Brief summary on Recent Trends in Patinformatics

Patinformatics is an emerging science which involves analysis of a set of patent data to map relationships and trends which would be otherwise difficult to do so when dealing with patent documents on a one to one basis.

The first ever Indian conference on Patinformatics, titled ‘Recent Trends in Patinformatics’, was held from the 9th to 12th of December at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune to mark the 26th National Convention of SIS (Society for Information Science) which was co hosted by URDIP (Unit for Research and Development of Information Products). The conference was aimed at answering several pertinent questions about the need, method and application of patent analysis as well as depicting both the Indian and Global status in this field. Hence the conference consisted of training sessions as well as lectures from eminent persons from Industry and Academia. The participants were delegates from research institutes and IP companies from all over India.

The inaugural session was held on the evening of the 9th of December. The keynote address was delivered by Dr Craig Stephens (Vice- President, Sales, CAS) who spoke on the growing importance of Patinformatics. He talked on the explosive growth in scientific publication and patenting activity and how with this wealth of Information an IP professional can with Patinformatics intelligently mine and analyze data for value addition in technology development. Another highlight of the evening was release of the global edition of Prof. Damon Ridley’s book titled “Information Retrieval – Scifinder”. The programme ended on a high note which was the announcement of Fellowships and Awards instituted by SIS as a recognition of the efforts of IP professionals and scientists.

The agenda of the conference comprised of training sessions on the first day (9th Dec.) followed by lectures from invited speakers on the second and third day. A poster session was also organized to showcase the ongoing Patinformatics studies in several Indian organizations. The posters exhibited by participants spread all over India covered landscape pictures over a diverse range of topics ranging from health issues to environmental issues and recent trends in Patenting activities among institutions as well as among Indian women. The training workshops were conducted by several database and analytical tool providers. Three tracks were conducted as parallel sessions where the participants could choose the programmes that best satisfied their requirement. Representatives from Thompson Reuters, Search Technologies, Questal, Gridlogics, Minesoft, P&G, Reliance industries, Advinus Therapeutics and Sci-Edge information all shared valuable tips on effective searching and analysis tools and techniques.

The lecture series were divided into seven sessions starting with the global status of Patinformatics, proceeding towards knowledge of current search and analysis tools, revealing the applications of such analysis in different sectors and finally reflecting the Indian scenario. The first session on Globalization of Patinformatics had three speakers from different industries who portrayed the impact and status of the IP group in their respective organization.

Ms Karen Brown explained the emergence of the Infolytics group and its contribution as a premier service within Global Business Service with the highest user satisfaction score achieved by any GBS service. Dr Balu Sarma , Praj Matrix spoke on development of Strategic IP to accelerate technology development for competitive advantage with a ‘glocal’ approach which was global with adjustments made to suit local conditions. Dr Seshan Vishwanathan, Philips International Property and Standards, Bangalore, traced the creation of the Intellectual Property and Standards (IP&S) group in Philips and its migration to India which is responsible for all IP and Technology protection and value creation matters within Philips worldwide. Session II dealt with Patent databases, services and tools. Mr. Bob Stembridge from Thompson Reuters, UK spoke of Derwent’s endeavour to synthesize intelligent information by means of standardizing records to help generate integrated information solutions to provide true decision support systems. Mr. Yateen Pargaonkar, P&G, USA talked on inherent variations that arose in patent search and analysis due to intrinsic and extrinsic factors and methods to minimize them. The next speaker Dr. Chandra Bajagur from Shell Technology, Bangalore delivered a talk Patent mapping that enabled recognition of key patterns, relationships & trends as per the needs of various stakeholders thereby directing them to take strategic business decisions.

The last lecture was delivered by Mr. Nalin Agrawal from INREA, Mumbai who spoke on OPS a web based service introduced by EPO early in the decade that provides a strong platform for patent bots to aggregate the information and present the users with unlimited amount of information on tracking competition and technologies. Session III was aimed at different approaches in patent mining. Prof. Damon Ridley, Silverbrook research, Australia talked on ‘The Art and Science of Patent Information Retrieval’ wherein he proposed a scientific approach towards patent searching drawing an analogy with experimental work carried out in a laboratory.

