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Patent information

What is patent information and to who is concerned?

Patent information is a term that designates the information that can be found in patent documents and in national patent registers. This can be technical information, such as the description of the invention, the claims, which define the scope of protection, or legal information, such as priority or filing dates, inventor’s or right holder’s identity, legal status of the application or of the granted patents.

In the knowledge economy, patent information plays a vital role as it can support decision-making in R&D and innovation development, especially in view of the fact that the patent systems foresees the disclosure of the inventions through the publication of patent applications and granted patents.

It is generally accepted that 80% of the technical information that is available worldwide is published in patent documents. Consequently, patent literature represents a primary source of technical and legal information. Accessing patent information is therefore essential to the technical and economic development.

Patent information is by nature a vital resource for a number of professionals: technical developers, researchers, technical, business and legal consultants, strategy advisors and managers.

Patent information can be useful to :

  • Identify the state of the art and to avoid unnecessary investments
    (“not to reinvent the wheel”)
  • monitor the activities of one’s competitors
  • find potential partners
  • identify possible counterfeiters