Annual Technical Report 2003 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Austria (SCIT/ATR/PI/2003/AT)
Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.
The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.
I. Evolution of patent activities
Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year
The numbers of applications, grants and registrations in 2003 in Austria are presented together with the number in 2002 (=100%).
National patent applications 2.373 in 2003 + 8,75%
2.182 in 2002
Granted national patents 1.359 in 2003 - 13,11%
1.564 in 2002
Granted European patents 26.646 in 2003 + 41,62%
with AT as designated state 18.815 in 2002
Utility model applications 1.050 in 2003 + 6,81%
983 in 2002
Utility model registrations 711 in 2003 - 25,78%
958 in 2002
Supplementary protection certificate 33 in 2003 - 25%
application 44 in 2002
Supplementary protection certificate 30 in 2003 -62,96%
registration 81 in 2002
Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year
Corresponding to the structure of the Austrian industry the majority of applications were filed in the fields of human necessities (12,9%), process engineering (12,6%), fixed construction (12,3%) and transportation (11,7%). These leading industrial sectors correspond with the leading sectors of the preceding years, only the sequence within these four sectors changes from year to year.
II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information
Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the office in the field of patent information, etc.)
The Patent Gazette and Utility Model Gazette are published monthly on the Internet and in paper form. Copying is done by a private company by order of the Austrian Patent Office.
AT examined patent applications laid open for public inspection (laid open for a time period of 4 months) are searchable stored in full-text form for 4 months in a document database which is accessible in the library of the office. The laid-open documents are also published on CD-R.
Online information about Austrian property rights is accessible at terminals in the library and information centre.
Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information
Patent Gazette, Utility Model Gazette, Internet, in-house online database.
Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)
Paper forms, microfilm, microfiche, aperture card, CD, DVD are used as mass storage media. As main mass storage media CD-ROMs are now used (about 80% of all incoming documents). To a small extent patent documents in paper form and on microfilm are still in use.
III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents
Filed patent and utility model applications and published documents are classified according to the last IPC edition (7th edition). For search purposes the IPC and ECLA systems are used. Reclassification of patent documents is not carried out.
Internal training courses on the use of the IPC and ECLA systems were held for the technical examiners in 2003.
Preparatory work on the implementation of the new reformed IPC system has been undertaken.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep
The classified search files of the technical examiners cover all documents of the PCT minimum documentation.
In 1995 the paper file collections of patent documents were discontinued and an in-house online patent search system (RISP) was introduced which enables searching in the PCT minimum documentation by using the IPC and ECLA systems on the basis of PDF-documents. To complete the document collections, missing documents can be downloaded using GetIPDL (80 Licences).
A network (LAN) supported electronic search file system with access to downloaded documents (Internet, e.g. Esp@cenet) is under development.
Since 2003 the APO uses the full version of EPOQUE via Patnet.
Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file
The Austrian Patent Office receives patent documents from: Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Serbia and Montenegro, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Tajikistan, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, Uzbekistan, United States of America, United Kingdom, Vietnam and from the four international organisations ARIPO, EPO, OAPI and WIPO. These documents can be searched in the library of the Austrian Patent Office, too.
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems
In-house systems (online/offline)
The actual legacy systems are running at a SIEMENS mainframe (SR2000), providing administration of bibliographic data, of patent, trademarks and utility models as well as industrial designs in the whole application process.
UTM-applications provide online registry information via internet.
It is planned to migrate the existing legacy-systems to common software soprano (toolbox-concept of EPO), further introduction of further automatisation-tools of EPO (ePhoenix and online-filing) until the end of 2006.
Access to EPOQUE-NET (SEA 1.03), epoline, QUESTEL, STN, Internet- databases (ELSEVIER, IEEE... )
Internet access is available to all technical examiners at their desk tops.
Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics, administrative support, etc.)
The paperless administration system for search and examination requests, including PCT international applications, was extended to the processing of patent and utility applications and became operational in May 2002. The SQL-based system allows the input of all reports in the area of patents and utility models directly on the terminal with transfer to a host and processing of the fair copy.
Statistical tools are employed to ensure quality and time-limits.
The first phase of a project of migration of the jukebox based in-house online patent search system RISP to a hard disk online system was finalized.
Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used
Hardware: Pentium III 800 MHz for all examiners via Token-Ring-Lan, leased lines to Internet and EPO (Vienna, The Hague).
Planning activities for migration from Token-Ring LAN to Ethernet LAN are undertaken since 2003.
Software: Windows Operating System (Win2000, WinXP), B-DOOR/FirstPage+, MS Internet Explorer, STN-Express, Questel Imagination, In house document-management systems for establishing search & examination-reports.
VI. Administration of the industrial property office library and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)
Planning, administration, automation, security, buildings
The library is a public library. 40 million patent documents, 98.000 volumes of non-patent-literature and 90.000 privileges (forerunners of patent documents) are the basis of the collection.
The catalogue of the stock of the documentation is online accessible for in-house purposes and for the public. As the Austrian Patent Office changed its premises in May 2003, the library disposes now of complete new storage rooms, a connection to the fire brigade and safety doors. There are two reading rooms, alternatively used as seminar rooms.
Both these rooms are fully equipped with beamers for presentations and workstations. A special EDP-training room with additional 7 workstations helps to manage training courses for the staff of the office and the public.
