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Annual Technical Report 2003 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Portugal (SCIT/ATR/PI/2003/PT)

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

The number of applications, grants and entries in national phase in 2003 are presented together with the numbers of 2002, as shown in the table annexed.

Referring to 2002 there is a decrease of patent applications of 7,3% and 8,8% of utility models.

In July 2003 a new legislation entered into force bringing some facilities for applicants protecting inventions under patents and utility models aiming to increase the number of applications by the national route.

I-table - Statistical data for national patents, utility models, SPCs, Topographies and entries in national phase for EP and PCT

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

Electronic or paper copies of Patent documents are available to public under demand after publication of the application notices in the official Gazette.

Documents of granted patents and utility models and translations of European and International Patents entered in national phase are published in DVD support, under collection ESPACE-PT.

The official gazette “Boletim da Propriedade Industrial” is published in paper and CD-R supports. The CD-R is searchable and runs on DOCWARE. There are two kinds of CD: with and without the software allowing a cheaper subscription for subscribers already using DOCWARE.

The following announcements are published in the official gazette “Boletim da Propriedade Industrial" concerning patent information: full text of court decisions; bibliographic data of national applications, including international classification, abstract and drawing; grants; refusals; changes of ownership and address; entries in national phase and corrections.

As referred above, from 1980 all patent documents are stored in DVD, under the Espace-PT collection. Documents before 1980 are in microfilms (16mm). At the end of 2003, an electronic system of documentation storage (SGD) has begun with an indexing system associated. Under a philosophy of “paperless office”, all the texts are WORD processed and electronically saved, and the paper documentation coming in the office is digitalised and indexed for automatic retrieval.

The printing of the official Gazette is done by the National Printing House from an output of the office internal database associated to images digitalised from the files or imported from the SGD.

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

As required by law, the applicant delivers the abstract on filing. After being reviewed by the examiners and corrected if necessary, they are electronically stored in the Document Management System (SGD) with full text indexing for search purposes in the IP Management System (SGPI).

All the patents are classified using International Patent Classification (IPC). Reclassification activities have been done for documents after 1990 accordingly to the 7th edition of IPC.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

There are no paper search files.

V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

The complete satisfaction of the Office needs in terms of computer processing, through the implementation of the most recent information technologies, the opening of the Information System to the exterior and the continuing transformation of the documental affluence and the Archives for digital material was an established goal.

The organization’s computer infrastructure was already being prepared for the achievement of these goals, namely through the modernization of the data communication network, the installation of a modern security system for its access, the re-equipment of the working stations and the installation of a bistream access external connections.

This structure was completed with the implementation of secure links to the European Patents Institute, integrating the Office in the European virtual private network PATNET which assures the access to one of the largest data repositories regarding invention Patents in the world and allows an efficient information exchange. This will also allow the implementation of the Patent electronic applications for the European System. Furthermore, several necessary servers for the new Industrial Property Management System (SGPI) and the Documentation Management System (SGD) were installed. The development of these systems has been completed in 2002. These equipments comply with the high availability standards and support the database management system - SGBD - (Oracle 9i in a HP-UX environment), the documentation manager and workflow (Documentum) package and the Intranet services, amongst others.


The new system integrates document and procedure management, via workflow software; is fully parameter driven and supports all IP modalities; defines an intranet – client access via browser; external communication using internet proxy plus firewalls; the search and procedure management modules were developed to the office specifications; programming is Java based (application layer); the architecture is open, multiserver and layered.

The main components of the system are the SCF (to do lists, agenda management, warning generation, workflow control); SGD (digital archive management, scanning, document production, image data export) and SGPI (procedure and tax management, search, data exchange, publication control).

The SGD was implemented, and its entry in production allowed the internal digitalisation and the paper less processing of several thousands of documents that annually build the documental front file of the Office.

Industrial Property Internet Portal project was launched increasing the contact of the Information System with the exterior, with partners, institutions and the public in general, which will allow the organization of several e-business initiatives.

2003 was also the year of the new INPI Internet Portal with the conclusion of the 1st phase that will be launched to the public in the beginning of 2004 and will include the internal management of the information contents, the offer of services and payments online, the access to a digital library, and the availability of forms allowing the word processing of the applications.

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)

The Library of the Office is a specialised library on Industrial Property and a Patent Information Documentation Centre. The Publications of the Office are also edited and furnished by the Library. The Library has a Central unit and six sub-units existing in each Department (Patents, Trademarks, Administration, Management, Information, Computer Systems) mainly with reference books and daily reading material.

