Advanced distribution of patent applications (DCM)

European Patent Office

European Patent Office (EPO) is a public organization based, among other European locations, in The Hague – The Netherlands. As the patent office for Europe, they support innovation, competitiveness and economic growth across Europe through their commitment to high quality and efficient services delivered under the European Patent Convention.

eDossier for Search

The Patent Office processes patent applications using a paper process. The project eDossier for Search (eDFS) transformed this paper process into a digital process. The key components of eDFS are Account management and Stock management. Account management is about management of organization units, organization structures and members, functional and organizational roles, technical specialism and (temporarily) deputisation. Stock management is about insight and overview of all applications by organization unit, category, status, required actions, time limits, etc. In addition the user is offered a preview of all related documents and associated filings and a set of complex tasks like intelligent (re-)allocation of examiners based on their expertise and workload.

The complexity of eDFS is in the combination of the huge number of organizational (security) rules, the enormous amount of (categorizing) data and a user friendly advanced distribution of applications. On a yearly basis EPO receives about 160.000 applications to be judged by about 10.000 examiners.

Fit in existing application landscape with a fully service oriented architecture

The EPO uses a lot of systems for different types of applications. Despite eDFS replaces a number of systems, it still had to be integrated with the maintained systems.  So the fully service oriented architecture mainly combines dynamic case management (DCM) with user interface services, data exchange services, authentication services and collaborative authoring/reviewing services. The logical business services representing the core tasks, are implemented as part of the DCM.

Based on the user stories CognitionConcept created and implemented fully service oriented components working together as the eDFS-system. The data-services where interacting against a central service layer in order to prevent having knowledge of the individual systems to integrate with. The user-interaction was fully supported by user interface services provided by the back-end components. This means that no business logic is coded in the front-end. The front-end is using a standard framework to handle each service accordingly.