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European Patent Office

A publication of the European Patent Office ISSN 1024-6673

Patent Information

"Including family" In view of comments that it caused confusion, the "including family" tick-box on the Number Search screen has been removed. Users can still retrieve all INPADOC family members via the bibliographic screen of a document. Subgroup truncation for ECLA With regard to searching in the ECLA field, users will be happy to hear that we have introduced subgroup truncation. It will work by means of an asterisk (*): eg G11B5/62*. Please note that the asterisk is the only truncation permitted in this field. "Y" tags can now be used to retrieve nanotechnology documents in the same way that searching with ECLA codes retrieves documents (see http:// =339). Users' wishes are one of the main drivers of esp@cenet development, so please let us know your suggestions and requirements. You can contact us via the esp@cenet helpdesk (espacenet@epo. org) or the esp@cenet forum (http://

EPO responds to users' requests

Reflecting the increasing influence of the esp@cenet user community on the development of the esp@cenet service, the latest round of improvements scheduled for launch in late June is derived from users comments and suggestions. The main changes are described below.
In this issue

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esp@cenet forum

Implementation of IPC8 data in EPO bibliographic databases Editorial Searching using IPC 8 a reader's views MIMOSA prototype for Lithuania


"No English title available" he "no English title available" message that appeared frequently in esp@cenet was a source of much frustration to users. From now on, if a document does not have an English title, esp@cenet will display a German language title, or, if there is no German title, a title in French. Failing the availability of a title in English, German or French, the title in the original language will be displayed. "My patents" storage time We have increased the storage time for the "my patents" list from 30 days to one year. Improved mosaics and "maximise" functions Navigation through the "mosaic" pages has been improved by the introduction of key accelerators for the mosaic html pages, and use of the "maximise" function has been enhanced by the addition of a "Close" button to the maximised screen.

Databases and patent information services in Japan Are you fit for Asia? How to communicate the value of your patents RSS feeds on WIPO's PatentScope Publication News Other News

Changes in Korean Patent Law

Patent Information news

2 / 2006 June 2006

esp@cenet forum

n addition to the helpdesk, helpfiles and esp@cenet assistant, the esp@cenet user community can also make use of the esp@cenet forum at The forum is a place where users can share tips and tricks with one another, as well as good and bad experiences. The forum features lively debate on a wide range of topics. We at the esp@cenet team read it every day. We use it to test the temperature of a number of issues, such as the options for searching IPC8 in esp@cenet, and we take the postings into account when considering changes and improvements to esp@cenet. Following the launch of the forum in 2003, the number of registered users has grown from around 900 in January 2005 to 4 500 in May 2006, and the total number of visits to the site is now well into the millions. We are delighted with the way it has evolved and would encourage all esp@cenet users to make use of this significant resource. Signing up to the esp@cenet forum is an easy and effective way for you to get your opinions and ideas onto the esp@cenet agenda. It is free of charge, and you only need to provide a nickname and an e-mail address in order to register. Keep an eye out too for news sections with information on forthcoming esp@cenet releases (in advance of rollout) and a new OPS thread. We'll also be asking for volunteer users to test new esp@cenet features and functionality. Join now and make your contribution to the esp@cenet user community:

Implementation of IPC8 data in EPO bibliographic databases status update

F (first) and L (later) indicators ince the publication of Patent Information News 1/2006, our research has led us to conclude that the information given at that time about first/later (F/L) indicators was not entirely correct. We erroneously reported that neither EP nor FR frontfile documents carry F/L indicators. In fact, all countries

WIPO provides an interactive IPC validation tool at ipc_check.php. WIPO also provides "natural language" interfaces for looking up IPC symbols these are TACSY, available at, and IPCCAT2 at

supplying IPC8 data to the EPO to date use the F/L indicators for IPC8. However, this only applies to newly created entries in the Master Classification Database (MCD). Any documents that receive their classifications via propagation from other family members do not carry F/L indicators. For example, the EPO applies the F/L to new EP publications if they are new publications in their own right and not based on an earlier (eg WO or EP-A) publication from before 20061. Since the whole process was new for everyone involved, there may be some minor inconsistencies with respect to the F/L indicators, particularly among the initial batches of documents delivered to the EPO after the introduction of IPC8. These inconsistencies will, where possible, be gradually corrected over the course of 2006. Repository of IPC8 validation files and IPC7 to IPC8 conversion tables The IPC8 scheme is administered by WIPO. The IPC8 core level schemes and IPC7 to IPC8 conversion tables are available, mostly in XML format, from the WIPO download area at classifications/ipc/en/download_area/. Descriptions of the individual IPC8 symbols (in English and French) can be found at ipc/ipc8/?lang=en.

