29th ICIC International Conference for the Information Community in Heidelberg, 23.-24. October 2017

Dear Colleagues

For those in the sci-tech world, sharing best practices, networking and evaluating trends have become matters of considerable importance, and the annual ICIC Meeting & Exhibition is the significant forum for this, attracting over 100 attendees from the main sci-tech companies and information, service or software providers. It will be a venue where attendees will learn about new ways to work with disseminate scientific and patent information.

Good news: We have extended the Super Early Bird Registration offer until 30 June:

ICIC is the International Conference on Trends for Scientific Information Professionals.

Highlights of the agenda can be found at

I am looking forward to seeing you in Heidelberg (October 2017), Bangalore (November 2017) or Nice (April, 2018).

Kind regards

Christoph Haxel

We are pleased to announce the Program for the PIUG 2017 NE Conference - Strengthening Our Core Competencies:  Continuously Improving and Broadening Our Patent Search and Analysis Skills.  The conference will be held Monday, September 25 through Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at the APA Hotel Woodbridge.  Please visit the Overview page for registration information.

We’d like to ask you to share this conference information with colleagues and other professional organizations of which you are a member and through professional social networking forums such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Looking forward to seeing you in September!

LOS ALTOS, CA - MaxVal, an IP solutions provider, is pleased to announce an online portal for their clients to manage patent projects. This self-service portal will enable users to create, track and seamlessly manage their projects in a single place.

This web-based platform features some important functions that can help clients to: 

    • Upload new drawing requests easily.

    • Receive instant notifications on project status.

    • Track the progress of your jobs in real time.

    • Download the deliverables through the portal.

“This online portal gives more control to the users and makes their lives easier. It eliminates the need for managing projects through email and increases efficiency and transparency,” says Tom Giesler, Director of Patent Illustrations at MaxVal.

If you are a current MaxVal Drawings client and have not tried the online portal yet, you can make a request here, or at

Since 2006, MaxVal Drawings has been providing high-quality patent drawings and illustrations to IP professionals and inventors. They have significant experience with IP drawings in medical, biotech, mechanical and electrical engineering, high-tech and chemistry sectors. Their drawings reliably comply with all PTO requirements for filing utility, design and trademark applications.

About MaxVal Group, Inc.

MaxVal is a silicon valley-based technology-enabled IP solutions provider known for its cutting edge products and automated solutions. Since 2004, MaxVal has been providing technology-enabled solutions and expert services by partnering with patent counsel and patent operations teams to optimize patent lifecycle management with high levels of customer service. MaxVal’s clients range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, top U.S. pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and the leading technology-focused patent law firms worldwide.

Contact: Bala Krishnan, 650-472-1523, 

Announcing PIUG Patent Searching Courses

October 31, 2017 Introduction to Patent Searching

November 1, 2017 PIUG Freedom to Operate Fundamentals

Hosted at the Genentech site
South San Francisco, CA

Take both courses and save over 20% each!

Introduction to Patent Searching

The PIUG Introduction to Patent Searching provides a fast-paced interactive learning environment that builds a strong foundation for searching patent information. Discover patent searching tips from a faculty of long-time PIUG members with decades of patent information experience. Learn the basics of patent law, patent information resources, and searching techniques.

Key topics covered:

  • Why search patents?
    ·     US patent law
    ·     International patent law
    ·     Patent Information resources (free and fee-based)
    ·     Searching techniques and approaches
    ·    Reporting search results
    ·     Keeping up to date with patent resources

The PIUG Introduction to Patent Searching course is being offered October 31, 2017.

PIUG Freedom to Operate Fundamentals

A patent search to discover Freedom to Operate (FTO) or Freedom to Practice is one of the fundamental searches an Intellectual Property searcher must learn to master. FTO searches provide details on what is legally protected and can yield insight into making informed business decisions.

Freedom to Operate Fundamentals is taught by highly experienced PIUG members with many years of searching and training experience. The course will build understanding of the fundamental concepts of FTO, and develop general techniques based on current patent law into focused strategies for performing FTO searches in the engineering, chemical, and biotech areas. It will demonstrate best practices for searching in each area and case studies of complete searches.

Discover additional approaches that will help you be more effective by saving time and providing more accurate results. Learn how to utilize freely accessible resources for searching claimed content and to determine what is legally in-force, including INPADOC, national patent office registers, and vendor offerings. This lecture-based course will include slide presentations, live examples of focused searches, and a printed handout.