Collecting, acquisitions, preparation
The Austrian Patent Office receives the patent documentation according to free-of-charge-exchange agreements between offices. Non-patent-literature is ordered by the members of the house according to their special tasks.
Collection management, preservation
A list of the complete patent documentation is published on Internet.
Non-patent-literature is put into the in-house system (according to librarian rules).
A bookbinder is responsible for bookbinding journals.
Interlibrary lending, resource sharing, networks of patent libraries in the country
The library of the Austrian Patent Office is not a lending library. Interlibrary lending is done to a small extent for other patent offices and governmental institutions.
The PATLIB network in Austria consists of 8 libraries.
Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and patent information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)
Online database access concerning all Austrian patents and utility models in force is given directly at the information centre. Information is also provided by telephone or as answers to written requests.
From journals containing general information about patents and patent information (WPI, etc.) single articles are treated as a complete monograph and put into the online-catalogue. These articles can be found under the author or/and the catchword.
The Homepage of the Austrian Patent Office is accessible in German and English.
The address is: www.patentamt.at or www.patent.bmvit.gv.at . Under the heading “News” new developments in the office, announcements for seminars and training-courses are published.
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information
International or regional cooperation in the exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, abstract and/or full text information
The Austrian Patent Gazette and the Austrian Utility Model Gazette are mutually exchanged on a bilateral basis with almost all of the PCT Member States.
Medium used for exchange of priority documents
Priority documents are exchanged in paper form.
Medium allowed for filing applications
Applications can be filed in paper form or submitted as telegram or as telefax.
Implementation of the Statement of Principles Concerning the Changeover to Electronic Data Carriers for the Exchange of Patent Documents (please make a status report on the extent to which your Office has changed over to electronic data carriers for the exchange of patent documents)
Since 2003 the Austrian Patent Office has stopped the publication of the paper version of the Patent Gazette and the Utility Model Gazette and has changed over to put these publications on Internet. The Austrian Patent Office has 36 exchange partners for this product. Austrian Patent specifications are published on CDs from 1991 onwards. The whole Austrian patent documentation (A, B, B8, B9, T, U1,U2,U3,U8,U9) is included in the BNS system.
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries
Training courses for national and foreign participants, use of audiovisual means
A delegation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences visited the office. In particular, the interface between research/economics/intellectual property was the topic of the discussions.
A group of Japanese patent lawyers was informed about the information services of the Austrian Patent Office and the patent protection in Austria.
On the occasion of the introduction of the supplementary protection certificate in Slovenia two members of the Slovenian Patent Office informed themselves about the relevant experiences in Austria.
In the context of an examiner exchange program with the UK Patent Office two examiners of the Austrian Patent Office worked in Wales in the spring of 2003. In autumn of 2003, two examiners from the UKPO came to the office in Vienna for a search comparison program on different technical fields.
Two training courses were organized for the patent offices of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including members of the States of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in addition to training course activities in the framework of the cooperation with WIPO.
Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
Training courses are held for patent experts from developing countries in co-operation with the WIPO since 1977. Patent information and documentation are the main topics. The participants in the WIPO/Austria Training Course 2003 came from the Fiji Islands, from Cambodia, Libya, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Additionally, the participants of the EPO/WIPO Interregional Seminar were informed about the procedures in the Austrian Patent Office as an example of a National Office.
The Austrian Patent Office participates in the examination of patent applications, which were submitted by patent offices of developing countries on the basis of an agreement with the WIPO since 1986. 64 applications were transferred for treatment to the Austrian Patent Office in the context of this “International Cooperation for Search and Examination of Inventions” (ICSEI) project in the year under report. In addition, 83 searches were accepted as a contribution for the advancement of technology transfer to developing countries.
Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
Since the 1980’s the Austrian Patent Office has been organizing training courses and seminars to an increasing extent both in the office and externally in Austria’s provinces in order to facilitate an efficient use of industrial property rights in the practical business and to inform future decision makers about the instruments of intellectual property.
External seminars are frequently organized together with partners, like the Institute for Promotion of Trade and Industry (WIFI), technology transfer centers, universities, other authorities, inventor’s federation or the bar association. The cooperation with partners frequently improves the contacts with the target groups using the existing communication structure. Seminars take place also in cooperation with other patent offices.
In order to expand these demanded training course activities additionally two seminar series were started in the Austrian Patent Office in 2001, which are organized by the Austrian Patent Office/Service and Information Sector. As a result of the interest, these seminar series were continued in 2002 and 2003. One of said seminar series concerns an overview of the industrial property rights. The second seminar series deals with special topics, e.g., software protection, biotechnology, etc., and is arranged under consultation of external experts in the respective area.
Furthermore, two discussion events on a practice-oriented exchange of experience between specialized technical examiners and representatives of the applicants with the goal of improved legal security and faster procedural sequences were organized in the year 2003. Current patent and utility model questions were discussed in the two meetings.
A further important information platform, in particular for professionals, who are potential clients of the patent office, but did not yet contact the office due to a lack of basic information, are domestic and international trade fairs. The Austrian Patent Office was represented in the year 2003 in eight fairs.
IX. Other relevant matters
Fur further information about activities of the office in 2003, one may also refer to the “Annual Report of the Austrian Patent Office 2003”, published in German and English on the Homepage of the office.
|1.||Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.|
|2.||Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner). Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.|
|3.||Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC). The new symbols are available on patent databases.|