2013 Annual Meeting of the Patent Information Users Group (PIUG) is taking
place April 27 through May 2 in lovely Alexandria, Virginia. The
PIUG is a not-for-profit organization that supports professional, scientific
and technical development in patent information. It seeks to promote and
improve the technology and processes for retrieving, analyzing and
disseminating patent information. It has over 700 members from 27
countries. The membership includes patent attorneys, patent
agents, licensing professionals, patent information researchers, patent information
vendors (such as LexisNexis), and patent information and documentation
is PIUG's 25th anniversary! PIUG is "Celebrating Our
Past 25 Years ... Preparing for Our Future." This
year's focus is "Best Practices in the Rapidly Changing Patent
Landscape." Attendees come from all over the world to hear patent experts
share their knowledge and expertise. The countries represented this
year are Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan,
Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and the US. Wow!
The speakers this year include not only experts in the research,
development and commercial world, but also the patent offices. Delegates
from the European Patent Office (EPO), World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) are here to share information and plans from their
offices. Monday's keynote address was delivered by the Acting
Director of the USPTO, Teresa Stanek Rea. Ms. Rea covered recent
initiatives at the USPTO, including changes occurring as a result of the
America Invents Act and the establishment of satellite office around the US.
"Case Studies in Patent Informatics" was the topic of Monday
morning's session. Patent informatics is the process of "mining"
information from patents such that trends in new technology are revealed.
The mined information may be used by businesses and government in policymaking
and planning. Carol Bachmann, and Advanced Patent Information Specialist
with 3M, discussed the addition of legal status information to online
commercial patent databases. This addition of legal status goes beyond
that which has been offered by the basic status offered in the raw data.
This improvement by commercial providers has allowed patent researchers to give
clients more complete answers on the availability of patents in force that may
be licensed. Cynthia Murphy from Thomson Reuters IP Solutions
described the process of creating maximum value from patented technology by
aggregating, normalizing, standardizing, correcting, and adding value to patent
information. Patent informatics is on the cutting edge of patent research
in the next generation.
Monday afternoon's sessions focused on "The Future of
Communications in Patents." The EPO's Principal Director, Richard
Flammer, discussed the language barrier that has impeded access to patent
information. He described the EPO's new machine translation program
developed in partnership with Google. Named "Patent Translate," the
new translation program allows English speakers to translate patents from
various languages across the EPO member states as well as Chinese language
patents. John Tinsley from the company IP Translator noted
that machine translation is a maturing technology. Its quality varies
depending on languages, text, and subject domains. It is a technology in
great demand that will continue to improve as more research is completed.