Whether you are new to performing FTO searches or more experienced, this course will provide techniques to take your FTO research skills to the next level, and help advance your career

The PIUG Freedom to Operate Fundamentals course is being offered November 1, 2017.

For more information on the Introduction to Patent Searching click HERE.

For more information on the Freedom to Operate Fundamentals click HERE.

Please share this announcement with your colleagues and post it to your professional associations.

At PIUG 2017 in Atlanta the EPO presented, for the first time, some preliminary findings from our survey on the role of patent information in the innovation process.

Main findings of the survey

  • 70% of the innovators who took part in the survey use patent information as a source of information.
  • 72% of them rate patent information as important or very important for their innovation work.

Take a look at the full results:

We'll  present a one-and-a-half hour webinar on the basics of searching using Espacenet on 19th July starting at 16.00 Central European Summer Time, that's 10.00 Eastern, 9.00 Central, 8.00 Mountain and 7.00 Pacific.

Here's the link, just click to sign up.

Hi everyone,

STN is running the following e-Seminars in June and July –


Title: Introduction to STNext

Abstract: STNext is a new gateway to the world’s premier solution for scientific, technical and IP research. Built on the classic STN® foundation, STNext delivers the comfort and confidence of classic STN in a new, browser-based interface. Learn about this bright new modern interface to access STN.

Date: June 27, 2017

7:00 pm Europe Summer Time (Berlin, GMT+02.00)

6:00 pm GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00)

1:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)

12:00 pm Central Daylight Time (Chicago, GMT-05:00)

10:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)

10:30 pm India Time (Mumbai, GMT+05:30)



Title: Numeric Property Searching in STNext – Case Studies for DWPI

Abstract: Numeric Property Searching is a very powerful feature in various databases on STN, including the Derwent World Patents Index database (DWPI). This e-Seminar will explain how the numeric property search feature works, and will include case studies in DWPI to illustrate this valuable searching tool.

Date: July 6, 2017

3:00 pm Europe Summer Time (Berlin, GMT+02.00)

2:00 pm GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00)

9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)

8:00 am Central Daylight Time (Chicago, GMT-05:00)

6:30 pm India Time (Mumbai, GMT+05:30)


Date: July 6, 2017

8:00 pm Europe Summer Time (Berlin, GMT+02.00)

7:00 pm GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00)

2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)

1:00 pm Central Daylight Time (Chicago, GMT-05:00)

11:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)

11:30 pm India Time (Mumbai, GMT+05:30)


To register for these events, please visit –


Best regards,



Jim Brown

FIZ Karlsruhe, Inc.


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has named U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Associate Solicitor Joseph Matal to perform the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. The position is effective June 7, 2017 and follows the resignation of Michelle K. Lee. Matal will serve in this role during the nomination and confirmation process for a new director.

As an Associate Solicitor in the USPTO’s Office of Solicitor, Matal has briefed and argued appeals of patent and trademark decisions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. District Court, and assisted in the development of legal positions taken by the U.S. Solicitor General in patent and copyright cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Matal recently served as acting Chief of Staff for the agency, and has advised the director on legislative matters.

Matal previously served as the General Counsel of the Judiciary Committee for former Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and as a Judiciary Committee Counsel to former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). In that role, he was the principal staff drafter and negotiator of legislation that became the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the first comprehensive patent law overhaul since 1952. Matal has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.



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Dear Colleagues,

Our article accompanying the PIUG talk is now available at Deep Learning AI for Patent Search and Analytics, along with links to additional material.

Thank you for your questions and comments at PIUG - we hope they were answered. We welcome any lingering questions.

We invite you to participate in our demos and trials, and help us fathom "deep" learning and secret patent "pass-phrases" (smile) 

best regards,

Sumeet Sandhu 

The 2017 Annual Meeting is done and by all accounts a wonderful success. Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who made it happen.  I am so sorry that I had to miss it.  One of my horses and I parted company and the ground has gotten very hard in my old age.  I am doing fine.  Missing the conference reminded me of how much I value the people of PIUG and the interaction with them.  I always come back from the conference reenergized about my profession.  I learn new things.  I remember things that I have forgotten.  I reconnect with people who have the same interests that I do.  The new term for it is of course "networking".  I suppose I tend to think of it more as enjoying my colleagues.  I value that personal interaction that the meetings bring.

