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The International Society for Patent Information Professionals

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PIUG Discussion List Archives

The PIUG/PATMG Patent Information Discussion List (PIUG-L) was replaced by the PIUG Discussion Forum on February 1, 2009. Please contact the PIUG wiki administrators, Tom Wolff or A.J. D'Ambra, with questions.

Just as the PIUG/PATMG Patent Information Discussion List (PIUG-L) served as a forum for discussion of questions relating to patent information, so does the PIUG Discussion Forum. News and questions and concerns about new developments in patent information from patent information users, patent offices, including the USPTO, the EPO and others, and patent information vendors are encouraged. Indexing and searching techniques, new databases and systems (online, in-house or on CD-ROM), and developments in existing databases are suitable as topics for discussion. Please see Guidelines for Commercial Participation for further information.

The PIUG-L Archives (1995 through January 2009) are kindly provided by Questel. Special thanks are due to Yann Lievin at Questel for technical support and Willem Gabilly at Questel and David Dickens, formerly at Questel, for their support and assistance with the Archive Cleanup Project. The Questel Archive site also provides a Search feature which can locate messages by content search as well as by title, author or date.

PIUG expresses its sincere appreciation to Thomson Scientific - Derwent for its long-standing hosting and support of the PIUG Discussion List and archives until the PIUG-L was migrated to the commercial service Listbox in November 2006. We recall special thanks to Kim Rabbitts and Tracy Davis at Derwent for their support in starting up the old PIUG-L, assistance with the Archive Cleanup Project. Thanks are also due to Derwent for providing the edited and HTML-converted Archives to Questel for the Mirror Archives.

Access the PIUG-L Archives

The PIUG-L Archives are searchable in its entirety from the header of every PIUG website page using the Google Custom Search box, which includes a tab specifically for the PIUG-L archives.

Browse PIUG-L Archives in annual segments using these dropdown menus:

PIUG-L Archives (all messages)
            PIUG-L Job Archives

Alternatively, the PIUG-L Archives may be searchable in its entirety at Note that this search function also retrieves results from the website of the PIUG-L archives host,

History of the PIUG Discussion List and Archives

  • 1988 to April 1995

    The PIUG list started out as a discussion list on Dialog's DialMail Bulletin Board facility. Messages were not archived there but some people saved copies anyway. Once the discussion list moved to internet email, messages dating from this incarnation were collected, but were never successfully converted to a format suitable for display on the current archives. Although conversion was desired and was planned at several times, there was always a lack of either the technical expertise, funding or personnel for such conversion. At this late date (1999), it is probably no longer worth the effort.

  • April 1995 to April 1996

    Derwent offered their services to provide the first internet email incarnation of the PIUG discussion list, using the ListProc software. Sandra Unger began serving as sysop for the Discussion List. The archives were originally set up by Derwent to save messages in a batch mode with all the messages posted on a given day concatenated into a digest form and stored in the archive by date. This meant that only the title of the first message posted on any given date could be searched by title, and that all subsequent messages were concatenated to it, not individually listed. Many, but not all of the messages from this period have now been found and edited to list separately in the current archives (the oldest message in the current archives dates to October, 1995).

  • April 1996 to October 2006

    Derwent moved to MajorDomo software for the discussion list. William Murray took over as sysop for the Discussion List in May, 1998. Messages from this time period were captured by Derwent in a hypermail 1.02 Archive, but, at least in the early months, they were often still captured from digest form. These early messages have now been edited and separated into individually titled messages in the current archives.

  • November 2006 to January 2009

    The PIUG Discussion List was moved to the commercial hosting service, Listbox. Access to archives starting in November 2006 are available on to PIUG-L subscribers by logging in via the form at and selecting the "Archives" tab. The full archive is accessible in yearly segments and searchable in its entirety at

  • February 1, 2009

    The PIUG Discussion Forum replaced the PIUG Discussion List.

Archive Cleanup Project

  • In May, 1998, Elvin Hoel volunteered to lead a cleanup project to edit the available archives records, removing irrelevant messages and separating the archives into several smaller segments - to reduce the display time, and to separate out into a separate archive all Job Posting messages for ease of future reference. Other volunteers who helped with the clean up are Barbara Burg, Alan Engel, Catherine Misner, Edlyn Simmons, Tony Trippe, and Fred vanderSteur. As a consequence, all available records were individually reviewed, edited if necessary to separate into individual messages, and the archives separated into four segments:
  • PIUG 1999 (the "new, dirty archives", not yet cleaned)
  • PIUG 1998 (cleaned-up through Dec. 17)
  • PIUG 1995-97 (cleaned-up, 100+ older messages added thanks to Fred vanderSteur)
    Job Postings (all job postings from the 96-98 archives, separated into their own archive)

These and all more recent archive segments are provided by Questel at


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