IP Australia is undertaking to provide a patent data search facility that will eventually provide online access to all Australia patent data. (announcement) Anyone who has tried to obtain Australian patents or search for patents becomes stone-walled by the paucity of data available. Unfortunately, IP Australia has maintained patent data in a variety of systems and formats, including on microfiche for patent documents pre-1998. The diagram illustrates the various systems. View diagram
Looking forward in 2007, IP Australia plans to
- provide access to bulk patent bibliographic and status data with weekly updates;
- scan patent specification for ultimate production of searchable documents;
- set up a single access point for searching patent bibliographic and status data (currently access occurs through a web-based site for some data and a mainframe connection for other data).
The three U.S. patents owned by WARF cover nearly all research using embryonic stem cells. Much welcomed by scientists, WARF (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation) has announced that licenses and fees will be waived for non-commercial stem cell research. Moreover, it will no longer require companies that sponsor stem cell research at non-profit organizations to take out a license, the price of which ranged from US $75,000 to US $400,000.No tags for this post.
China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) granted 58,000 patents in 2006; more than half were granted to foreigners. According to SIPO, there has been a rise of patent applications from overseas since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. Yet, a recent survey from the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment revealed that IPR-related issues are a vital factor for decision-making by companies with foreign investment. About 68% of the surveyed multi-national organizations answered that IPR is one of the top three problems for doing business in China. Not surprisingly, trademark infringement is the number one concern.No tags for this post.