05/02/2012 05:18:00 PM EST
PIUG conference--Monday update
The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Patent Information Users Group (PIUG) is taking place in beautiful Denver, Colorado! This year’s focus is “Best Practices in Analysis and Visualization of Patent Information”. A variety of presentations will be given by world class experts on patent research and related technology. Also, several vendors of patent research services, including LexisNexis, will provide demonstrations of their exciting new products. I am very eager to hear the speakers and see the new research products!
The PIUG is an international, non-profit organization for users of patent data. It exists to support the interests of patent searchers and other professionals who have an interest in patent data. It has over 700 active members from 27 countries. Its membership consists of patent attorneys, patent agents, licensing managers, patent information vendors and researchers, and documentation professionals. The importance of patents to the economic development of major industries such as pharmaceuticals and bioscience is well known. The PIUG is critical in keeping the flow of knowledge running smoothly in the patent industry. It is an organization where knowledge of the most important , groundbreaking patent research tools and technologies is shared.
Monday’s sessions began with the keynote address titled “Why I Hate Patents” by Jason Mendelson, Managing Director of the venture capital firm Foundry Group. The humorous title of Mendelson’s talk was related to the frustration of determining whether or not there really is a correlation between patents and innovation. Large companies and entrepreneurs rely on venture capital. However, recent studies have indicated there may not be a relationship between patents and the ability of an entrepreneur to innovate. Mendelson spoke on the need for clarity in this area because it impacts the innovator’s ability to raise money and negotiate deals.
A major highlight of Monday’s sessions was Stephen Boyer’s talk titled “Enabling New Search and Discovery via In-Line Tagging of Patent Full Text”. Dr. Boyer is a world renowned expert in the analysis of scientific literature and patents. He was a major figure in launching the IBM Patent Server (which evolved into the Thomson product called Delphion). Dr. Boyer’s early work as a synthetic chemist pioneered the ability of computers to recognize molecular structures derived from the text of patents. This led to the extraction of chemical structures from patents. These extractions were used to build entire databases of chemical structures. This groundbreaking work also gave researchers insight into patterns of relationships between inventions and related patents. Dr. Boyer reported today the ability to create unique identifiers for chemical names in patents, called “InChiKeys”, to replace chemical names in patents. These keys are then indexed along with the text associated with the embedded keys. The indexing process is performed with a text indexing search engine called SOLR. The index that is created from this process supports Boolean search of both chemical compounds and regular text strings. Dr. Boyer is still innovating in the patent analysis space and building a better future for patent researchers! I had the honor of sitting by him at lunch and discussing his current work. Fantastic!!
Another highlight of Monday’s schedule was the 2012 International Patent Information (IPI) Award for Stephen Adams of Magister, Ltd. Adams provides the most respected and honored patent research workshops and services in the industry. Everyone in PIUG knows him to be a very friendly and approachable expert who is happy to share his vast knowledge. He was presented with the award during a special dinner in his honor. It was a great ending to Monday’s program! Tomorrow we will hear talks on patent visualization in large data sets, updates from the patent offices and other great topics!