The next talk was delivered by Mr. R. D. Satish Kumar aimed at deriving a new classification system based on concept analysis rather than keyword analysis using S.R. Ranganathan’s faceted colon classification system. Ms Poonam J. Singh, NBFGR – Lucknow talked on the use of IPC codes to collect data and map a patent landscape in the renewable energy sector to help researchers identify white spaces to evolve green solutions for energy requirements. The focus of Ms Sivakami Dhulap’s (URDIP) study was to map the patent landscape in methodologies used for patent searching as well as analysis so as to enable to envisage directions for future developments in better search and analysis tools. Session IV dealt with Patent analytics. Mr. Paul Frey, Search Technology Inc, USA, introduced the concept of innovation management and outlined the technology forecasting framework for NES & T (New Emerging Science and Technology) using Vantage point and STN Anavist as the analytical tool. The next lecture was delivered by Dr. Jyoti Singh, Sci-Edge Information, who with specific examples explained the benefits of using STNAnavist and Subscape as tools for Patinformatics in getting deeper insights in trends in technologies existing as well as emerging and help identify new areas for research. Mr. Jean Charles Lamirel, LORIA, France explored another dimension of patent analysis with a MultiSOM approach using neural networks. Dr V Lakshman, SciTech Patent Art Services Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad dealt with parameters affecting cost and quality of IP analysis and stressed how it was essential to have standardized forms/tools for each stage and as per query and a periodic review of methods and approaches to have an effective outcome. Session V was directed towards Patinformatics for Research and Business Planning. Dr P Ganguli, Vision-IPR, Mumbai explained how IP landscaping served as vital information from a business perspective as an aid in technology transfer, buyouts, mergers and help identify key personnel for recruitment. Dr. M. G. Kulkarni from NCL, Pune talked on how patinformatics traced the shortcomings of existing technology and helped drive new developments as well as patents and finally business prospective for the organization. Dr Aravind Chinchure, Reliance Innovation Leadership Centre, traced the formation of the RILC at Pune aimed at building a strong intellectual property (IP) and technology information management (TIM) team. He also talked about the principles of Global Innovation Commons (GIC) and its role in societal development. Ravi Vaikuntachar, Thermax, Pune, with different case scenarios revealed how IP Analytics plays an important role in assessing and mitigating a large number of business risks. Session VI was oriented in explaining the impact of patent analysis in directing policies in health and agriculture sectors and a guideline for public policy. The plenary lecture was given by Ms Rashmi Phadnis, URDIP, Pune who spoke on ‘IP Landscape for Neglected Diseases’. The focus of this study was to gather information on the research activities in Type II and Type III diseases to find new insights in drug/vaccine development as well as help policy makers to correct distortion caused by market forces. Dr Sadhana Srivastava from ICMR, New Delhi spoke on the application of IP landscape to promote access to affordable health in third world countries with a case study on HIV/AIDS.

The outcome of the study was formation of patent pool – UNITAIDS and innovative strategies for licensing to find solutions for access to ARTs. Dr Kalpana Sastry, NAARM, Hyderabad talk was directed towards Nanotechnology (NT) and whether it could find applications in pathogen detection, drug/vaccine delivery and could impact as an enabling technology complementing conventional technology. Ms Poonam J Singh spoke on ‘Utilizing patent information as a data mining tool for research in agricultural sector’. She concluded that the gaps and cluster identified can be used to plan R&D to address global food crisis.

Dr Gangan Pratap’s ( NISCAIR, New Delhi) talk stressed on the need for a new index E called the performance indicator which could be used as a measure of inventiveness of nations. Since BRIC nations were at the bottom of the hill policy makers need to plan for good quality of higher education and boost investments in R&D in order to make a global impact in innovativeness. Session VII had speakers who talked about the Indian Initiatives in Patinformatics. In his lecture Mr. Balwant Rawat from Evalueserve, Gurgaon mentioned that India has shown a threefold increase in the number of patent applications in the last six years but the key challenge faced in the Indian scenario is the lack of a good Indian database with versatile search features and low IP awareness and in the realm of global competition and survival it is pertinent that knowledge workers become more IP savvy.

Dr R. Hirwani in his talk elaborated on the role of URDIP in developing value added IP products and services. He went on to explain the steps taken to eventually position CSIR-URDIP as an Advance Centre of Research and Study in areas of Research, Technology and IP Management at a global level. Mr. Makarand Waikar, Sci-Edge Information, Pune traced the entire history of information and patent awareness in India from the early eighties until recent times. He projected the future education of Patinformatics as one offering customized solutions to problems, more focus on post processing of data and a requirement for multidisciplinary training. The final speaker Dr Kochar, ICAR talked about the setting up of a dedicated IP cell in ICAR and its current status. ICAR has filed for more than 355 patent applications and more than 1000 applications for protecting novel Indian plant varieties.

The seven lecture sessions were followed by a panel discussion wherein the learnings of the conference were summarized and a path for the future was chalked out. The participants too shared their viewpoints and clarified some of their doubts. The conference then concluded after having achieved its purpose of answering the questions of different aspects of Patent search and Analysis - why to search, how to effectively search and analyze, which are the best tools available and finally the practical applications of the search and analysis helping shape business and research decisions. It also helped map out a career path to all the IP professionals to fill in the white spaces in their knowledge to eventually make a Global impact.