The Three-day training on Patent Databases Searches and Development of Technology Innovation and Support Centers (TISCs) concluded successfully on 26 April 2019 coinciding with the World Intellectual Property Day. The training was organized by the Department of Intellectual Property (DoIP), Ministry of Economic Affairs in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The initiative is a part of the capacity-building program following the establishment of three TISCs last year in the College of Science and Technology, the Jigme Namgyel Engineering College and the TechPark Pvt. Limited. The DoIP is the National Focal Point between the WIPO and the national host institutions.
The TISCs were established with the primary objective to create and provide a platform for the local inventors, academia, technical institutions, entrepreneurs, industries, relevant government organizations and research institutions to access freely available patent (invention) databases such as Patentscope and Espacenet which contain at this point of time over 110 million global patent documents.
Patent documents have been overlooked as an information source by scientists and engineers, probably because they are mostly used to referring to academic textbooks, scholarly articles, journals and similar publications. Nevertheless, today the world has come to realize and acknowledge that patents, once registered and published by Intellectual Property Offices around the world, are a rich and important source of research and technological information. Patent publications provide current information of a technology field as it discloses the invention, modes of carrying out the invention, drawings, and discussions of the background art relating to the invention. Most patent databases are cumulative collections of worldwide inventions in the form of full-text documents, with collections dating back as far as 1790 in the US and 1869 in case of the Canadian collections. The Patent databases are being updated daily around the world and are growing exponentially, with a recent record of more than 3 million patent applications filed annually across the globe.
One of the main advantages of the patent information database is that it represents very often the only source of information about some technical solutions, bearing in mind that it is the first publication and sometimes the only one, due to the precondition for patent protection i.e. novelty. If TISCs can make these patent documents accessible for local research and innovators in the country, they are providing them the tools not only to avoid “reinventing the wheel” but also to utilize prior art and innovate over the existing knowledge with clear potential to add more value. The DoIP expects that through such intensive trainings, the TISCs will be able to readily provide the access to patent databases, and other scientific and technology resources to users who feel the need to understand a given technology for further use. The TISCs will also facilitate access to other commercial scientific and technology resources such as “Specialized Patent Database”, “Research for Development and Innovation” and “Research for Life Databases” to which Bhutan has been provided free access to by the WIPO in view of our Least Developed Country status.
The TISCs project is approved by the member states since January 2014, the project has been fully mainstreamed within the regular activities of WIPO and forms part of the program on Services for Access to Information and Knowledge under the WIPO Development Agenda to “[facilitate] the national offices of developing countries, especially LDCs, as well as their regional and sub-regional intellectual property organizations to access specialized databases…”. The TISC programs thus, provides innovators in developing countries with access to locally appropriate, high quality technology information and related services, helping them to exploit their innovative potential.
Over the three days, besides the capacity building exercises the discussions also included other issues related to the institutional set-up and further strengthening of the network with the WIPO officials. The Hon’ble Tengye Lyonpo awarded certificates to the 30 participants who comprised of officials from TISCs and other related agencies.