Ilse Wiame

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European Patent Office

Ilse Wiame obtained an MSc in engineering in biotechnology from the University of Leuven in 1997. She has gained experience in academia and industry before joining the European Patent Office in 2003 as a patent examiner in the field of biotechnology.

Tue July 9 | 2:00 - 4:00
ABSTRACT: Classification of synthetic biology patents and patent applications

In order to properly examine a patent application, the patent office first needs to determine the state of the art for the claimed invention. This is done through a search in collections of documents and databases of patent and non-patent literature. The huge collection of worldwide patent documents is systematically accessible by means of classification symbols. These classification symbols are assigned by the patent office to published patent applications and to patents and they are publicly available and searchable. The European Patent office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have together developed the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system, which was launched on 1 January 2013 and which has the capacity to become the future international standard in patent classification. Classification relevant to the field of synthetic biology includes classification of proteins according to origin or function, classification of fusion proteins according to the function of their subunits and classification of expression systems according to their host cell. Patent classification can be used by the synthetic biology community to search the wealth of information present in patent databases. It also serves as an example of how a database of biological parts can be organized.