[ASC-media] Unlocking innovation: Australian patents now under the Lens
niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Mon Jul 16 06:17:31 CEST 2007
Australian patents now under the Lens
Canberra, 12 July 2007
For the first time, the full text of Australian patents can be searched,
viewed and printed at no cost, by anyone, thanks to a non-profit
international organization based in Canberra. Finally innovation in
Australia can be done with a clear view of the playing field.
CAMBIA (www.cambia.org <http://www.cambia.org/> ) has extended its
worldwide patent resource the Patent Lens (www.patentlens.net
<http://www.patentlens.net/> ) to include Australian patents. The full
text of over 115,000 Australian granted patents and over 580,000 patent
applications have been added to the Patent Lens collection of almost
seven million worldwide patent documents.
Patents are limited monopolies granted by Governments over inventions,
and when properly disclosed, can show new options for innovation but can
also give warnings of possible pitfalls.
"Until now, the crucial information in Australian patents, such as what
was invented and what is claimed, simply has not been searchable" said
CAMBIA CEO Richard Jefferson. "If you don't know what's out there, you
can't know whether you can deliver your own inventions and ideas. And
you can't build on others' work. Worldwide innovation depends on
clarity and transparency of patent rights."
The prestigious journal Nature Biotechnology agrees. In a recent
editorial focusing on CAMBIA's patent work called "Patently Transparent"
it said, "It is estimated that under-exploitation of technical
information... costs European industry alone $20 billion each
year-simply because the inability to access relevant patent information
results in duplication of effort or the creation of products that
overlap with prior art... CAMBIA's Patent Lens is a giant leap in the
Researchers, investors, policy advisors, as well as business and legal
professionals wanting to search Australians patents had limited options
until now. Previous publicly available searches were limited to the
"front page" information such as titles, patent numbers and inventors
Not only are the Australian patents now fully text-searchable, they are
linked to their counterparts internationally, and the status of the
patent family can now be easily determined. To achieve this goal, the
Patent Lens team completed Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of almost
ten million pages of Australian patent documents to turn the images into
The Patent Lens (www.patentlens.net <http://www.patentlens.net/> ) is
the rapidly growing informatics platform of the new international
Initiative for Open Innovation (IOI), whose goal is to increase the
equity and efficiency of science-enabled innovation for social benefit.
The Initiative for Open Innovation also comprises the BiOS Initiative
(www.bios.net <http://www.bios.net/> ), aka the Biological Open Source
movement, dedicated to democratizing problem solving in health,
medicine, agriculture and environmental management.
Richard Jefferson is available for interview and is speaking at a Deakin
Lecture in Melbourne on 16 July 2007 on who owns innovation and the
impact of patents on the use of science to enable solutions to
real-world challenges. It's a free public lecture at 6.30 at the State
Library, details at www.deakinlectures.net
Richard Jefferson, CAMBIA BiOS Initiative: +61 (0)419 499 753,
r.jefferson at cambia.org
or Renate Hays, Executive Officer, +61 2 6246 4500, r.hays at cambia.org
<mailto:r.hays at cambia.org>
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