Search Techniques for 21st Century Therapeutics and Technologies

Now in its fourteenth year, the PIUG Biotechnology Conference focuses on best practices for patent information professionals who specialize in biotechnology search and analysis. Within a changing business environment, patent searchers continue to provide value to companies and clients by maintaining contemporary knowledge of resources, technologies and industry trends.

The program committee is interested in receiving submissions by November 1, 2019 on the following suggested topics associated with the theme.  The theme is meant to inspire but not to limit topic selection - all topics related to biotechnology patent information research listed below will be considered. 

  • Cell and gene therapy including sequences, vector, delivery mechanisms, manufacturing/production, formulations and targeted indications
  • Presentations on scientific resources that will help biotech patent searchers develop and maintain their scientific knowledge and searching skills. Topic themes include technology platforms, biosimilars, including exclusivity information and the BPCIA “patent dance”, multi-valent antibodies as well as modifications, digital health including wearable devices, therapeutic vaccines, unitary patent, gene editing (CRISPR), CDR searching, combination therapeutics, advanced sequence  searching, biosensors, medical devices and diagnostics.
  • The use of computer assisted searching such as text mining, machine learning or artificial intelligence in biotech patent searching
  • How changes in the law or regulatory procedures impact biotech patent searching
  • The use of patent information as a pre-competitive intelligence tool, intellectual property valuation studies, in licensing/out licensing opportunity identification and patent landscaping
  • Practical suggestions to illustrate these themes are as follows: 
    • Best practices in constructing patent search strategies, reporting formats, and use of new tools for the organization/management of patent alerts/watches
    • Showcase methods for effective client engagement, user experience, attorney outreach and time management
    • The incorporation use cases in the academic, corporate and other sectors
    • Examples of how a work product supports or is a component of business decisions
    • Review the use of patent information as a competitive intelligence resource
    • Approaches to fostering continuous improvement, i.e., use of analytical &/or visualization applications, implementing quality control guidelines, team collaboration and knowledge sharing practices.

Follow us on Twitter at #PIUG20BIO

In addition, as always, we would be interested in presentations about a specific search scenario with the strategy described, databases used, results identified, or other tips and tricks.

Interested speakers should submit the following to Greg Roland (gregory.roland at novartis dot com) and Ellen Sherin (ellen.sherin at aptean dot com) by November 1, 2019:

  1. Proposed speaker name
  2. Brief biography
  3. Full contact information
  4. Presentation title Abstract (100 – 200 words)

If you are interested in submitting a paper but need extra time to obtain your management approval, please let us know by the October 25, 2019 deadline and if possible provide the topic title &/or a few sentences that we can consider in the interim.

  • The organizers reserve the right to accept abstracts at their discretion in order to assemble the best possible program. Invited speakers may take precedence over other speakers. Please be advised that your abstract submission may be published on the PIUG web site and related media, shortly after receipt or at any time thereafter. Therefore, do not include confidential or business-sensitive information in your abstract.
  • If you would like to recommend a speaker on a particular topic or suggest another topic of interest, we would appreciate hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact the PIUG 2020 Biotechnology Conference organizers, listed below, with your views.

Further news about the program and updates regarding the conference will be posted on the PIUG Discussion Forum (PIUG-DF) and on the upcoming PIUG 2019 Biotechnology Conference web page. 

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to seeing you at the PIUG 2020 Biotechnology Conference! 

The PIUG 2020 Biotechnology Program Committee:

Greg Roland
Ellen Sherin
Qin Meng

PIUG 2020 Biotechnology Planning Committee Chair:

Alison Taylor
Qin Meng


Jordan Bell
Barbara Miller


To support the President’s Management Agenda to leverage federal data into strategic assets, the USPTO Midwest Regional Office is hosting a Patent Open Data conference with the aim to help the public more effectively use and integrate patent information into their business.  This conference will focus on helping users access USPTO data, systems and tools, and discuss emerging trends and best practices.

For more information about USPTO Open Data, please see:

When: Tuesday October 22nd, 2019  (Exact hours to following in formal Eventbrite invitation)

Where: Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), 300 River Place South, #2900, Detroit, MI 48207

Remote:  Based on your interest and feedback, we may include the possibility to participate and present via WebEx.


Hands On:   Bring your laptop with data analytic tools

    • Tell your friends


Topics: Potential topics include a list of existing USPTO data sources, APIs, examples, and white papers.

