Tag Archives: the “opens”

EPO action on Green Patents

Guat Hong Teh sent me this link to an article in Nature http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100505/full/465021a.html describing an EPO initiative to make clean energy patents easily accessible in a central database:

The EPO trawled through 60 million patent documents and re-classified clean-energy patents according to 160 technical categories, such as carbon capture and solar photovoltaics. This should make it much easier to find patent information. The database launches in June through esp@cenet (http://www.espacenet.com), a gateway to European patent databases. Last year, the EPO received 1,259 renewable-energy patent applications, up 27% from 2008, and the new database will be updated daily to include the growing number of energy patents filed at patent offices worldwide (see Going green).

This is a real groundbreaker and is part of a trend that includes a fast-track program for green energy patent applications in both the USA and the UK.

A reminder that CAS, particularly through working with ICRISAT, has been instrumental in ensuring that literature relating to CG innovations is included in EPO’s non-patent literature database. Victoria Henson-Apollonio observes that:

This ensures that patent examiners are more fully informed about prior art and helps make sure that patents don’t cover what is already known and has been put forward by others; and this results in better quality patents.

Back to green patents: check out the Global Innovations Commons.

As part of their public service program, financial and IP innovator M•CAM has assembled an impressive database of public domain IP – mostly expired patents –  in categories such as agriculture, soil erosion and solar energy.  This information is freely available, but…

…here’s the catch. We’re sharing this under a license. The license is really simple. If you use this information, you must share what you’re doing with everyone else. If you improve upon it, you must share your improvements with everyone else. And finally, if you use any of this information, you must reference the “Global Innovation Commons.” That’s it. When you take the next step, turn the possibilities into realities.

Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP

Open Access Publishing; a question of institutional performance measurement

It’s one of life’s curiosities that once you learn a new word, it afterwards appears everyone is using that word and you wonder how you ever managed before! Something similar happened to me this week regarding my OA publishing questions. I had a meeting with the library of our hosting institution this week concerning the measurement of the institute’s scientific outputs. First on the list of measurable outputs was “peer reviewed articles published in journals”. This means the traditional journals and not OA ones. We had a short chat about the question of quality regarding OA journals. Then today, whilst researching for the blog I see the lead link “Open Access; the question of quality” – bingo!
The lead link post from Richard Poynder’s “Open and Shut?” blog makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the merits of OA publishing, particularly in relation to measuring impact/quality. In fact it reads like a mini-essay covering the key aspects of impact factor (IF) – how they work, quality, citation impact & advantage and tools being developed for the future.

One thing the post doesn’t mention is peer review – although this is brought up in a comment to the post. The comment suggests that the peer review process in OA journals are either absent or flawed. Peter Suber has included some analysis of the peer review process in the OA world in his blog/newsletters. See links below.

Of course these articles are clearly in the “Pro-OA” camp – but the arguments are such is seems, to me at least, difficult that anyone working in a “public goods” environment such as the CG could justify why OA isn’t standard policy? Note: blogs were designed as a forum to be able to make such bold statements, so please, if you disagree, post a comment! But whilst institutional performance measurement (and inevitably with it grant renewals, promotions etc) remain hinged upon publishing figures in traditional journals, embracing the new online community and its opportunities is going to be all but impossible.