The collections (IP and Patents) are built based not only in acquisitions (a dedicated budget is allotted every year) but also by offers and exchange.

The access to the collection is free and professional-oriented for both internal and external users.

Loans are allowed for internal users only on a time-limit basis.

Searches are performed in the GLAS Catalogue by the users themselves or with assistance of the librarians.

The IP library specimens are subject to preliminary treatment, cataloguing and indexing. The catalogue is already automated based on GLAS software from EOSi. The indexing is based on key words, controlled by an in-building thesaurus, for search and retrieval purposes. During the cataloguing activities, a selection of articles, books and other documents is done for circulation, selective dissemination and/or digitalisation purposes and building of a digital library.

The circulation of documents is done based on a subscription list of internal users who receive the document in a first-to-read basis; electronic documents are sent by e-mail.

The selective dissemination is daily produced; it is a pro-active service of the Library and includes legislation texts, articles, books and other documents resulting from Internet searches concerning all matters, or related matters, of IP, the Office activities or staff professional needs. The internal users are the main targets of this service.

The Digital Library is composed by digitalised documents, in PDF format, and other documents originally in electronic format the references of which are also introduced in the catalogue. All the documents are indexed and stored in different files accordingly to the subject. The access is free for all the internal and external users. The printing is restricted for external users in what concerns the copyrighted materials.

The patent documentation centre has the complete patent collections from EP and PCT and the most developed countries (US, GB, DE, FR, CH, ES, and others) in microfilm, CD and DVD supports and corresponding databases. These databases are searchable on the internal network (jukebox system) and the documents are available either in the jukebox system or in the library. Searches are free (with or without professional assistance) and copies allowed against a payment accordingly to a price list.
In the Library /patent documentation centre, several computers are available to the public for search purposes in the GLAS Catalogue, Jukebox system, internal and external databases, Espace products, Internet access / Esp@cenet.

Copies of the patent documents included in the collections are available against payment of a fixed amount/document. Order of documents not included in the collections is subjected to a delay in the delivery and a different payment accordingly to the price of the external provider.

Library has also an Internet version available on the “Documentation” page of the INPI Portal with a limited version of the internal Digital Library, access to the Office Publications including the official gazette, and searchable Locarno and Nice Classifications. Through the INPI Portal it is possible to order online the official publications and information services and products with the facility of online payment.

The Office is one of the PATLIB Centres of the Portuguese PATLIB Network integrated in the European Patent PATLIB Network.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

The exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, legal status, modifications, is done with the EPO and WIPO.

The paper is the medium used for exchange of priority documents.

Applications are filed in paper, being allowed the use of an electronic support with the images of the forms and documents.

The exchange of patent documents is done using CD/DVD formats.

VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries

During 2003 several cooperation activities in favour of developing countries have taken place:
1·Cooperation with EPO for the financial and administrative autonomy of the Office of Philippines;
2·Training Seminar for economic, industrial and university agents of Angola;
3·Training Session on Trademarks for the Office of Macau;
4·Cooperation with EPO, UKPTO e INPI-FR for the organisation of a Regional IP Forum in South Africa, for Africa and Middle East Countries;
5·In-house training for three technicians from Angola, Cape-Vert and Mozambique;
6·New computers for Angola and S. Tome and Principe.

Concerning education and training, the staff of the national Network of Units for the Industrial Property promotion received training on the Community Design and the new national legislation entered into force in July 2003, via traditional educational and training means complemented with e-learning sessions. With the same goal several seminars and workshops took place in several regions of the country trying to reach various users and potential users of IP geographically spread all over the country. Also in this context, several initiatives took place aiming to take advantage of the “best practices” developed in an international level in the field of valorisation and commercialisation of the IPR.

Concerning IP promotion, 17 thematic sessions took place all over the year.

A new title on statistical information (“Annual Statistical Report”) was edited and will be published an annual basis.

In the field of studies, some “case studies” were developed in some interesting domains, namely concerning the changes in the European industrial policy and the evaluation of the impact of the enlargement of the Madrid System to the USA and the Hispanic Countries. However, it was the major “Study on the use of IP in Portugal” that has become an important tool for the understanding of the main constraints associated to the weak usage of the industrial property protection in the country. This study was published in a monograph.

IX. Other relevant matters

 


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.