The complete IPC8 validity file is available at WIPO has established a special e-mail address for all enquires relating to the IPC. Please write to First revision of the IPC advanced level The table below shows the technical fields currently under discussion as candidates for inclusion in the next revision (probably in January 2007) of the advanced level of the IPC.
A01N65 Botanical pesticides non-macromolecular components H04H H04W Broadcasting distribution systems Wireless communications

C08K, C08L Combinations of macromolecular and

For further information, see

Note to experts: in such cases, the classifications carry a "B" (basic) in position 39 of the ST.8 string. F/L indicators cannot be applied to the "R" (re-classified) classifications of documents published before 2006 or their family members.

Access to these sites is restricted to registered users.

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Patent Information news


Sharks in the swell mous need for action on the part of the Commission. The Commission would be taking another look at the Community patent - which a number of participants would like to see renamed the "European Union patent". He went on to say that, in Japan and China, the development of IP strategies was seen as a political task of the highest priority; here too the European Union must take action, to put Europe in a position to counter the fully established IP strategies of American firms. By way of illustration, he said that the tide, having been out for a while, was now about to turn. On day two of the conference, the speeches and presentations revealed the speed with which China has built up its patent system. Zhao Hong, Deputy Director General of the Office of Trade Negotiation at the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, said that it had taken some European states 200300 years to do what China had achieved in just a quarter of a century. All the speakers from industry were agreed that foreign applicants in China benefit from a very fair and effective procedure, which offers rapid protection at reasonable cost. At the same time European industry was urged to use the Chinese system and to file for IP rights, otherwise actions against infringement would be unsuccessful. In Europe intensive efforts are being made to increase the proportion of patent applications from universities. In China this proportion has already reached the level of the USA. The result is high-quality applications for basic patents in key technologies. As Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said in June 2004: "Future competition in the world is IP competition....". And that brings me to the image of the shark in Jaws. If the tide of applications continues to rise, bringing with it a flow of applications which cannot be ignored by European industry, the full texts of these Chinese patent specifications must be made available to industry in English translation, otherwise the great white shark will rise up again and again from the swell of poorly accessible patent documents, and European industry will be its victim.

On 3 and 4 May 2006, the European Patent Office staged a two-day "European Inventor of the Year" conference and gala in Brussels. The theme for day one of the conference was "A competitive patent system for Europe", while day two was devoted to "Patent Business in China".

n his speech on day one on the state of the IP system in Europe, David White, Director of the European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry, voiced a number of criticisms of the current situation. He also mentioned that, many years earlier, he had sat with his wife in the very same conference room to watch the film Jaws. He had thought at the time that someone was bound one day to use the image of the shark and its gaping jaw in a speech or article on IP. Well, his prediction is about to come true. Meanwhile, in an extremely critical analysis of the current IP situation in Europe, Thierry Stoll, Deputy Director General, DG Internal Market and Services, said that there was an enor-

Wolfgang Pilch Principal Director Patent Information

Searching using IPC 8 a reader's views

ollowing our article on the IPC in Patent Information News 1/2006, we were delighted to receive the following contribution from Paul Gilbert, a patent searcher working in the UK1.

In my involvement in patent searching over the last 25+ years, I have seen enormous changes in the technology and search tools available. During this time, the evolution of the IPC has been gradual, with the launch of IPC8 being the most radical reform to the established system. However, whilst this reform provides more detailed classification in certain areas (vital with the rapidly changing pace of technology), the use of IPC (or any classification system) still requires the consistent application of classifications to publications by patent offices and information providers.

After all, there is no point in searching a classification that has never been applied to publications in a meaningful way. If a classification exists that describes a particular aspect of an invention, then it is perfectly reasonable to assume that it would have been applied by the issuing office or, at a later date, by an information provider. Equally, the existence of that detailed classification should not preclude the invention from being classified at a broader classification level, covering generic aspects of the invention. On the face of it, these requirements appear to be admirably met by the Core and Advanced levels of IPC8, but as searchers we are still dependent on the searchable data being applied consistently to the databases. The advanced classification provides an opportunity (indeed, a duty) for all relevant classifi-

cations to be included and for the searcher to feel confident that the thought processes involved in identifying a relevant classification are in accord with those of the examiner. Mr Wolters article in issue 1/2006 of Patent Information News raises interesting arguments and, like him, I hope that issuing offices and information providers will build on this unique opportunity to create and apply a totally consistent classification system that searchers worldwide can use with complete confidence. Paul Gilbert, Search Manager Barker Brettell, UK
If you have something to say about European patent information, then why not put it down in writing and send it to the editors of Patent Information News at
1 This article represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Barker Brettell.

