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Annual reports 2004 - Section 3

 



Modernization of Automated Systems as a Most Important Direction of Long­Term Development of Rospatent

3.1 Program of the Comprehensive Modernization of the Automated Systems

Within the implementation of the program for the comprehensive modernization of Rospatent's automated systems, in the year under review the following works were carried out:

  • Beta testing and deployment of a new searching system for trademarks “TM-EXAM-SEARCH” (Version 1) was completed including a daily exchange of data from the existing automated system “TZ RF” to the new system; the works on its integration in the real-life environment were performed for ensuring the compatibility of performance characteristics with the proposed hardware architecture;
  • Preparatory works on the specification of the second version of the searching system on trademarks “TM-EXAM-SEARCH” (Version 2) were initiated;
  • Works were also initiated to define the main components of the specification of an automated system for processing and controlling electronic document flow for trademarks — the system “TM-ADMIN”. The concept of the system security was tested;
  • Works were completed to define the main components of the specification of the search system for inventions — the system “PAT-SEARCH” and the software of the first iteration was developed;
  • The establishment of the computer and equipment infrastructure in the framework of the development of the Rospatent networked infrastructure is nearing completion whereas the number of computerized workstations for users will be augmented.

In the automated system of processing applications for inventions, utility models and industrial designs (ABD) the works were completed to converse the software and data under DBMS PICK to another type of basic DBMS — UniVerse. This transfer resulted in a higher degree of fail safety, in the increase of a number of users up to 500, enhanced efficiency of the system moreover, necessary prerequisites for the use of modern means of data exchange with Microsoft applications, creation of a graphical user interface and implementation of the Internet-technology were arranged. The operation of the application processing system under control of DBMS UniVerse enabled the implementation of a number of new tasks, in particular those of electronic handling of applications for inventions and utility models and drafting of the outgoing correspondence at the working station of the examiner.

During the year 2004, the automated system “Industrial Designs of the Russian Federation” (AS ID RF) was run on a more powerful software system Microsoft SQL based on a server implementing up-to-date searching functions. In addition to an automated preparation of Official Actions in the AS ID RF, there was provided a closed cycle of electronic document flow ranging from the filing an application for industrial design to an automated preparation of data for the print-out of Letters Patents and publication of data about a patent. The exploitation of this system facilitates the processing of ever growing amounts of application filings without increasing the number of personnel.

In the framework of an automated system “Trademarks of the Russian Federation” (ASTM RF) , works were completed to develop a unique system of the search for similarity and identity of graphical elements of trademark designations, on the basis of a linguistic module — the system “SYLOIS-Version 1”. The system was brought into a full-scale operation for the examination of the entire incoming flow of applications.

As regards the national procedure of the trademark registration, the works which were carried out to modernize the AS TM RF made it possible to avoid the use of paper files completely.

For the international procedure of the trademark registration in 2004 Rospatent implemented automated procedures enabling paperless exchange of data on international registrations in electronic form between WIPO and Rospatent, in the framework of the joint MECA project whereas the latter is being used as a basis for the creation of a system for electronic document handling. The measures taken enabled to discontinue the maintenance of paper files relating to the international registrations and to carry out the examination of trademark filings based on the access to the international registrations directly from the working station of the examiner.

In 2004 the works were completed to establish the electronic archive of application files including the electronic dossiers of applications relating to inventions and utility models received from 1996 and onwards. Electronic dossiers contain primary filings including the request for granting a patent, description of the invention, claims, drawings; the mentioned components are presented in TIF or RTF or DOC formats. The use of data from the electronic archive presupposes the implementation of some subsystems of electronic document handling and a subsequent transition to a complete processing of documents exclusively in electronic format.

In 2004 the works aimed at the receipt of applications on electronic medium (as a third copy) were continued; the number of such applications amounted to 2221 whereas the electronic medium was filed additionally as a third copy in respect of 1845 applications.

Necessary Software and technology were developed and implemented to ensure the conversion of the received applications for industrial designs (lists of substantial features) to the electronic format XML and transfer them for a subsequent use thereof for the purposes of the examination and publication.

The software enabling the receipt of electronic TM applications in the on-line mode was developed.

To ensure the archive storage of applications a necessary software designed for the use in the environment RM 600 computer under the Solaris OS and UNIVERS DBMS was developed and is presently being implemented.

3.2 The Implementation of Data Bases and the Software MIMOSA



In 2004, the software MIMOSA was updated by introducing a new version — software MIMOSA v.4.3, which provides enhanced capabilities regarding the preparation of search requests, performance of searches as well as display and viewing of retrieved and selected documents.