I have been a member of PIUG since probably 1996 or 1997.  I view it as my professional organization that has fostered my growth as a patent searcher.  It is where I have gotten my continuing education.  I have made contacts in the industry.  I have made friends.  No other organization fits my needs as well as PIUG.  I know that there are many people that view this as a secondary professional organization but for me it is my professional home.  PIUG exists and succeeds because of the people who contribute to it.  It is easy for an organization to have the same cadre of people who do things, but it is important to get new people involved who bring new ideas and new energy.

One of the difficulties for volunteer organization is succession planning.  How do we encourage the next generation of volunteers and people who make PIUG great?  Currently we have several opportunities for people who want to make an impact on the organization. 

At the annual meeting, Tom Wolff announced that he would like to step down as the chair of the electronic communications committee.  The good news is that he is still willing to do the behind the scenes work that is required to keep us up and running.  What we are hoping for is a person who will lead us to the next phase of our electronic development.  What should our electronic presence be?  What should it look like?  If you have the interest and energy to devote to helping us get to the next place electronically, please let me know.

The next opportunity is sponsorships.  Jane Thompson has been leading our sponsorship efforts for the past few years.  She feels like it is time for some new ideas.  We had a meeting with our sponsors at the annual meeting to try and see what would help us be more appealing to them.  One suggestion would be to have our benefits be more cafeteria style so that they could pick from a menu of choices.  I am sure that there are other good ideas out there.  If you enjoy talking with sponsors and have some suggestions for enhancing our sponsorship, please let me know.  It would be great if there were a few people interested in this, so we could expand our ideas.

The final opportunity is a bit further out, but next year will be an election year.  We will have 5 officer and board member positions up for election.  It would be wonderful to have actual competition for our elections.  If you have any interest in being a board member or know of someone who would be good, please keep in mind that the call for elections will be in the winter this year.

I can assure you that you will receive more from participating in PIUG than you can possibly imagine.  If you have ever thought for a moment that you wish PIUG would do something (whatever that might be), please volunteer and help us continue to be the great group that we are.

Martha Yates


Hi folks,

I've just posted some supplemental materials to go with my presentation Seeing Our Work Through Other Eyes: Talking to Engineers About Patents and Patent Information. I had included a link to them in my slide deck, but I didn't actually publish the page until just today. I blame sleep deprivation due to the wonderful time I had at PIUG 2017 (smile).

Here's the link:

There you'll find:

  • sample questions for unstructured, open-ended conversations that can help you learn about conversation partner's views about patents, patent information, and patent information professionals
  • a sample Conversation Quick Reference Sheet (a "cheat sheet" you can use to summarize your preparation for your own conversations)
  • highlights from some of my own conversations with engineers about patents and patent information (these will be added soon...)

For all those at PIUG 2017 who managed to catch my presentation, thank you for coming. I was so happy to see so many of you in the session. And for those who spoke to me afterward, thank you so much for your feedback! 

Cathy Chiba

Twitter: @cathychiba



Sorry for the late notice for this, my horse and I parted company last weekend and I have been laid up.  I did promise that we would have call in information for the business meeting tomorrow.  It will be audio only this year as we judge the demand for it.  The meeting is from 4 to 5:30 pm Eastern time.  Use the conference number 877-366-0711. The participant code is 62557933.  The slides will be available for viewing during the meeting at PIUG 2017 Annual Conference Presentations - May 2017

I will be interested in your feedback.  I apologize for my absence, so even I will be calling in this year.


Martha Yates



The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has a requirement to understand the role of “Big Data” in filtering and prioritizing which patents to examine more closely for potential value and how to leverage big data in analyzing and determining a patent’s value with the continued efforts in an improved data capture system. In order to assess best ways to evaluate the value of patents, different patent metrics are considered, discussed, and re-evaluated by Intellectual Property (IP) professionals. There are several factors to consider in determining patent value. For example, the economic value of patents must be considered which has the potential to impact customer buying decisions. Also, quality, legal defensibility in addition to economic impact help define the potential value a patent may have.  The USPTO is issuing this RFI, as part of its market research, to understand the current existing methods used by industry and academia in this field and determine the best ways to evaluate the value of patents.

This RFI is issued solely for informational, market research, and planning purposes. It does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a promise to issue an RFP in the future. This RFI does not commit the Government to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. Further, USPTO is not seeking proposals at this time and will not accept unsolicited proposals.

Respondents are advised that the United States Government will not pay for any information or administrative cost incurred in response to this RFI. The USPTO is not liable for any costs (direct or indirect) associated with the preparation, submission or responses to the market survey or any costs associated with USPTO’s use of the information.All costs associated with responding to this RFI will be solely at the responding party’s expense.

