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Who is Pushing Forward the Frontiers of Patent Information and Why It Matters

October, 2015

Patent information is a unique field of expertise that centers on handling often extraordinarily large volumes of data and making it available to end-users in meaningful ways. This involves the collaboration of a spectrum of providers from patent offices, online content publishers, analytics software developers, and to other patent information specialists who take on the role of master chefs in pulling all the ingredients together.

This combined ecosystem for providing patent information directly helps those responsible for conducting aggressive R&D programs in industry, as well as the many others in the organization who need to ensure that the research effort is well-directed and ultimately translated into corporate dollars. This includes those directly responsible for strategic IP initiatives as well as patent portfolio building, protection and monetization. A healthy patent information industry therefore plays an undeniably pivotal role in successfully allowing inventions to emerge into the marketplace.


The Dependence of Inventions on Patent Information Systems and Vice-Versa

As we know, the world of IP is a world of rapidly-evolving inventions that consistently challenge the status quo. As the pace of technology develops, so too must the systems and methods of capturing, storing and retrieving the information that underpins and facilitates that rapid rate of change. More and more we see so-called ‘disruptive technologies’ impacting our everyday sphere of existence and fundamentally changing the way we think and conduct our lives, never to return to the ways of the past; driverless cars, drones, mobile devices, 3-D printers, genomics and personalized medicine, to name but a few, are revolutionizing our world in ways we could never have imagined possible.

Behind all these latest innovations, and what is supporting them in coming to the fore, is not only more widespread and easier access to patent and technological information for research and intellectual property purposes, but also increasingly how that information is retrieved, analyzed and disseminated. Combined, these have a major impact on being able to identify new connections in technological developments, forge new paths forward with research, and anticipate revenue-generating breakthroughs.


Pioneers of Patent Information

The rate of development of patent information itself has kept up with the industries it serves via cooperation within and between patent offices, the development of ever-more competent software analytics and semantics tools for end users, and the swift availability of large amounts of information from database providers via web interfaces. As just one example, this is illustrated by the bold steps in patent information taken by IBM in the early days of the Internet in the mid- 1990’s with the development of the IBM Patent Server (what was later to become the Delphion database), making patent information widely available as never before (and initially at no cost) to a suddenly much broader spectrum of end users. Behind every good story is a good team, and invariably a person of vision, drive and creativity. In the case of IBM, that person was Dr. Stephen Boyer. His story, and what it has meant for the development of the patent information systems we use today, can be found memorialized in the Hall of Fame for the International Patent Information (IPI) Award (

So who are the innovators who are pushing forward the frontiers of how we get our patent information? Like Dr. Stephen Boyer, they are the people who care about the quality or patent information and the vital role it plays on a worldwide scale. They are the people represented by the IPI-Award Hall of Fame, recipients and others like them who have played key roles in the evolution of patent information during the information explosion over the last 15 years and which is continuing today. Through their dedicated efforts and brilliance, they have helped to shape the way that patent information is accessed today and thereby provide the springboard for new advances in patent information that will be applied to the future. Acknowledging that the work needs to move forward evermore apace, the IPI-Award was founded to recognize, and continues to recognize on an annual basis, individuals whose achievements are facilitating the advancement of patent information in its many facets, whether that is in terms of delivering content and quality, in terms of big data handling and reporting methods, or in terms of advocacy, knowledge-sharing and training in the patent information arena.


Future Developments in Patent Information Founded by Today’s Thought Leaders – Who Would You Nominate?

TPR is proud to be instrumental in celebrating the profound impact of patent information innovators and thought leaders. The IPI-Award was founded by TPR President, Ford Khorsandian, in 1999. TPR’s sponsorship of the IPI-Award each year recognizes an individual for their outstanding contribution to the patent information industry. The Award itself consists of a plaque and a $3000 honorarium.

Nominations are now being accepted for the IPI-Award to be presented in 2016. Nominations are reviewed and evaluated by an independent International Selection Board of pre-eminent patent information professionals and must be received by the upcoming deadline of 23rd October, 2015. Visit the IPI-Award website at for further information on how to nominate someone who you feel is deserving of this recognition and a place in the IPI-Award Hall of Fame.

The IPI-Award recipient will be announced at the upcoming International Patent Information Conference & Exposition, IPI-ConfEx, taking place in Munich, Germany, February 28 – March 2, 2016. IPI-ConfEx is the most significant patent information conference in Europe where world-leading patent information professionals gather to discuss visionary perspectives and the latest developments in intellectual property. For more information and to register, visit


Article contributed by:

TJones2Trudi Jones, Vice President of Technology & Patent Research International, Inc.
Trudi Jones studied Chemistry at Kings College, London University, and started her professional career by developing databases for providing patent, scientific and technical information to research-based organizations. In the early 90’s, Trudi co-founded Technology & Patent Research to fulfill the unmet need for a high-level search firm that could support Information Professionals and Patent Attorneys by providing searching and analysis services in support of their work. TPR has been successfully providing support to corporations and law firms across all technologies ever since and continues to set the standard for professional search services.

© 2015, Technology & Patent Research International, Inc.