Margaret Allen has graciously accepted the role of volunteer coordinator for PIUG.  Her first assignment has been to put together a list of PIUG volunteers through the years.  She has everyone who has worked at a meeting since 2008.  However, we are lacking in participation on committees through the years.  Please send Margaret a list of your participation on committees (we have the board members) at .  She will be compiling the lists and there will be some volunteer recognition at the annual meeting.  We need this information by the end of March for best results.

Thank you to Margaret for taking on this project.  Thank you to everyone who has volunteered for PIUG through the years.  And thank you to everyone for providing this information to Margaret.

Martha Yates

2018 STN Patent Forum

If you're attending the PIUG 2018 Annual Conference in Alexandria, VA this May 5-10, please be sure to attend a free STN Patent Forum hosted by CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe.

Thursday, May 10, 2018
9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Westin Alexandria

400 Courthouse Square

Alexandria, VA 22314

Topics will include:

  • What's New on STN®
  • Strategic Searching for the C-Suite
  • From Start to Finish: Using a Multi-File Approach for Chemical Queries and Creating Virtual Records
  • Catch Up with STNextTM*


*Note: Hands-on session – please bring your laptop!


Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. For details and to register, visit


Jim Brown

FIZ Karlsruhe, Inc.



Someone contacted one of my colleagues to find out if she knew if Roy Zimmerman was consulting on IP.  I don't see him on the PIUG member list and Googling didn't turn up anything.  If someone knows what Roy is up to, please contact Rachel Wangerin.

Thanks, Carol


Hello fellow PIUG members.  I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself if we haven’t met and say a little bit more about my candidacy because there isn’t enough space in the “official” statement. 

My candidacy for member at-large is positioned on my being an advocate for searching.  I’ve spoke three times at PIUG meetings and presented some of the ideas that support my positions.  I provide links here in case anyone is interested.

1) Is Prior Art Valuable Service? A Corollary to Searcher Certification (5/2/2012) on PIUG 2012 Annual Conference Papers - Wednesday Afternoon.

2) Is Patent Quality Attainable (10/27/2016) on PIUG 2016 Northeast Conference Papers - September 2016

3) The Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative and Search: A Brief Timeline with Options for the Future (5/23/2018) on PIUG 2017 Annual Conference Presentations - Tuesday
Also in January 2017 PIUG submitted comments to the USPTO in response to a request for comments directed to an examiner time examination analysis.  I saw this as an opportunity to advance the idea that the PTO should separate search from examination and with the Boards permission was allowed to submit comments under PIUG auspices.   Here is the link for that document:

Moving forward, I believe that searching is due for reform.  The current examination model employing a single examiner and no applicant input was conceived in 1836 and is obsolete.  I will advocate positions designed to strengthen the role of searching in the patenting process.  I am willing to argue at least: 1) that low quality patents are the results of substandard searching, 2) that search and examination should be separated; 3) that a solution to low quality prior art is the responsibility of both the public and private sector; 4) for amending existing rules that contribute to low quality searching;  5) call for establishment of regulations to encourage private sectors submissions; 6) call for establishment of regulations that recognize searching as substantive patenting function; and.etc.....

 I look forward to the opportunity to promote patent information professionals by arguing for search reform.  

Thank you

Robert Grantham

 Redesigned Cover to Debut on Patent 10 Million Later This Year

Austin - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today unveiled the new design of the patent grant cover during a special ceremony at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. The redesigned cover will debut on patent number 10 million which is expected to issue sometime in 2018.

“American ingenuity has been at the forefront of every major technological revolution of the past two centuries, from steam engines to flight, and from the biotechnology revolution to the information revolution,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Andrei Iancu. “This new patent design not only celebrates how far we’ve come and the new frontiers we have yet to explore, it also represents the cornerstone and the currency of an American intellectual property system that has given so much to the world and will continue to do so for ages to come.” 

The patent grant cover represents the physical document issued to inventors upon the granting of a U.S. patent. The 225-plus year history of the patent cover has seen fewer than a dozen basic designs since President George Washington granted the first patent in 1790. Previous designs featured calligraphy, elaborate engravings, and high-quality typesetting.  

The patent office has only redesigned the document twice in the last hundred years, and the current design is more than 30 years old. A team of in-house USPTO graphic designers created the new patent cover design. After several iterations, Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld made the final selection.   

“This new design portrays a modern day flair while reflecting the history of patent covers by taking design cues from 19th and early 20th century patent cover designs, mostly through the use of script typography and graphic ornaments,” said Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld. “When our designers and Patents team were creating the new cover we wanted to create a design worthy of the significance importance that the document itself has to inventors, and its significance as a physical representation of American invention and ingenuity.” 

