1030 am: Guest talk by John Tait
Patent Search – a Challenging Problem!
To be valid a patent has to show that it it describes a novel and useful idea. The test of novelty is that at the date of filing there does not exist in the public domain (in another patent, or the academic literature, or elsewhere, for example in the news media) an earlier description of the invention. This earlier, invalidating, description might well be presented in another language or using quite different technical terms from the way the idea is expressed in the patent in question. Thus patent search is a very challenging information retrieval problem.
Patent Search is also economically important. It is difficult to estimate the total value of the patents in the world economy, but it certainly runs into many billions of euros, and many thousands of people around the world are employed in the patent ecosystem: in Patent Offices; patent attorneys; translators; software and data suppliers; and elsewhere.
The talk will overview the field of patent search, relate it to developments in semantic search, and in particular review some of the recent work reported in our new book “Current Challenges in atent Information Retrieval”.