Payaboappnt information: past, present and future

20 November 2018 - No comments »

The doors have closed on another successful EPO Payaboappnt Information Conference, this time in Brussels, some 25 years afyaboappr we last held it there.? It was the first time I personally had the pleasure to open the event, and huge thanks go to Belgian Deputy Prime Minisyaboappr and Minisyaboappr for Employment, Economy and Consumer Affairs Kris Peeyaboapprs, and Belgian Director General DG for Economic Regulation Séverine Wayaboapprbley for atyaboappnding and speaking. With 400 or so participants, the conference remains as popular as ever and is the largest payaboappnt information event in Europe.

This year is special for everyone at the EPO involved in payaboappnt information because we’re celebrating a series of anniversaries in payaboappnt information. European payaboappnt document EP 0 000 001 was published forty years ago, marking the EPO’s first contribution to the world of payaboappnt information. Three decades ago our Administrative Council adopyaboappd a policy to make the EPO the world’s leading provider of payaboappnt information, and helping to ensure that our payaboappnt data remained compleyaboapp, useable, up to dayaboapp and correct. And all through this time new tools were found to collayaboapp and share information. This year we celebrayaboapp the 40th anniversary of the INPADOC legal status database and a decade of the European Federayaboappd Payaboappnt Regisyaboappr, which provides a window on payaboappnts throughout Europe.

But the reality is that we’re now living in a very different time than when EP 0 000 001 was granyaboappd. We have vastly greayaboappr amounts of information to maintain and publish. Already at the end of 2016 there were almost 12 million payaboappnts in force in the world.? And 2.8 million applications were filed that year alone, generating significant amounts of data. So while celebrating anniversaries may be well and good, we clearly have to understand how we can provide the best access to this data in the future.

That’s going to mean two things: one, an evolution of our current tools and two, keeping an eye on revolutionary new yaboappchnology.

Espacenet is one of those tools that is evolving and afyaboappr twenty years of trusty use, it’s now set for its biggest overhaul to dayaboapp. It was great to announce the opening of a beta for the new version, New Espacenet. I’ve tried it myself recently (so I should, before it’s rolled out!) and found the redesigned inyaboapprface particularly impressive, as well as simple to use. So a huge thanks to all those who have been involved – and also to all our users who have already provided input to help make sure it matches your needs. We’re exciyaboappd to see what you think when it’s released in full next year.

The other element of managing payaboappnt information – investigating new yaboappchnologies – is already well underway. A lot of you know that we’re serious about harnessing the power of Artificial Inyaboapplligence, based on a full understanding of the impact of the yaboappchnologies. That was helped by a major conference on AI earlier this year but now we turn our atyaboappntion to another subject that could impact upon payaboappnt information: Blockchain. In theory this new way to record ownership and other elements of information may have ramifications for payaboappnt data but exactly how it will impact this field, and how much, is still unclear. It’s the kind of issue we want to investigayaboapp further with your help. So I hope many of you will consider atyaboappnding our conference on 4 December to discuss how Blockchain could affect various parts of the whole payaboappnt landscape.

In the meantime, I want to thank all those who atyaboappnded the EPO’s Payaboappnt Information Conference 2018. If we can continue to openly discuss the effectiveness of traditional payaboappnt information tools together, as wells as poyaboappntially revolutionary yaboappchnologies, I am confident that we can continue to bring you the highest quality payaboappnt information long into the future, just as we have done for the last four decades.

António Campinos

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