Sep 142011
US Patent

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Founded in 1999, the online library with a free English version contains more than 80 million documents covering patents and trademarks.

Companies need to recognize the importance of patent documents as part of their development strategy and use those resources throughout the entire innovation process, Tian Lipu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), said at an annual meeting on patent information in Beijing last week.

The two-day seminar began on Sept 5 at the China National Convention Center.

“Efficient analysis and use of patent information helps to improve R&D, identify market trends, seize development opportunities and avert intellectual property (IP) risks,” Tian said.

“As China is now upgrading industries, we attach high importance to patent information as strong support to revitalize traditional sectors and develop emerging industries,” he noted.

SIPO will promote the growth of patent information services and encourage more institutions to join and meet the growing need, the commissioner said.

Randall Rader, chief judge of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals and also a law professor at George Washington University, told the seminar that his 120-student class includes nearly 20 from China.

One of his Chinese students said a patent system is created for “information disclosure”, which Rader agreed is true because documents are written so other inventors, scientists or people skilled in the field know current developments.

“The documents may have a legal consequence, but they are really scientific documents,” he said. “They are written to convey information so that we promote swifter development of science.”

Fifty years ago, probably two or three research laboratories like Edison Lab could invent everything necessary around the world, but “that has changed”, Rader said.

“It is no longer possible for any corporation, any company or any research institution to alone develop new technology,” he said.

“In order to really advance technology, you must learn to cooperate,” he said.

During his recent visit to Microsoft, he said he found brilliant computer scientists there were not just “sitting together and trying to alone design the future”.

“Instead, they spent a great deal of time analyzing the world’s advances,” he said. “The information alone justifies the creation of a patent system.”

An example of “magnificent international cooperation to advance technology and solve human problems”, the patent system allows scientists worldwide to collaborate, the judge said.

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