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Patent Knowledge Week highlights role of patent intelligence in supporting sustainable development and SMEs

10 October
2022

Patent Knowledge Week

The EPO welcomed some 1 800 registered participants from 97 countries
to this year’s Patent Knowledge Week, which took place online from 4 to 7
October. The audience was able to put their questions to speakers, creating a
lively and highly informative discussion among patent information specialists,
researchers and representatives of universities, SMEs and large corporations,
as well as colleagues from the EPO.

The programme included sessions preparing users for the
introduction of the Unitary Patent and how to search for related data when it
comes into force in spring 2023; the role of patents in supporting sustainable
development; patent knowledge for SMEs; and IP knowledge in the post-COVID
world. Three patent knowledge clinics catered to the needs of users with all levels
of knowledge of the patent system. The clinics covered EPO search tools, EPO
bulk data and webservices as well as search basics for leveraging worldwide IP
data. They ran in parallel over three days, ensuring that participants could
join all three if they wished.

The next generation of innovation

In his welcome speech, EPO Vice President for Patent Granting
Process Steve Rowan said: “Patent Knowledge Week is about opportunity. A chance
for people from many different backgrounds to come together and share knowledge
about patents and innovation. And to focus on the vital role that patents play
in promoting scientific research and economic growth that leads to a whole
series of benefits for our society.”

He stressed that the EPO leads the world when it comes to the
creation and sharing of patent knowledge, with more than 130 million records in
Espacenet and OPS databases, and over 400 million records in INPADOC, the global
legal events database. These vast resources help foster further innovation, enable
tools such as the Fighting Coronavirus platform and the planned Clean Energy
platform, as well as the publication of studies on the latest technology trends and patent insight reports.

“These are just a few examples of the ways in which we’re
building knowledge on the foundations of patent information”, said Mr Rowan. “Knowledge
that will help inventors, businesses, universities and others to create the
next generation of innovation and ensure they reap the benefits of the
investments they make in research. This will help us to address sustainability
and the climate challenge, and it will empower the next generation of
innovators in SMEs and start-ups.”

Co-operation is key to sustainable innovation

In addition to speakers from the EPO, there were also
contributions by representatives of the PATLIB network of patent information
centres, WIPO, IP Australia, SME support services, a European Inventor Award
finalist and various companies and organisations from throughout Europe. In his
keynote speech, Director of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Jean-David
Malo drew attention to the impact that co-operation can have on sustainable
innovation: 

“EU companies are global leaders on high value green patents
and green patents in energy-intensive industry, for example. Not a bad place to
be when it is estimated that half of the global reduction in CO2
emissions by 2050 will have to come from technologies that are currently at the
demonstration or prototype phases. Here we can leverage the EPO’s and EIC’s
expertise and unique position in the innovation ecosystem and I’m very pleased
to say that we have made some initial inroads in building links between the two
of us.”

In his closing speech, EPO Vice-President for Legal and
International Affairs Christoph Ernst thanked all participants and said the EPO
was pleased to see the high interest in patent and innovation knowledge,
adding: “It’s been a fantastic event made all the better by your contribution.
It allowed us to discuss the present and unveil the future of patent
information and valuable use of patent data for the benefit of innovation.”

This year’s Patent Knowledge Week platform also included an
exhibition with 14
commercial providers
 of
patent information products and services, including the EPO itself. Several
providers presented their products and services during a
dedicated session
.

Further
information

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