Does the EPO really care about the quality of patent information?
The article addresses the issue of quality of patent information in relation to the EPO’s activities. It first points out that achievable quality is heavily dependent on the quality of the supplied original text, especially as the largely unalterable A publication is used for most retrieval purposes: the EPO has legally limited opportunities to improve quality at this stage. However, the article details the improvements that can be made to title and abstracts, and the added value supplied by classification information and by the search reports, particularly in the written opinions of the Extended European Search Report.The additional actions taken by the EPO internally to improve and maintain quality are also outlined. These include routine checks on applications, extensive training, and limited full personal responsibility until examiners are both fully trained and experienced. In addition, a more detailed quality audit on a proportion of completed applications is carried out, and also a procedure before action is completed is taken at the technical cluster level. Whilst the article comments on EPO procedure, it is the opinion of the author alone and is not an official EPO view.
Journal: World Patent Information - Volume 32, Issue 3, September 2010, Pages 233–236