The ceremony, which was co-sponsored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), also featured remarks from Ethernet inventor, 2007 NIHF inductee, and laureate of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, Robert M. Metcalfe and IBM Master Inventor, Susann Keohane, IBM Global Research Leader for the Aging Initiative.

For more information on the historic evolution of the patent cover, including high resolution images of the new design, please visit:

Stay current with the USPTO by subscribing to receive email updates. Visit our Subscription Center at

STN e-Seminars in March 2018

Hi everyone,

STN is running the following e-Seminars in March –


Title: Structure Searching in STNext


Abstract: This e-Seminar will focus on structure searching on STNext. The STN structure editor will be explained in detail, including how to draw a structure using specific atoms and-or rings, variables, Derwent superatoms and STN generic nodes. An example structure search will be run in two substance databases (REGISTRY and DCR), and then the corresponding patent families will be found in the patent family databases CAplus and Derwent World Patents Index, illustrating unique hits found in each database. This e-seminar is geared to all levels of searchers.


Date: March 22, 2018

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

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

10:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)

9:00 am Central Daylight Time (Chicago, GMT-05:00)

7:30 pm India Time (Mumbai, GMT+05:30)


Date: March 22, 2018

9:00 pm Europe Standard Time (Berlin, GMT+02.00)

8:00 pm GMT Standard 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- 08:00)


Title: Catch Up with STNext


Abstract: Have you tried STNext yet? STNext is the premier access gateway for STN. Join us for an e-seminar to get oriented to STNext, find out what’s new and what’s planned for the future.


Date: March 14, 2018

2:00 pm Europe Standard Time (Berlin, GMT+02.00)

1:00 pm GMT Standard 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: March 14, 2018

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

7:00 pm GMT Standard 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- 08:00)


To register for these events, please visit –


Best regards,


Jim Brown

FIZ Karlsruhe, Inc.


We are pleased to announce that MaxVal will be sponsoring the 9th Global IP Exchange 2018 to be held in Berlin, Germany (March 12-14, 2018).

Global IP Exchange will bring together the leading Heads of IP, Patent, Trademark and Brand Protection to discuss about the new ideas and helps to strengthen the global IP strategy.

MaxVal, a fast-growing IP management company, helps companies and law firms across the globe manage their intellectual assets efficiently and effectively. MaxVal’s Symphony®, a data-driven IP management solution that integrates all aspects of IP management into a single platform which handles invention management, docketing, portfolio management, annuity payments, and more.

Global IP Exchange is one of the IP events which help the IP professionals who are focused on building a business-driven IP strategy. We are proud to sponsor this event and discuss ways Symphony® can help clients with their IP strategy,” said D. Bommi Bommannan, Founder and CEO of MaxVal Group.

If you are attending this event and would like to know how you can achieve data driven outcome optimization, contact to schedule a meeting with the MaxVal team.

About MaxVal Group, Inc.

MaxVal is a silicon valley-based tech-enabled managed 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.

Contact: Balakrishnan, 650-472-0640,

The PIUG 2018 NE Conference will take place October 8 - October 10, 2018.  The conference will be held at the APA Hotel Woodbridge in Iselin, NJ.  Volunteer opportunities are still available.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

World Patent Information (Elsevier) has recently published a conference report by Dr Christine Kämmer and me. China patent annual conference (CPAC) 5th 6th September Beijing. It contains a summary of the PIUG breakout session and other aspects of the event.

World Patent Information 52 (2018) 17-18:

Dear All,
following the many messages received we have set up a virtual board where Susan's colleagues and friends are invited to add their personal memento, wish or prayer. You can add text, images or videos at this link.
The board will be finally sent her husband Paolo and her sons Tom and Emily, preferably by March 23.
Thank you in advance!

Bettina & Guido

 * * *

The CEPIUG Board with infinite sadness announces that our dear friend and chair Susan Helliwell has passed away last night.

Sue, you will always be in our thoughts!

The CEPIUG Board

Huge sums of time and money are invested to support ongoing research and development efforts globally, particularly in the most innovative industries like pharma, healthcare and biotechnology. The global R&D spending [1] is at a record high of US$1.7 trillion of which 80% of total spending is only from the Top 10 countries.

While these statistics may suggest increased intensity of companies in R&D spending, we should also understand that these efforts will only yield returns when they are awarded enforceable ownership through exclusive patent rights. Intellectual property rights, especially patents, help companies protect their business interests by allowing them to reap the fruits of their innovative efforts through exercising their right to practice in strategic markets. This is evidenced by the increase in the rate of global patent filings across all major industries.