The number of patent databases using the updated version — software MIMOSA 4.3, including the databases from the collection “Patents of Russia”, was increased greatly. From 2004 onwards, the collection “Patents of Russia” on optical media was converted and supplemented. At present the collection comprises: a database “Cumulative Index” (bibliographic data and abstracts for 1994—2001), an abstract database (bibliographic data and abstracts/claims of applications, patents for inventions and utility models of the Russian Federation for 1994 up to date), a full-text database (bibliographic data and full texts of applications and patents of the Russian Federation for 1924 — to date), a full-text database (bibliographic data and full texts of Inventor's Certificates for 1924–1993). This simplifies searching in patent databases on optical media, since a new collection “Patents of Russia” makes it possible to perform searches, by using a single search request prepared under the Software Mimosa, through all backlog files dating from 1924 up to date, while handling a relatively small number of disks, what considerably reduced necessary search time. One of considerable advantages of this MIMOSA version is that the examiner, after having performed a search on optical media, may without leaving this software, open up a full text of a document available, for example, in a Internet database, or identify the address of the full text of this document on optical medium CD-ROM/DVD-ROM. This makes possible for the examiner to access a greater number of national and foreign data bases, by using a single search request, save considerably his or her time for searching and make it more convenient.

Searching in patent documents of the CIS countries was extended in 2004 thanks to the addition of databases containing full specifications of Belarussian patent documents for the period 1994-2004 and a database containing the Official Bulletin of Uzbekistan.

The computerization of searches in scientific and technical literature aimed at the improved information support of examination in the field of non-patent literature was carried out in 2004 for the following directions:

  • identifying new ways of access to narrow subject-matter databases in Internet and electronic information resources provided on websites of various libraries;
  • preparation of Instructions and Guidelines on the access thereto and use thereof;
  • providing a smooth access to those data bases;
  • conclusion of agreements allowing the access to scientific and technological databases on the Internet (e.g. the databases “VINITI”).

In the reporting year databases available in the CD-ROM collection were updated in the area of Patent law and general legislation. The said databases contain a variety of Laws, Instructions and other methodological and explanatory documents of WIPO, EAPO, Russia, as well as the legislation of Moscow, Moscow Region and the legislation of St.-Petersburg.

In the year 2004, the CD-ROM collection was supplemented as before, with disks containing databases related to “Trademarks” covering protective titles published since 2002, and the databases related to “Industrial Designs” covering protective titles published from 1993 to 2004.

Table 3.2.1 shows the number of disks available in the CD-ROM collection with breakdown in respect to various countries.


Table 3.2.1

Receipt of New CD­ROM's Containing Patent Documents In The Patent Examination Collection

Country

Number of Disks Received in the Year 2004

Total Number of Disks by the End of the Year 2004

EP,WO,CH,FR,DE,US,GB

16

279

AT

12

150

CH

34

144

UK

28

210

AU

72

443

EP

153

2479

WO

89

1638

EP,WO (Abstracts DVD)

17

209

US (DVD)

104

1612

JP (Abstracts)

23

279

JP (Full text)

126

1542

FR

40

314

DE

109

851

RU (DVD)

42

338

SU (DVD)

60

86

CA

163

765

CIS

165

557


By the end of the year 2004, the FIPS CD-ROM collection amounted to 117 Databases, which were located on 13,243 disks (CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs) containing information related to thirty two countries and four international organizations.

To overcome a language barrier and reduce time for studying and analyzing the retrieved patent documents, the works aimed at the use of an automated translation PROMT system are underway. At present, one personal computer in each room of examination divisions was connected to a networked version of the PROMT system. As a result, the examiners may use the PROMT system which contains collections of specialized English, French- and German-language dictionaries for a large variety of examination subject matter fields. In addition, in the CD-ROM room the examiners are provided with machine-readable dictionaries Lingvo and Multilex.

A set of Indices providing access to the CD-ROM collection were continuously updated both in electronic form and on paper. The said search tools are in large demand with examiners, since they improve efficiency of searches in databases on optical media and facilitate conditions of their performance. To maintain the said search tools in updated condition and to support the newly added databases, complete and concise guidelines were prepared, whereas the existing guidelines were revised and refined if necessary.

The status and use of the CD-ROM collection broken down by years are shown in Table 3.2.2.


Table 3.2.2

Use of the CD­ROM Collection Broken Down by Years

Items

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Number of Disks Received

1693

637

674

2095

1318

1343

1116

1461

1373

1494

Number of Users (Examiners)

215

296

1358

1793

2245

4210

3519

2732

2565

1684

Number of Disks Handed out

566

598

4978

7160

12876

27367

24091

15660

8986

2597

Number of Disks in Collection

1693

2330

3004

5099

6417

7760

8912

10382

11753

13243


In 2004 there was a decrease in the number of examiners who performed searches in CD-ROM databases and, accordingly, in the number of disks requested by these examiners for searches, as compared to similar data in the preceding years.

Such changes were caused, first, by a further computerization of the Institute's examination divisions and optimal distribution of workstations among examiners for searches. This allowed examiners to carry out a higher number of searches while using the same number of workstations in the divisions. Second, improvements in the patent databases by storing them on more capacity-efficient carriers, i.e. DVD-ROM media, accompanied by the reduction in the number of required disks, also resulted in lower values of the total amount of disks handed out in 2004 to examiners for searching purposes.

Thirdly, a high number of searches were performed in databases via Internet and a quite number of those databases cover patent documents of several countries and organizations within one and the same database and, consequently, less time is required for searching.

