist Community Reports, see our help topic and guidelines.)

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Change is Coming to the Intellogist Blog

Starting today, we are making a change to the Intellogist blog.

We started the blog in mid-January and we are very happy we did. What you don’t know, however, is that we talked about starting the blog for several months before we launched it. In fact, at one point, we even made the decision NOT to start a blog. As we weighed the pros and cons, we asked ourselves many questions, including:

  1. Are we able to write interesting content?
  2. Are we able to write enough interesting content to keep the blog fresh?
  3. How will we let people know we’ve started the blog?
  4. Will people be interested (even remotely) in what we have to say?

To be honest, the answer to these questions is NOT what kept us from moving forward all those months.

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Goals, Goals, and More Goals (Not Completely of the Hockey Variety)

Around the Washington DC metro area (our home base), people are buzzing about the Washington Capitals’ run for the Stanley Cup. Some analysts even predict that the first round will be a breeze, (see this article by Scott Burnside at ESPN.com). Especially since the Caps finished the season 33 points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens.
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