Patent Information news

2 / 2006 June 2006

MIMOSA prototype for Lithuania

prototype of the Lithuanian Patent Office Official Gazette has recently been developed, containing information on patents, trade marks and designs. The production version will also include information on decisions of the Division of Appeals and on professional representatives. Special features Unlike the PDF version ( en/index.php?c= gazette.php), the new Gazette, including attorney, applicant, inventor and proprietor information, is searchable with MIMOSA. The trade mark notice view includes a new MIMOSA hyperlink to WIPO's Vienna Classification web information. A hyperlink to the Nice Classification will be integrated in the final version. The document view provides bibliographic and legal status information. Full-colour trade mark images and current status data are also available. For more information, please contact Ute Koplin ( or Ignacio Muoz Ozores ( MIMOSA user software goes Lithuanian A Lithuanian-language version of the MIMOSA user software has been released with the prototype of the Lithuanian Patent Office Official Gazette, adding to the list of existing language interfaces. The Lithuanian interface will be part of the MIMOSA Version 5.2 release later this year.

MIMOSA LTOG prototype - example from the expert search mask for trade marks

Information about MIMOSA is available at

Exploiting synergies between products

ave you ever wondered how we prepare EPO data so that the software you use can read it? Well, one of the tools we use to produce the input data for both the European Publication Server and ESPACE products is known as "JTASK". What is JTASK? Developed for use by the EPO and the national patent offices, JTASK is a data processing console. For example, in order to produce an ESPACE database containing basic bibliographic data, images and PDF documents, the person responsible for preparing the database would run JTASK to create a database that could be used by the MIMOSA retrieval software. What are the benefits for patent information users? Because JTASK can be used for both the European Publication Server and ESPACE, we can consolidate some of the production and reduce the overall number of processing steps. This saves time, and helps us not only to eliminate sources of errors but also to guarantee consistent data quality across the various products and databases. As a result users will see more harmonisation in the handling of certain data elements, such as classification symbols. Thus JTASK is helping us to exploit synergies among patent information products and to meet users' demand that our patent information products should be "complete, correct and timely".

Electronic publication attracts EPO member states

epresentatives of the national patent offices of 19 of the EPO's member states and from WIPO attended a special event in Vienna in May 2006 to discuss topics such as the European Publication Server, MIMOSA, ESPACE ACCESS-EPC and Java-based production tools. The new Lithuanian Patent Gazette (see separate article), which was presented at the event, showed how MIMOSA could be used for other types of IP publications such as trade marks and designs. The EPO also presented ESPACE ACCESS-EPC, which offers bibliographic and English abstract data from the EPO's member states from 1990 onwards, and demonstrated how it could be used as an online product. Delegates asked the EPO to look into releasing the product online as soon as possible. Feedback has indicated that such meetings are welcomed as an opportunity for key players at the technical level to exchange views and ideas on best practice, which could in turn lead to the creation of interesting new services and products.

2 / 2006 June 2006

Patent Information news

Databases and patent information services in Japan

Readers of Patent Information News with an interest in Japanese patent information will probably already be aware of the PATOLIS (Patent Online Information System) database. For decades, PATOLIS has been the single most comprehensive source of information on all types of industrial property rights in Japan.

well as non-patent literature and business information. The advanced search functions include classification searches with IPC, FI and F-terms (with a context menu offering examples of correct input formats for classification symbols), and keyword searches in the full text, claims or abstracts. A "concept search" option (similarity search based on natural language input) is available for Japanese as well as US patent documents. The search result can be displayed and downloaded in PDF, HTML, XML or CSV formats.

adly, the PATOLIS-e Englishlanguage version is to close in September 2006. This news has prompted the EPO to take a wider look at the services available in Japan, and we have discovered a number of new database services and service providers that have come onto the scene in recent years. Currently, there are some 20 commercial companies in Japan offering patent information databases. This article introduces two such databases, which offer search and display features of interest to the non-Japanese user. HYPAT Web Founded in 1951, the Japanese commercial company Hatsumei Tsushin ( has been providing patent information services for more than 50 years. Its "HYPAT Web" internet