Nevertheless the real decrease of the use of disks in the CD-ROM Room turned out to be less than expected since additional capabilities were offered for searching through CD-ROM's. Thus, the examiners could combine the use of CD-ROM's with searches via Internet in the database “Patents of Russia”, database of the EAPO, Espacenet, in commercially available databases “Delphion”, those of VINITI as well as in subject-oriented databases offered via Internet.

The examiners' demand of different databases available in the CD-ROM room varies considerably. The number of requested access to various databases in the CD-ROM room is shown in Table 3.2.3.


Table 3.2.3

Number of Requested Accesses to Various Databases in CD­ROM Room

ACCESS

77

Patents of Russia

42

GLOBALPAT

195

PAJ

153

Russian Medicine

754

MEDLINE

9

DEPAROM

6

Derwent Biotechn. Abst.

58

RLS

31

CISPATENT

43

ЕАПВ EAPO

37

WO

366

EP

4

USAPat, USAApp

12

CIS

56

www Patents of Russia

229

Delphion

129

Espacenet

133

www Other БД

400


Table 3.2.3 shows that the highest usage rating was held by the narrow subject-matter database “The Russian Medicine” followed by the database “ESPACE WORLD”.

The database “GLOBALPat” containing IPC-systematized patent documents of five countries (USA, Germany, France, Great Britain, Switzerland) and two international organizations (EPO and WIPO), with a backlog starting from 1971 (the year 2004, inclusive) enjoyed as before a high demand.

Next to its active use by examiners were the database “PAJ”, that contained abstracts of Japanese patent applications in the English language, from 1976 to date, and the database “Patents of Russia” on the Internet as well as the EPO database “Espacenet”, “Delphion” and the database “ESPACE ACCESS”, which provided a search tool for the full-text collections “ESPACE EP”.

To enhance skills of examiners to perform searches on electronic media in national and foreign databases the examiners were constantly trained to handle the main types of information and retrieval systems, to formulate search requests and work with an automated translation system PROMT. In additiion Guide-lines on the use thereof were prepared.

A greater part of examination staff was already trained in this respect. Newly recruited examiners were provided with training regarding searches in local and remote databases. As a result, practically all examiners who passed through training courses could perform computer searches independently.

3.3 Databases Used for On­Line Searches

In 2004, the examiners had at their disposal more than 200 databases covering both patent and non-patent documents that were accessible for on-line searches.

First and foremost, these were free-of-charge databases of Patent Offices and some databases containing non-patent documents accessible to examiners directly from their workstations in the examination divisions.

Among the generally accessible patent databases on the Internet, the following were widely used: the databases of Rospatent, the EPO database Esp@cenet , the USPTO database, the database of the Japanese Patent Office, the database of the German Patent Office (Depatisnet), the WIPO database IPDL. Among the free-access databases of non-patent literature, the most frequently used databases were PubMed (medicine) and ChemWeb (chemistry) of the US National Library.

In 2004 an agreement with the EAPO was concluded what provides for access to its internal search system EAPATIS which included, along with documents of the PCT Minimum Documentation, BY, KZ, KG, MD and TM documents. The said EAPATIS system provides for good search capabilities and allows to perform a simultaneous search in several selected data bases.



In addition to the above mentioned databases, examiners' access extended to the following commercially available databases:

  • 200 databases provided by the STN International network, which covered both patent and non-patent literature. The STN provided for a unique possibility to search in network through structural chemical formulae. STN databases most frequently used by the FIPS examiners were REGISTRY (the database of chemical compounds), CA (chemical abstract database);
  • patent databases of the Delphion network; in 2004 a new agreement with the Thomson corporation who is the owner of this data base was concluded which provides access for examiners of the FIPS to DWPI (Derwent World Patent Index) via Delphion network;
  • databases of Japanese patent documents in the English language (Patolis-e). Examiners had to apply to this database due to limited searching capabilities and the availability of the English-language documents in free-of-charge databases of the Japanese Patent Office (IPDL of JPO).

Besides, in the framework of bilateral cooperation with the European Patent Office the examiners of the Institute had a free-of-charge access to a part of the in-house retrieval system of the EPO. In 2004 the examiners received the access to a new version of this system providing an enhanced user interface and enriched search capabilities in comparison to the previous version (EPOQUE). In 2004 a group of examiners were trained in the use of this system during a visit to the Hague.

Access to commercial databases and EPOQUE system was provided in a special remote database access room, with the support by skilled personnel trained in the performance of searches. The same personnel were engaged in the preparation of instructive and methodical manuals regarding the on-line use of available databases (both free-of-charge and commercial ones). Here, the examiners were trained to optimal searching methods in remote databases.

Examiners resorted to a special remote database access room, as a rule, in cases where more information resources were required for searching, which was impossible to receive from their workstations, or where the examiner's skills in a computerized search were insufficient to obtain the required results.

Throughout the reporting year some 1200 searches were carried out. For the most part these searches were performed in databases of the STN network and the retrieval system EPOQUE.





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