Annual Report 2019

01.04.20

ISBQPIP ANNUAL REPORT (short version)
Date of report: 7 April 2020

This report covers the period 31 August 2018 (the date that the ISBQPIP was officially established) to 31 December 2019.

1. Establishment of ISBQPIP

After about nine years of hard work by a group of volunteers, the ISBQPIP was officially registered at the Chamber of Commerce in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 31 August 2018. The first Supervisory Council (SC) was nominated by the Professional Representatives Collegium (PRC). The PRC consisted of representatives of the following patent information user groups as per 31 December 2019:
• AIDB (IT)
• BEPIUG (BE)
• BPIP (UK)
• CFIB (FR)
• CHPIUG (CH)
• PING (DE)
• SPIP (ES)
• IPCC (JP)
• PDG (EP)
• PIUG (US)
• SIPIG (SE)
• WON (NL) 

2. Qualifications & Continued Professional Development Committee

In the beginning of 2019, the Qualifications & Continued Professional Development (Q&CPD) committee was established. This committee has a number of duties, one of them being reviewing applications for Prior Experience Recognition and deciding whether an applicant has met all of the eligibility requirements as specified in the Rules.

3. Accreditation Committee

The Accreditation Committee (AC) was composed of four members of the CEPIUG Education & Training committee which was already active before the establishment of the ISBQPIP, and four people who had become QPIP via PER in 2019 and who had indicated the Accreditation Committee as one of their preferences regarding their willingness to contribute. 

The aim of the Accreditation Committee is to review training and courses and make recommendations to the Supervisory Council to accredit a training or course that provides suitable content of sufficient level to prepare candidates for the examination. These courses could also be used by QPIPs as part of their Continued Professional Development.
The committee drafted a spreadsheet that summarises some of the available training by updating and extending the previously collected information. The committee also drafted a first version of a document describing the “Standards and Criteria for QPIP Training Accreditation” and a template for evaluating courses. Unfortunately, the information was not yet ready for publication, as per 31 December 2019.

4. Examination Committee

Although several volunteers were on the list of volunteers for this committee, the committee had not yet been fully established in 2019. Drafts of the exams were already in preparation, but will need additional work in most cases.

5. Regulatory & Disciplinary Committee

The tasks of the Regulatory & Disciplinary Committee are among other things to assess compliance of QPIPs with the CPD requirements by performing a random audit, and to assess any written complaints made against a QPIP. This committee had not yet been established by 31 December 2019.

6. Prior Experience Recognition

In order to give the organization some weight and to create a pool of experts from which volunteers for further ISBQPIP activities could be drawn, an opportunity was provided to become QPIP via Prior Experience Recognition (PER) to patent information professionals residing in the United States of America and in Europe.

In total 280 applications were received from residents of 17 countries. After assessments by the Qualifications & Continued Professional Development (Q&CPD) committee 262 people received the Qualified Patent Information Professional (QPIP) title, confirmed with a certificate. 

As more applications were received than expected and the ISBQPIP runs on a volunteer basis, it was decided not to open a PER window to residents from other countries in 2019.

7. Examinations

The exams are in preparation and will consist of
• Search paper
• An opposition, validity or novelty search to be conducted; and
• A patent infringement risk search to be conducted
and for both cases a choice of various technical areas will be provided.
• Analysis paper
• Mini scenarios to test legal knowledge in context; and
• Technology-neutral case to categorize provided documents as being of interest or not; and
• Short questions related to patent landscaping; and
• Technology-neutral case to test patent landscaping skills.

The aim of the ISBQPIP was to organize the first examinations in February 2020. After extensive investigations on how to organize the exams logistically, the SC found an organization that specializes in computer based testing and that provides examination facilities worldwide. However, several questions regarding the functionalities of the examination platform remained unanswered during 2019, which prompted sufficient concern for the SC to postpone any decision until definitive clarity on the issues would be obtained. Since the actual logistical preparation of the exams would take at least 6 months, by August 2019 the SC concluded that it would not be feasible to hold the exams in February 2020. It therefore appears that the first opportunity would be in February 2021. (Note, the Rules state that the exams should be held in February, the reason being that marking and any appeals by candidates can be finished within the same calendar year.)

8. Continued Professional Development

According to the Rules each QPIP shall be required to collect ten Continued Professional Development (CPD) points per calendar year and to keep a record of their CPD activities. In order to test the system and overcome any start-up problems, the requirement for those registered as a QPIP in 2019 was only five points. A template to record the CPD activities has been made available via the QPIP website. 

9. Presentations

Presentations on the ISBQPIP and its activities were held at:
• CEPIUG 10th Anniversary Conference, Milan – Italy, 9-11 September 2018 (Supervisory Council)
• PIUG Annual Conference, Alexandria (VA), 4-9 May 2019 (Susanne Hantos)
• PDG Annual Members’ Conference, Copenhagen - Denmark, 23-24 May 2019 (Bernd Wolter)
• Basel Information Day, telco/Basel – Switzerland, 1 October 2019 (Bettina de Jong)
• I-HIPP (In-House IP Professionals) meeting, telco/Bangalore-India, 17 October 2019 (Susanne Hantos)
• WON meeting, Utrecht - Netherlands, 17 October 2019 (Veerle Deblauwe)
• EPO Patent Information Conference, Bucharest – Romania, 29-31 October 2019 (Frederic Baudour)