HYPAT Wet output format with abstract, claims and drawing

data (1983 to 1992) was OCR scanned, and the claims of the scanned documents from 1986 onwards were checked manually to guarantee data quality. HYPAT Web offers advanced search functions, including classification searches with IPC, FI and F-terms (including a searchable reference guide to the full F-term lists), keyword searches in the full text, claims or abstracts, and SDIs. Users can perform statistical analyses on the search results, eg to identify the most relevant IPC classes in the results list or the most active applicants in a particular technical field. Another HYPAT Web feature is the "concept search", which allows natural language input and ranks the documents retrieved. In a second step, a "re-ranking" function improves the search result further. HYPAT Web also offers complete legal status information, split into information about applications, grant/ post-grant information (including payment of annual fees and due dates of annual fees), appeal information, and citation information. Where available, a link from the citation allows the direct download of the cited document in PDF format. NRI Cyber Patent Desk NRI Cyber Patent Ltd (www.patent., part of the Nomura Research Institute group (, was the first company in Japan to provide patent information and technical information via the internet. The NRI Cyber Patent Desk is a fully fledged patent portal offering access to patent documents from Japan, the USA and Europe, information on PCT documents and patent families (INPADOC), as

NRI Cyber Patent legal status flowchart with citations (left frame)
NRI Cyber Patent offers complete Japanese legal status information, retrievable via the application number. For each legal status event, the legal status code, code description, effective date and fees (if applicable) are displayed. Forward and backward citations are linked for direct download of the cited document in PDF format. A convenient feature is the presentation of a document's current legal status by means of a flow chart (see example), showing all the steps in the patent granting procedure in Japan. Steps not yet taken are in grey, and the legal status events that have taken place are in blue. A click on any of the blue boxes in the flow chart opens the relevant legal status code and displays the effective date and the code description or any additional information available (eg cited documents in the case of a decision of refusal of an application). For more information, please contact Irene Schellner (, +43 1 52126 4372) or the EPOs Asian patent information team (

database offers access to Japanese patent and utility model documents from 1971 to date. Data is available on the day following its publication in the official JPO gazette. A feature of HYPAT Web is full-text searching and downloading of documents from 1983 onwards. The backlog

Patent Information news

2 / 2006 June 2006

Are you fit for Asia?

Did you know that ...?
... you no longer have to register to use the KIPRIS search system? On 28 April 2006 all KIPRIS (Korea Industrial Property Rights Service) databases stopped asking users to register with a user ID and password. Registration is still needed, however, if you want to download the full search result or save your search queries. The KIPRIS system offers access to the patent & utility model database, Korean patent abstracts, and the trade mark and design databases. You can access it at ... KIPO has revised its patent fees? A new price structure for annual renewal fees, and additional fees for claims, in place in Korea since May 2006, introduces a fixed price for basic annual fees from the 13th year onwards. In cases of request for preferential examination, the additional fee for claims has been dropped. For more information, see KIPO News - "Patent fee and preferential examination fee reduced starting May 1" on the KIPO website: eng/. .... SIPO has relaunched its website? The redesigned Chinese Patent Office (SIPO) website was launched on 24 April 2006 at The EPO's step-by-step search guides to the Chinese interfaces of SIPO's databases have been updated to reflect the changes to the SIPO site. They are available on the EPO's FAQ - Far East web pages at http://patentinfo. _ east/china/db_search/index.en.php. ... China has released its Action Plan on IPR Protection 2006? The action plan, released on 8 March 2006, defines China's tasks in IPR protection for this year. An English version can be found at index.shtml. (Source: China Daily and

Newsletter April 2006 - edocs/pctndocs/en/2006/pct_news_ 2006_4.pdf) .... the file histories of JP applications and full JP documents are available from the JPO's IPDL? As part of a new service introduced on 27 March 2006, the JPOs free Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) offers the file histories and the text of communications from the JPO to applicants dating from July 2003 onwards. On the same date, the IPDL started offering patent documents of up to 1 MB for download in PDF format. Bigger documents are split up and can be downloaded in parts.The IPDL is available at: homepg.ipdl. These services are in Japanese, but easy step-by-step guides are available from the EPOs FAQ - Japan section at http:// patentinfo.european-patent-office. org/prod_serv/far_east/japan/db_ search/index.en.php. ... Malaysia will soon be joining the PCT? Malaysia deposited the instrument of accession to the PCT on 16 May 2006. This means that it will become a PCT contracting state on 16 August 2006. Fit for Asia in 11/2 days As already announced, our special Asian patent information hands-on training days will take place in Vienna on 21 and 22 September 2006. Japanese and Korean colleagues will participate as trainers at this event. Details are available at programme/2006/asian_pi.php

