Spicy IP Trivia : Access to Specialized Patent Information by WIPO

In an attempt to foster innovation and increasing access, especially for the developing and least-developed  countries,WIPO has launched the Access to Specialized Patent Information (ASPI),partnering with
LexisNexis, Minesoft, ProQuest, Questel, Thomson Reuters, and WIPS.

This program is aimed at providing free and low-cost access to comprehensive patent information.

Mr David Brown, President of IP Solutions,Thomson Reuters says :

“Some have said that necessity is the spark for innovation, but in many cases necessity may not be enough. Intelligent information, however, can be the fuel for accelerating innovation on a sustained basis. The ASPI program offers the hope that through innovation – and its protection via intellectual property – developing nations can grow economically, socially, and technically, to foster human welfare and development, and become more integrated within the global knowledge economy.”

The countries eligible for free, or significantly reduced, access  have been grouped as

  • Group 1 – least-developed nations, such as Cambodia, Haiti and Somalia 
  • Group 2 – marginally developed nations, such as Albania and Fiji 
  • Group 3 – developing nations, such as Barbados, Libya and Mauritius

This is indeed a commendable effort on part of WIPO and the partnering organizations. 

But I wonder why is India not on the list?   

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5 thoughts on “Spicy IP Trivia : Access to Specialized Patent Information by WIPO”

  1. We cannot expect India to be in the list and the reason is: KPOs and LPOs operating in India, most of them already having access to high-end databases likes PatBase, Delphion, LexisNexis TotalPatent, ProQuest, Questel, Thomson Innovation etc. Even few domestic pharma companies too have access some of these high-end databases. Obviously no database company would be interested in spoiling their business in India by providing free of cost information, particularly to profit-making KPO/LPO industry.

  2. Because our research institutes are not as cash strapped as they might appear. The problem has always been to utilize the funds.

    Recently, a STN vendor did n’t entertain my firm. When, I asked the reason, his polite response was that he only sells the database to research institutes. Other way of putting this is: Your firm can not afford STN services 🙂

    Database pricing in India has gone up at least 50 % in last 2 years. Reason is obvious from the comment above.


  3. Hi Kshitij,

    It seems to be you inquired about SciFinder database provided by STN which as per CAS policy is restricted to research institutes. They do not offer SciFinder to law firms, consulting firms and so on. You may opt for STN Express (their premium database) but sadly that is comparatively very costly and not many clients prefer it due to premium charges.

  4. Though some have questioned the utility of the WIPO’s portal — because only 1 percent of people in least-developed nations have internet access — I think this initiative is laudable. LDCs are often patent-free zones, and such zones have enormous potential to explore innovative possibilities unhindered by the restraints of patents that restrict more-developed countries. If they can just get access to the necessary resources, they could contribute quite significantly to technological and medical innovation globally.

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