Annual Technical Report 2005 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Canada (SCIT/ATR/PI/2005/CA)
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
7.2 % increase in filings (37,207 in 2004 of which 26,348 were PCT and 39,888 in 2005 of which 28,369 were PCT)
18.8 % increase in grants (13,060 in 2004 and 15,509 in 2005)
1.47 % decrease in CA-RO filings (1,906 in 2004 and 1,878 in 2005)
CIPO became an ISA on the 26th of July 2004, so 614 applications were received between July and the end of December and 2,089 in 2005.
In 2005, we received 310 Chapter II requests.
Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year
Nothing stands out so far.
Trends in our e-services
23.6 % increase in e-filings (594 in 2004 and 734 in 2005)
45.3 % increase in e-correspondence (3,770 in 2004 and 5,476 in 2005)
Even though patent agents have not started using e-filing on a large scale, some small firms do use it on a regular basis.
Our e-correspondence allows an applicant to perform all transaction (enter national phase of an application, pay fees, etc.) The biggest impact is on paying maintenance fee on applications. They can pay all fees online using their credit-card or a deposit account. Unfortunately, once we receive the data, we still have to enter it manually in our system (this part has not been automated yet).
We do not currently accept PCT e-filing.
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.)
Reproduction and Distribution:
Canadian Patent Office Record (Gazette) is published weekly and is available on CIPO's website.
Also the Annual index of the Canadian Patent Office Record was made available by means of the Web Site in 2000.
MIMOSA CDs for open for public inspection and granted applications are prepared every week and sent to various Patent Offices around the world.
To help searchers, the office also provides online access to United States patents via WEST.
Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information
Office notices and changes to office procedures are done through the Canadian Patent Office Record (CPOR).
Some of these office notices, and many other patent related notices, are put directly on the CIPO WEB site under the Patent notices section.
Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)
Our TechSource system includes bibliographic data (from 1920-present), text (abstract, claim and description of laid open patent documents from 1978-present) and images of patent documents (from 1920-present). All these documents are stored on hard disk technology.
To help searchers, the office also maintains data on United States Patents on DVDs and Espace World (Mimosa) CDs/DVDs, and provides online access through WEST.
Word processing and office automation
Custom correspondence is done using WordPerfect 10. All other office automation tasks are performed within our patent processing system TechSource.
(New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, etc.)
The generation of patent information (printing) is done through a combination of software tools supported by the TechSource patent processing system. These include WordPerfect for custom correspondence creation as well as FrameMaker for the generation of the Canadian Patent Office Record (gazette).
III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents
Abstracting, reviewing, translating
The Office translates the titles in French or English depending on the language of the application. Some translations are retrieved from the PCT import process which uses an XML file “FTPed” from WIPO.
Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)
The Canadian Patent Office classifies patent documents internally using the International Patent Classification system (IPC) as its classification system since October 1, 1989. Before this date, the office used the Canadian Patent Classification system as its classification system. Documents between August 1978 and March 1994 contain classification codes from both systems. Classification code information appearing on applications following the PCT route are transferred directly in our system and can be reviewed any time thereafter.
As of January 1, 2006 CIPO implemented the use of IPC 8 (reformed). During 2006 we will be enhancing our classification processes and search systems to utilize new features that the reformed IPC provides.
Coordinate indexing (domestic deep indexing systems, keyword indexing)
Hybrid system indexing
CIPO uses a concordance table between the IPC and its CPC. The Canadian Patent Office is planning to purchase an IPC/US dual classification concordance table.
Bibliographic data and full-text processing for search purposes
Canadian Patent Office maintains an electronic search file of all patent documents open to public from 1920-present, searchable using bibliographical data.
Documents from 1978 -present are also searchable using text fields of abstract, claims and description. Only the text from the abstract and claims is verified for quality when the image is converted to text using OCR. The bibliographical information and image format of patent documents are available internally through our in-house system “Inquire Text” or externally though our Web site. The only information not available searching our WEB site is the text from the description.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep
The information for our search engine is coming from our Line of Business (Mainframe based application to handle national cases) application which enables CIPO to manages electronically all Canadian patent documents (paperless office).
The Canadian Database search engine is updated electronically daily for our internal search tool (Inquire Text) and weekly for our external search tool (verity) available on our Web site. Our InquireText search system will not be supported by end of 2007. We are currently developing a replacement application, using the Verity search engine, that is scheduled to be completed and in production by March of 2008.
Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file
CIPO has replaced the US Patent paper collection on paper by an electronic access to the USPTO’s WEST database.
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems
In-house systems (online/offline)
Canadian Patent Office is involved in a renewal project to replace 1) the existing search engine Inquire Text and Internet Canadian Patent Database with a single database; and 2) the electronic patent document data management system (Line of Business) in future years.
On the e-commerce side, our Office has undertaken a project to implement PCT-Safe. In addition we are expanding our electronic commerce transaction to accept electronic payment of patents maintenance fees.
Biotechnology. The office has switched from its Wisconsin Package (Genetics Computer Group) to the GeneSeq package.
The Canadian Patent Office uses commercial databases on patents and technical literature through, for example, Questel-Orbit, STN, DIALOG, Delphion providers and general databases available over the Internet.
We are also investigating use of the EPOQUE system currently tested by 5 examiners.
Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics, administrative support, etc.)
Information on patent documents is available through a mainframe application which supports the administration of the patent process by managing: applications, granted patents, applicant, inventors, owners, agent information, etc. The system also provides statistical information, management reports, fee payment, correspondence, workflow management facility, etc.
Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used
TechSource is the system used by the Patent Branch of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to support its delivery of all patent prosecution processes. The core of the system consists of the major integration of Commercial Off-The Shelf (COTS) products; Image Plus to handle the scanning and image management related to patent applications, INQUIRE/Text to handle the textual searching requirements and QMF to handle interactive query of the data. These COTS products operate in an IBM mainframe environment that supports, and is supported by, the Line Of Business (LOB) system which is a mainframe CICS and DB2 applications that handles patent application tracking, financial and client management elements of the patent process. Bridging exists between the different application to have an integrated system.
User workstations are operating using the Windows 2000 operating system and are networked through an ethernet LAN. We are also planning to replace our operating system with Windows XP.
Existing online thesauri; their structure, presentation and usefulness for computerized searches
Thesauri capability is in TechSource but was never implemented.
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)
Administration of Office Libraries:
CIPO consolidated the main Patent and Trademark Search Library in Gatineau, Quebec into a single Client Service Centre. The various paper search files have been removed. CIPO clients now search only the electronic search files.
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information
Exchange of Patent Documents:
· CIPO now provides Laid-open and Grants documents on CD-R.
· The Canadian Patent Office Record (gazette) and Annual index in electronic format by means of the CIPO Web site
· Priority documents are printed from the CIPO TECHSOURCE system
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries
In May 2005, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, in partnership with WIPO, offered a one-week Specialized Training Workshop on the Application of Management Techniques in the Delivery of Intellectual Property Services.
CIPO has provided, in cooperation with WIPO, the following free patent services to developing countries:
· Patent search and examination reports for developing countries, upon request from WIPO (ICSES);
· State-of-the-art patent searches under the WIPO Patent Information Searches (WPIS) for developing countries; and
· Paper copies of relevant Canadian patent documents identified by WIPO patent searches.
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.|