... the Chinese government has set up a National Working Group for IPR Protection? The working group's tasks include drafting IPR laws and regulations, improving IPR enforcement and increasing general IPR awareness. English translations of Chinese laws and regulations. along with other documents, including the IPR Action Plan 2006, can be found on the working group's website at ... in 2005, the CTMO received the most trade mark applications in the world for the 4th year in a row? With 664 000 applications received in 2005 (a 13% increase on the previous year), the Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO) was once again the number one receiving office in the world for trade mark applications.(Source: Managing Intellectual Property,04/2006) ... another change in the numbering of Japanese PCT applications is expected? The JPO is expected to accept international applications filed fully electronically using the PCT-SAFE software by the second half of 2006. Applications filed this way will be assigned numbers beginning with "34", (eg PCT/JP2006/340001). (Source: PCT

Changes in Korean Patent Law

ccording to an official press release by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), a revised Patent Act is due to enter into force in Korea on 1 October 2006. The main changes introduced by the revised act are as follows: Novelty At present, an invention that is not publicly known or worked within Korea is considered novel. Under the amended law, an invention will lose

novelty if it is publicly known or worked in any country. Extended deadlines Where the deadline for submission of a document falls on a Saturday, it will be extended to the following Monday. Opposition and invalidation Since opposition and invalidation procedures often overlap, causing a delay in the settlement of patent disputes, these two procedures will be integrated into one system.

Entry into national phase The time period for entering the Korean national phase will be extended from 30 to 31 months after the priority date of the PCT application. Substantive examination for utility model At present, utility models are registered without substantive examination, which is only carried out upon request, eg for enforcement or in infringement cases. Under the new law, all utility model applications will undergo substantive examination before grant.

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Patent Information news



How to communicate the value of your patents

Publications corner is a regular feature of Patent Information News, providing readers with statistics and general information about EPO publications.
Patent publications

he previous issue of Patent Information News featured an article on various approaches for determining the value of your patents. In this issue we will be looking at how you can communicate this value to different interest groups. To do so you need to consider the requirements and expectations of the various groups concerned. For example, if you want to convince small-scale private investors with a low level of technical knowledge of the value of your patent, there would be little point in describing the technical subject-matter of the patent or the evaluation method in too much detail. It would be better to use more general language to illustrate the benefits of the invention for the target group and its significance for your company. In contrast, the information needed by a potential licensee with in-depth technical knowledge is more detailed and complex. Fig. 1 illustrates this correlation.
Fig. 2
Licensees, business partners, customers Complexity of communication process high medium low

The level of complexity of the communication process indicates which communication medium is the best for any given case. For private investors, for example, unidirectional media, such as company reports, may well suffice, whereas for licensing agreements personal contacts are indispensable. According to the Media Richness Model produced by Daft and Lengel (1984), use of the wrong medium leads to either unnecessary complication and too much additional information, or inappropriate oversimplification. In Fig. 2 the model is used to illustrate which media should be used to communicate the value of your patent and thereby to achieve economic advantage for your company. For more information please contact Johannes Schaaf at

January June 2006

Weekly average

Total Jan-June 2006

Change vs. 2005

EP-A documents
EP-A1 EP-A2 Total EP-A1 + A2

842 406 1 247

21 883 10 545 32 428 66% 11 908

12.1% 3.7% 9.2%

Percentage EP-A1 of total A1+A2 EP-A3



EP-B documents

1 223

31 798


EP-A1: European patent applications published with search report EP-A2: European patent applications published without search report EP-A3: European search reports EP-B1: European patent specifications EP-B2: revised European patent specifications Note: The table does not include statistics on European patent applications filed via the PCT route (Euro-PCT applications). These are published by WIPO and are not made available by the EPO unless they are in a language other than English, French or German. Currently about 60% of all European patent applications are Euro-PCT filings.