The USPTO Midwest Region Open Data Conference program will highlight the latest technologies, regulatory issues, and trends in Open Data through case studies and real life customer perspectives. To learn more about USPTO Open Data resources, visit:

We are particularly interested in highlighting successful implementations in the following subjects/topics:

  • Integration of USPTO data into product development, marketing, business development, or planning
  • Integration of USPTO data with other data sources
  • Problems with existing USPTO data structure
  • Wants for future USPTO information and systems


Call for Speakers Now Open – We Want To Hear From You!

Interested In Speaking?

Contact:  Jennifer Rempfer at 313-446-6516

                  Please describe your proposed topic and provide a short bio

Speaker Requirements:

  • Speakers must adhere 100% to our "NO COMMERCIALISM" policy. 
    If you cannot avoid commercialism, please do not agree to speak.
  • Speakers must share their information in an educational, 
    non-commercial and non-self-promotional manner.
  • Speakers must provide session description for the conference web site.

Thank you for your interest in our Open Data Conference.  We will be sending a formal invitation and request for replies in the coming weeks.   


       Damian Porcari

       Regional Director

       Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

We hope to see you at this years' PIUG NE Regional Conference (ne19program) - September 23-25 in Iselin, NJ!  We're kicking off the conference with an STN Patent Forum, followed by a full day of plenary talks, followed by a half day of vendor-sponsored workshops!  Don't miss out!

There is also a networking dinner Tuesday night, after the plenary session (ne19networking) - sign up and join us!

Shelley Pavlek (on behalf of the program & planning committees)

AI-SDV is the "The Artificial Intelligence Conference on Search, Data and Text Mining, Analytics and Visualization"  

Presentations should emphasise new trends in intelligence, search, mining, analytics and visualization research and technology, and directly related areas   

AI-SDV brings together specialists in scientific and technical information, who want to update themselves and learn the latest from practitioners and technology specialists working in the field of AI, text and data mining, analytics, digitization 2.0, deep learning, visualisation, etc. The conference is an integral part of a three-day event of learning, networking and exploring technologies and concepts that are changing the way individuals and organisations work, rest and play. 

Conference topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • User – vendor case study relating to successful software implementation
  •  AI, Machine Learning, Machine Translation and Deep Learning
  •  New tools for competitive intelligence
  •  Search engine development, personalisation, recommendation engines, collaborative filtering
  •  Scraping content, semantic technologies
  •   New visualization tools and mapping
  •   Innovative tools for analysing or manipulating big data including news analysis
  •    Text and Data Mining tools
  •    Advances in text searching and analysis such as patent, techno-economic and news   searching), mining, mapping and analysis
  • User identification and testing new information tools
  •  Training and adoption  

The conference includes plenary sessions, expert panels and product updates from practitioners, vendors and subject matter specialists.   

Presentation submissions should include:

  • An engaging title
  • Short descriptive abstract - what attendees will take away from your talk
  •  Speaker biography (max 200 words)  

News of new innovative products or beta versions with substantial upgrades may also be of interest to attendees. 

Presentations accepted will be expected to make real contributions within the field of scientific, technical, business, patent and information searching, analysis and data mining – or in furthering the understanding of meeting participants within these areas.  

All presentations will be in plenary sessions to the full conference audience – there are no parallel or breakout sessions taking place.   

Conference language is English. Presenters receive one complimentary pass to the two-day conference (one registration per presentation).  Speaker reimbursement is not normally provided.   

Please send your proposals to Christoph Haxel at Dr. Haxel CEM GmbH (c @  

Deadline: 30th November 2019. However, we would also welcome proposals, suggestions, sponsorship enquiries, etc. prior to this date. 

There are also a very limited number of exhibition (table-top) spaces available on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the organisers early to secure a place. An additional benefit of exhibiting is that all exhibitors are provided with a short “product presentation” slot during the main conference.   

The organisers are also interested in featuring one (max two) post-conference workshops, which should be in the subject areas relevant to attendees. If you are interested in running a workshop please contact Christoph Haxelfor an initial discussion.

20 years ago this week, equipped with a 500-CD-capacity, 6-drive Panasonice jukebox loaded with Japanese patent A and B documents, some servers and a couple T1s, Paterra, Inc. launched the first fully automated internet service for machine translation of patents. The JPO's service wouldn't come online until 7 months later. Google Translate wouldn't come online for another 6 years.

I want to thank all of our clients who made this service possible.

And thanks to PIUG for bringing a market together that we could serve.

