Saturday, May 21, 2005

European Patents Database

It has been quite a while since I last posted. In the meantime, I had traveled to Geneva to attend a training program with the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Although I work with innovators around the world, my Toronto location frequently directs a disproportionate amount of my attention to North American innovators. Thus, going to Europe for a training program in intellectual property rights management was enlightening and refreshing.

Perhaps one of the most useful resources that crossed my notepad was the searchable European database of patents. One caveat is that the site allows for searching only the abstract and not the claims of the patent for keywords.

The claims of patents contain specifications about the patented technology - what it is and how it functions. Thus, a keyword that appears in the claims may not appear in the abstract. Still, the information is interesting and helpful, at least as a starting point in checking for existing patents.

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