Guide for applicants (Euro-PCT)

n updated version of the "Guide for applicants", volume 2 (Euro-PCT) is now available free of charge in English and German (French will follow) on the EPO website at, or on paper by writing to

Fig. 1

Level of information required low medium high


Venture capitalists

Media richness medium



Financial and economic journalists Small-scale private investors




Analysts, institutional investors

Unnecessary complication (too much information)

co m

Medium Personal contact Analyst conferences Documentation for analyst conferences Documentation for shareholders Company reports







Inappropriate simplification (no feedback)



low medium high Level of technical knowledge

medium high low Complexity of communication process

Web service access to the European Publication Server

Source of illustrations: Wolfgang Burr and Michael Stephan, "Performance Excellence - Zeitschrift fr Controlling und Innovationsmanagement (ZfCI)", issue 03/2006.

RSS feeds on WIPO's PatentScope

IPO has just enabled RSS feeds on its PatentScope internet service. This means that you can use RSS on PatentScope to receive updates on your search results every Thursday when new PCT applica-

tions are published. For more information go to news_004.html. The IPR-Helpdesk has published some general information about using RSS in a patent environment: www. EN/howToFindAPatent.html

he European Publication Server is the authoritative source for EP documents. It is free of charge. Access to the European Publication Server using "web services", based on SOAP technology, is now in its pilot phase. The new web services route to the Publication Server will offer PDF, SGML and/or XML data. More information is available on the EPO website at https://publications. server_webservice_doc_v1.pdf or by writing to

ESPACE ACCESSEPC recent improvements

Drowning in information

he explosive increase in the amount of IP information available online is not being matched by a corresponding increase in IP awareness. In a recent article published by WIPO, EPO director Paul Schwander explores some of the phenomena and current trends in this area: www.wipo. int/sme/en/documents/ip_info_serv_ innov.htm.

he ESPACE ACCESS-EPC database contains bibliographic data and English-language abstracts from 29 of the EPO's member states. Following a radical overhaul of the abstract preparation process we are pleased to announce that the proportion of bibliographic records with Englishlanguage abstracts associated with them has risen to about 81%. IPC reform As the database is updated quarterly for distribution on DVD-ROM, the March 2006 volume was the first to contain IPC 8 information. It is now possible to search and display the available IPC 8 information arranged according to the advanced, core, inventive and additional categories. To subscribe to ESPACE ACCESSEPC, which costs EUR 150 + p&p per year, including quarterly updates, please contact

Programme for EPO Patent Information Conference

Discontinuation of the Online European Patent Register and Online Public File Inspection

ollowing the successful implementation of Register Plus, the EPO will discontinue its "Online European Patent Register" and "Online Public File Inspection" services as of Monday, 3 July 2006. Register Plus is available at

he programme for this year's EPO Patent Information Conference, and all the details you need on registering are available on the conference website at: epidos/conf/epopic2006.

Some important telephone numbers

Vienna information service Tel.: +43 1 52126 4051 Fax: +43 1 52126 4533 e-mail: EPO on the internet Tel.: +43 1 52126 4032 Fax: +43 1 52126 3292 e-mail: Paper publications Tel.: +43 1 52126 4548 Fax: +43 1 52126 2491 e-mail: Electronic publications advice line Tel.: +43 1 52126 2411 Fax: +43 1 52126 2492 e-mail: EPO Customer Services are open for your enquiries on all matters relating to European patents: Tel.: +49 89 2399 4636, e-mail: Subscriptions Tel.: +43 1 52126 4546 Fax: +43 1 52126 2492 e-mail: INPADOC helpdesk Tel.: +43 1 52126 115 Fax: +43 1 52126 3292 e-mail: Asian patent information Tel.: +43 1 52126 4545 Fax: +43 1 52126 4197 e-mail: Training Tel.: +43 1 52126 1043 Fax: +43 1 52126 4533 e-mail: Switchboard Tel.: +43 1 52126 0

Publisher: Wolfgang Pilch Managing Editor: D. Shalloe Contributors: P. Avdikian, N. Clarke, P. Gilbert (Barker Brettell), P. Le Gonidec, L McDonald, H. Moohan, I. Muoz Ozores, P. Paris, W. Pilch, K. Rowles, J. Schaaf, I. Schellner, D. Shalloe, V. Vajsbaher, A. Wenzel Design: Atelier 59, Munich Patent Information News is published by the Principal Directorate Patent Information, European Patent Office, Vienna sub-office, Rennweg 12, 1030 Vienna, Austria, Tel: +43 1 52126 0 The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the EPO. ESPACE, esp@cenet and epoline are registered trade marks.