Alan Engel

Hi everyone,

STN is running the following e-Seminar in September -

Title: Searching value-Added Derwent Polymer Indexing in DWPI on STNext®

Abstract: Polymer searching is a uniquely challenging prospect, given all of the various ways polymers can be described in patents and the frequent need to also search for relevant properties and applications. This joint e-Seminar with Clarivate Analytics and FIZ Karlsruhe will show how the Derwent polymer indexing system greatly simplifies that task. The Derwent enhanced polymer indexing system will be explained in detail. The search examples will illustrate how to create polymer search strategies on STNext, including the correct proximity operators for linking polymers with the related concepts for optimal retrieval.

Date: September 19, 2019

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: September 19, 2019

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 Karlsuhe, Inc.

We are pleased to announce the Program for the PIUG 2019 NE Conference - Navigating Patent Information In A Flat World.  The conference will be held Monday, September 23 through Wednesday, September 25, 2019 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!

Shelley Pavlek, on behalf of the Program Committee

Good afternoon,

I'm hoping someone would be able to confirm or correct my understanding of grant dates for Japanese patents. The face of a published granted JP patent has two dates that are relevant to this question on it: INID code 24 - Date from which industrial property rights may have effect; and INID code 45 - Date of making available to the public by printing or similar process of a patent document on which grant has taken place on or before the said date (emphasis mine).

Am I correct in thinking that the grant date for a JP patent coincides with the INID code 24 date (aka Certificate of Patent), and NOT the publication date of the granted patent?

I notice Korean granted patents also have different dates in the INID codes 24 and 45. Is this similarly interpreted?

Are there any other jurisdictions that have different dates for the official grant date (INID 24) and the publication date of the grant (INID 45).

Many thanks in advance!

Definition of INID codes from

PIUG is co-sponsoring a symposium at the 2019 Fall American Chemical Society National Conference in San Diego.  This session is part of the ACS's Chemical Information Division program, and is called “Nothing New Under the Sun: The Practical Challenges of Patent Novelty Searching.”  This symposium will explore the issue of universal novelty particularly for the US inventor who is used to a grace period.  There will be a discussion of all the forms of non-patent literature which fall within the scope of this, such as conventional or open access journals, preprints, conference proceedings, collected works/secondary and tertiary literature, grey literature, social media, non-text media such as images and video.  Speakers will include PIUG members Stephen Adams, Edlyn Simmons, Ian Weatherbee and John Zabilski, as well as patent attorneys representing the legal aspects of patentability.

Our session will be held at the Omni San Diego Hotel the morning of Sunday, August 25.  You can register for a single day if you can't attend the whole 5-day conferencee.  Register at  

We are thrilled to announce that the second annual Patent Olympiad will take place October 27-29 in Bucharest, Romania. The competition is right before the EPO's Patent Information conference, at the same location, so one could combine the two events for outstanding networking, learning and competing!

Registration to the Patent Olympiad includes:

  • an optional (but fun!) meet and greet event on October 27 with a bit of sightseeing
  • one entry in the competition proper (the Exam) on October 28
  • admission to the awards presentation for Patent Olympiad on October 29, to be held during EPOPIC 2019 (details TBD)

You'll have a chance to meet your fellow research enthusiasts from around the world and share your love of patent research. Then you'll get to pit your skills against your peers in a tough but lighthearted competition for patent research glory. 

Last year, the competition brought together 21 participants from 10 different countries and we had a blast together.

The Patent Olympiad will be arranged in a three-part format.

  1. Invalidity search – you’ll have to find prior art for a given fictional patent 
  2. Prior art search – you’ve got to craft a search strategy
  3. Multiple choice - patent-related questions.

All of these challenges have been devised by our fiendish Quizmasters (Catherine Chiba , Linus Wretblad , Dr Nigel S. Clarke , Guido Moradei and Andrea Davis ) who have been dragooned from all corners of the world to give you a hard time :)

The seats are limited, so head over to our registration page and sign-up! If you have any questions, send an email to

The purpose of the vacancy announcement is to identify a consultant who would prepare a feasibility study on a certification scheme for staff of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs).

We are writing to your association in particular due to its experience in establishing certification programs closely related to the work of TISCs.

The vacancy announcement, including background information, expected deliverables, and applicant requirements, can be found at:  The URL for the vacancy announcement is:]

More information about TISCs can be found at:

The deadline for applications is August 9, 2019 (EOB).

