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WIPO Launches Enhanced Patent Information Service

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

24 November 2009

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has launched an enhanced online patent information service that is designed to improve public access to information on patents filed and granted around the world.

WIPO’s Patentscope, which currently hosts data on more than 1.6 million international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), has been extended to include several collections of national and regional patent information.

In this first phase, Patentscope includes the patent data collections of eight patent offices, including: Cuba, Israel, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Vietnam and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization.

WIPO stated that it has been working closely with these patent offices to ensure the data collections are fully searchable.

"The expansion of WIPO’s Patentscope data collection makes it possible to conduct high-quality, detailed and free-of-charge searches of the patent information of the participating offices. Many of these collections had previously not been digitized and were not easily searchable," the Organization noted.

According to WIPO, this initiative is taking place within the context of its commitment to supporting the development of a fully integrated global IP infrastructure and to increasing participation by developing and least developed countries in the benefits of the knowledge economy. WIPO also argues that the availability of good quality patent information which contains detailed technical specifications of new technologies is an important step towards narrowing the "knowledge gap" in technological information.

"WIPO’s Patentscope, which facilitates the search and retrieval of patent information, is designed to enhance access to the wealth of technical information contained in patent documents and thereby to promote the broad dissemination of this knowledge. Patent information is of significant practical value to businesses when planning product development, marketing strategies or when seeking partnership opportunities for joint ventures," the Organization explained.

In addition to technical information, patent documents offer an indication of who is active in a given field of technology and the legal status of the patents granted to those actors. This information can also be of value to researchers and others seeking information on state-of-the-art technologies, particularly in developing countries, as it can help optimize R&D investment by reducing the chances of unnecessarily duplicating R&D efforts.

The expanded Patentscope platform will enable users to analyze technology trends, as well as country and company-level patenting trends.

The new service is the result of cooperation agreements between WIPO and the participating national and regional patent offices.

WIPO provides technical assistance to offices to assist them in the digitization and dissemination of their patent data.

Similar agreements are underway between WIPO and several additional offices, and others will be added over time.

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