But, can filing alone guarantee a patent grant? Certainly not! Read the full post here.

In order to promote PIUG in China more efficiently, we launched an official account via WeChat that is the most popular communication app in China. 

In this official account, we posted the introduction of PIUG, membership, training program and the latest conferences. 

If you/your friends/your colleagues have any interest in this, you are welcome to join us.


1, setup WeChat app on your mobile phone.

2. scan this QR code and select Follow.


Thanks your joining and help.


John Wu

MaxVal is participating in the 40th Global IP Confex - 2018, an event where IP professionals meet services providers to discuss technologies and strategies to address their IP related challenges. The conference will be held at Executive Conference Center, Marriott Marquis Hotel (San Francisco, CA) on Feb 28, 2018.

Global IP ConfEx brings together the In-house Counsel, Law Firm Partners, Law Tech Professionals, Tech Vendors and Selected Service Providers around the world to share their views and solutions to resolve some of the operational challenges in Litigation, Technology, Software, eDiscovery, Risk, Security and Compliance.

As an exhibitor, MaxVal will demonstrate its flagship product Symphony® – an end-to-end intellectual asset management solution for companies--that enables IP Counsel to make strategic, data-driven decisions.

“MaxVal is focused on providing tech-enabled solutions that assist IP Counsel to spend less time on administrative activities and more on strategy. I believe that Global IP Confex is a great platform to meet IP professionals from across the globe, exchange views and share solutions that can elevate their Intellectual Property management,” said D. Bommi Bommannan, Founder and CEO of MaxVal Group.

If you are attending this event and would like to know how you can achieve data driven outcomes optimization, contact to schedule a meeting with the MaxVal team.

About MaxVal Group, Inc. 

MaxVal is a silicon valley-based tech-enabled managed 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.

Contact: Bala Krishnan, 650-472-0640,

In celebration of PIUG’s 30th anniversary, we are putting together a book of Pearls of Wisdom.  What we are looking for are hints and tips for patent searching.  You might also think about factoids of something that fascinates you about working with patents.  What do you wish someone had told you at the beginning of your career?  Please include your name and affiliation as you want it in the book.  You might also include the year that you first joined PIUG or the number of years that you have been a member.  The book will be given out to attendees of the annual conference and available for purchase after the meeting.


Please use the link below to contribute text and pictures (jpeg).  We would like for responses no later than April 1, 2018.  If you have any questions, please contact Martha Yates at   By clicking on the link below you will be taken to Solentro’s website where you can easily write your text.  You may either write directly on the site or copy from another document and paste your text and upload images.  Anything you want to say should be in the box.  Your affiliation should also be in the box.

Thank you for your contribution!
(If the link doesn't work - copy it and paste it in your browser.)


Solentro—make your own book!  The easiest way to transform your personal texts into unique and beautiful high quality books.

 Martha Yates


CEPIUG, the Confederacy of European Patent Information User Groups, established in 2008 and now counting 12 User Groups and more than 1.000 members throughout Europe, is happy to announce

the CEPIUG 10° Year Anniversary Conference

Milano, Italy, 9-11 September 2018

The CEPIUG 10°YAC is a no-profit, sponsor-free event, completely organised by patent information professionals volunteers, members of the European User Groups, for patent information professionals, in collaboration with the prestigious Politecnico di Milano. Your chance to learn & discuss the current state and future of our profession in Europe.

A three days full programme including 6 main sessions, more than 40 speakers involved in presentations and panels, a fascinating story of the profession, an exposition of professional tools, a unique networking opportunity, an exciting search trial, a celebration party in the wonderful city center, and much more!


Welcome to patent searchers and analysts, patent offices information specialists and examiners, IP attorneys and lawyers, academic researchers and innovation managers!

A full immersion in the patent information world which offers a special opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and colleagues how to:

- begin searching, improve your search skills, provide tutoring

- organise your job and let your company get the most from the information

- face hard cases, old and new search issues

- make a better use of professional tools and automatic search systems

- have more and up-to-date training & education opportunities

- get the QPIP Certification (announcements to be made!)

- help your User Group to play an active role in improving the profession


The participation fee will be limited to cover the costs with a safety margin, the possible revenues will be used to create a fund for the future activity of CEPIUG.

Don't miss it, register in time to be able to say, then: I was there!

Programme details and accommodation suggestions will be provided in the following weeks. Participants' registration to be opened in April.

To be kept informed about the organisation developments, to propose a paper or a workshop or for any question please send an email to and keep checked the CEPIUG website and the CEPIUG Linkedin Group.