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Patent information dissemination by patent offices: striking the balance


  • Ebersole, Joseph L.


This article explores the relationship between the services provided by private sector patent information providers and those provided by patent offices, in the Internet age. While it refers specifically to the scene in the USA, and to the Coalition for Patent and Trademark Information Dissemination, the principles developed are presented within a worldwide context. The main principles proposed are that patent offices' policies should encourage a diversity of sources for patent information and should create an environment for maximizing competition among private sector patent information providers, patent offices should recognize that functionality is value and functionality costs, patent offices' policies should be informed by competition law, by antitrust law principles of fair competition and by the policies expressed in the EC Database Directive, and that patent offices' funding allocations should give the highest priority to improving the quality and efficiency of internal operations. Also discussed are the problems inherent in the desire of patent offices to give targeted help to particular user communities, for example SMEs.

Suggested Citation

  • Ebersole, Joseph L., 2003. "Patent information dissemination by patent offices: striking the balance," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 5-10, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:25:y:2003:i:1:p:5-10

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