At this time, the PIUG Collaboration with EPO and WIPO on Facilitating Access to Worldwide Patent Information has finished preparing the updates to the Patent Office Resources page on the PIUG wiki. The page contains links and high-level summaries of the information available on the EPO and WIPO websites. Suggestions on additional quick guides for Patent Registers from other countries and/or patenting authorities of interest to be included in this PIUG wiki page are most welcome. Please contact @Cynthia Barcelon Yang or @Cynthia Gallagher with any suggestions.

STN e-Seminar in July

Hi everyone,

STN is running the following e-Seminar in July -


Title: Legal Status Information on INPADOC

Abstract: The International Patent Documentation file (INPADOC) is a global collection of bibliographic and legal status information. The INPADOC database is produced by the European Patent Office (EPO), enhanced by FIZ Karlsruhe editorial team, and provided in two enhanced versions on STN: INPADOCDB in which one patent application represents one record, and INPAFAMDB, in which one global patent family represents one record.

In this e-seminar, we will provide a short introduction to INPADOC on STN, including an overview about the content and the database organization, and will present the legal status data of INPADOC in more detail. The STN implementation of INPADOC with two files allows efficient searching, from broad to highly granular. We will illustrate this by discussing different case studies, e.g. searching for country specific information from EP and PCT applications, searching for SPC information and discuss recent coverage extensions for pre-grant legal status information from US.

This e-Seminar will be of interest to those new on STN and also to more experienced searchers looking to update and refresh their INPADOC skills on STN.

Date: July 25, 2019

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 25, 2019

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.

Why I volunteer

I have been thinking about volunteering quite a bit lately.  We just got done with the PIUG annual conference, which requires lots of volunteers.  Last week, I did 2 days of trail training at the local state park.  I am the trail boss for the local chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of Missouri (don't ask, it was a weak moment).  The training was about how to build and maintain sustainable trails.  There is reduced staff at the parks and they need volunteers to help with the trails.  Then last weekend, I took my horse to a dressage show, which requires volunteers.  Volunteers are getting harder to find, so it isn't just PIUG.  I volunteer because I have always felt that if I was going to participate then I needed to help out.  If I am going to ride the trails, then I need to help maintain them.  If I am going to shows, then I need to help run them.  If I am going to be part of PIUG, then I need to help with its activities.  I was shocked recently when a co-worker told me that her parents didn't believe in volunteering.  I have not yet followed up with her to see just why they objected to it.  That is a contrast to my parents who volunteered a lot.  My dad was on the school board and coached sports teams.  Mom helped build and maintain trails and was very active in her church. 

One of my frustrations with volunteer organizations is that they seem to run on the same bunch of volunteers until those burn out and then the next wave comes through.  I have always thought that if there was a broader base, we wouldn't have to burn people out.  I do have a rule though that if you are going to complain about something not getting done then you should step up and volunteer to do it!   There are so many volunteer jobs that don't require a huge commitment.  We would love to have folks to help us with marketing the organization.  We need people to help with social media.  We need help with committees, particularly someone with vision for our electronic communications.  You don't have to do the back end work just provide some vision.   Sometimes, we just need feedback.  We need the next board (elections are in 2020).  That is a bit more commitment.  I have not perfected the fine art of tapping people on the shoulder and asking them to volunteer.  I always hope that people will find some aspect that they are interested in and will step up to make a difference.  

I think about everything I have gotten out of volunteering.  Certainly there is no better feeling than riding along a trail that you helped build.  But I have learned management skills.  I have learned cat herding skills (running a volunteer organization is a serious cat herding job).  Oddly enough, my job requires a great deal of cat herding.  I have no actual authority but I have a great deal of influence (just like PIUG, etc.).  I have wonderful friendships from all of these activities.  I also like to think that I am making the world a better place for everyone.  There is a sense of community and a sense of building something together that is hard to replicate any other way.  

Part of the trail training was how to manage a volunteer activity.  Safety was a main concern (fortunately that doesn't come up too often at PIUG).  Appreciation was another key element.  I have tried to up our appreciation quota in the last couple of years.  Reasonable expectations were another.  You don't expect people to kill themselves working on the trails.  We don't expect huge commitments from everyone.  We do want you to fulfill your commitment or at least tell us when you can't do it, but you don't have to make it a full-time job. I appreciate anything someone does for PIUG.  It might be the equivalent of building 100 yards to brand new trail or it might be lopping some honeysuckle back but it is still appreciated.  I just like the sense of accomplishment.  I like seeing and riding on trails that I have built or maintained.  I like going to horse shows.  I like going to PIUG conferences and training.

So, find something you are passionate about and volunteer.  I can assure you that you will be glad you did.  And that everyone in PIUG will appreciate it.

Martha Yates