Please be advised that all submissions become Government property and will not be returned. Not responding to this RFI does not preclude participation in any future RFP, if any is issued. Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the United States Government to form a binding contract. Although the term “Offeror” is used in this RFI, your response will be treated as information only and shall not be used as a proposal. It is the responsibility of the interested parties to monitor for additional information pertaining to this RFI. 

Requested Information

Interested vendors should provide the following information:

1.     Company Overview:

a.      A brief description of your company.

b.     Socio-economic status, business size, and size standard/applicable North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.

c.      Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number.

d.     Web site address.

e.      Government and commercial clients. Please include the scale of these contracts by dollar value, full time equivalent employees (FTEs), or number of annual contacts.

2.     Company Capabilities

a.      How do you define patent value?

b.     How do you see the relationship between patent value and patent quality?

c.      What is the role that Big Data plays in performing a patent value study?

d.     What processes and factors are used to identify good parameter(s) and predictors of high patent value? What are considered to be the “Gold Standard”?

e.      What challenges would you see in performing a study on patent value?

3.     Feedback

USPTO is seeking to understand current existing methods in the emerging field of Big Data and its relationship to a patent’s value in the marketplace, as well as identify quality metrics and predictors of high patent value using Big Data. USPTO welcomes any comments related to this requirement, even if they do not relate to an item contained in the draft.

 RFI Response Instructions

Questions concerning this RFI must be submitted no later than 4:00 pm ET, Monday, May 8, 2017 to

Responses to this RFI must be submitted no later than 4:00 pm ET, Wednesday, May 24, 2017 to The response should be no longer than 20 pages in length. Vendors should clearly mark any confidential and/or proprietary information in the response as applicable.  Proprietary information in the response will be protected from unauthorized disclosure.  Information submitted by vendors will only be shared with USPTO employees and contractors with confidentiality agreements.

Respondents to this RFI shall designate a primary and one (1) alternative point of contact for the company (name, address, email, and telephone number).


If you're attending the PIUG 2017 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA this May 20-25, please be sure to attend a free STN Patent Forum hosted by CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe.

Thursday, May 25, 2017
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, Maplewood

Topics will include:

  • What's New on STN
  • The CPC as a Search Tool - Mind the Gap(s)
  • Exciting Product Announcement!
  • Life at the Triple Point
  • Getting More Out of Your New STN Search

Lunch will be provided. For details and to register, visit STN Patent Forum.


Questel is offering the following free luncheon workshop  "The Road Ahead – Questel’s Latest Innovations, Partnerships, and Data Curating Techniques that Shift the Paradigm of Patent Search & Analytics in the Modern Era" at PIUG Annual Meeting 2017.

The workshop takes place on May 21, Sunday 11:30am – 1:30pm, Oakwood Room at the PIUG conference venue.

Do not miss this chance to learn how Questel integrates, normalizes, and effectively translates data; discover how Chemaxon’s chemical features will enhance Intellixir and Orbit Intelligence; see what’s next for Orbit Intelligence and Questel’s line of products. And enjoy casually networking with the fellow IP professionals over lunch. Registration required. 


Location: Oakwood Room at Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia (Atlanta, GA)

Title: "The Road Ahead – Questel’s Latest Innovations, Partnerships, and Data Curating Techniques that Shift the Paradigm of Patent Search & Analytics in the Modern Era"

Abstract: Questel workshop will cover three areas of focus: Questel’s curation techniques and management; recent partnership with ChemAxon and what that means for patent experts in the chemical field; and upcoming projects to incorporate more features and sources of data. The workshop will better equip patent professionals meet the demands of modern day patent analysis.

Tentative Agenda: 

- New Orbit Intelligence and Intellixir Features (30min by Eric Moran) 

- New ChemAxon Offering in Orbit and Intellixir (20min by Joe Terlizzi)

- Data Normalization (30min by Linda Williams)

- Q&A (15min) 

- Lunch and Networking (30min) 

Schedule conflict? Do not hesitate to come in at any time! 


Learn how Questel integrates, normalizes, and effectively translates data; discover how Chemaxon’s chemical features will enhance Intellixir and Orbit Intelligence; see what’s next for Orbit Intelligence and Questel’s line of products. 


Register Now! 


If you have any questions, please email our communication manager at  Looking forward to meeting you at the workshop! 


Learn more about Questel Orbit: