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Patent Information Users Group, Inc.

The International Society for Patent Information Professionals

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Patent Information Users Group, Inc.  The International Society for Patent Information Professionals


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

7:30 am Vendor Set-up and Breakfast
  Registration, Exhibits open
8:30 am Welcoming Remarks and Meeting Logistics

Morning Session

8:45 am

Keynote: Searching Peptides and Proteins and Second Medical Use Claims
Dr Klaus-Peter Döpfer, European Patent Office

9:30 am

Pre-Work for Sequence Searching: What To Do and Why It Is Important
Elyse Turner

10:00 am

Variant Sequence Search and Analysis
Ellen Sherin, GQ Life Sciences Inc.

10:30 am Product Reviews (BizInt and GQ Life Sciences)
10:40 am Break & Vendor Exhibits
11:10 am

A New Way to Access Patent Data, Chemical Annotations and Company Private Data: An Overview and Demonstration of Google BigQuery and Tableau
Larry Cady, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services

11:40 am

Dynamic FTO Analysis – Adapting and Evolving IP Searches to Meet Legal, Scientific, and Strategic Needs
Louise Boisen, Danish Patent and Trademark Office

12:10 pm Product Reviews (Minesoft and STN)
12:20 pm Lunch & Vendor Exhibits

Afternoon Session

1:50 pm

Unlocking CPC
Tonya Heyboer and Brett Johnson,  Serco

2:20 pm Integrating Top-Down and Bottom-Up Search Strategies for IP Asset Discovery
Candice Landry, 10e5 Solutions
2:50 pm Break & Vendor Exhibits
3:20 pm

Discussion Panel:  Challenges for New Searchers in the Biotech Industry: Training and Entry
Dianah Barrett, Ph.D., Pfizer
Sophie Shnaper, PhD., Selecta Biosciences
Victoria Smith, Ph.D., Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

3:50 pm Closing Remarks
5:30 pm Networking Dinner (registration required)

Meeting Abstracts

Keynote: Searching Peptides and Proteins and Second Medical Use Claims Top of Page
Dr Klaus-Peter Döpfer, European Patent Office


The Keynote Presentation addresses search strategies for claims with peptide subject-matter, specifically compounds comprising fewer than 20 amino acids. I shall then address the searching of claims directed to medical uses. Particular focus will be put on the search for documents which are pertinent for assessment of inventive step.


Dr. Klaus-Peter Dopfer is Director of the Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry (HBC) Sector at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich.  He has been with the EPO for 29 years and has held various positions within the organization covering patent subject areas from polymers to vaccines.  Dr. Dopfer has a background in Chemistry and Biochemistry and also has experience in the medical and legal fields.  He brings a wealth of experience in patenting from the EPO perspective to the PIUG Biotechnology Conference.

Pre-Work for Sequence Searching: What To Do and Why It Is ImportantTop of Page
Elyse Turner


If you have been asked to search a sequence it may seem easy to jump right into one of the many tools on the market and run a search.  However, for interpreting a very large or a very small amount of results, a little forethought along with some research about the sequence can improve the analysis and sometimes make it easier.  This presentation will review tools and techniques for researching a sequence along with some questions to ask about sequences.


Elyse Turner has been searching the patent literature since 1987 for Merck & Co., Inc. to support patentability and FTO for both internal programs and in-licensing opportunities in chemistry and biotechnology.  As manager of the patent search group she designed and oversaw the training of 4 patent searchers.  A founding member of PIUG, she supplemented vendor training by designing and attending local and annual PIUG meetings.  In 2007 she co-founded the Biotechnology Conference.  Despite retiring in Fall 2017, she continues to work on the Program and Workshops for the Biotechnology Conference.  Elyse holds a Bachelors in Biology from the University of Chicago.  After graduation, she worked in a herpesvirus lab at the University of Chicago.  Returning to NJ she earned an MLS in Library Studies from Rutgers University before beginning her career in patent information.

Variant Sequence Search and AnalysisTop of Page
Ellen Sherin, GQ Life Sciences Inc.


Variant sequences are those which have at least one position which can be multiple residues; most frequently several positions.  Because of the number of possible permutations, it's not feasible to search each individually.  To complicate things still further, the requirement of this type of search is often to report all hits with any combination of variations; many times "at least one variant position as specified; all other variant positions can be anything at all".  And...most variant sequences are NOT in sequence listings so that makes them even more difficult to search.   A combination of sequence and text search methods covering this type of search will be presented as one possible approach towards addressing this highly complex type of search.


Ellen has been employed in the field of sequence since 1983, beginning by running DuPont’s oligonucleotide synthesis lab and ending up as a patent searcher and agent with a specialty in sequence work.  Along the way she has managed internal implementations of software like Blast and numerous commercial sequence-related products; worked on DuPont’s DNA synthesizer and sequencer, and ultimately implemented DuPont’s internal IP sequence search capabilities and developed many related methods.  Ellen is now employed by GenomeQuest as Senior Product Manager for our GenomeQuest and LifeQuest products.

A New Way to Access Patent Data, Chemical Annotations and Company Private Data: An Overview and Demonstration of Google BigQuery and TableauTop of Page
Larry Cady, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services


Google BigQuery and Tableau offer a new way to access patent data.  Unlike traditional search systems, BigQuery uses a familiar SQL interface to query patent data, and to join patent data with other public and private data sources.  Free patent data is available on BigQuery in addition to related free and fee-based value-added databases. 

A CRISPR based example will be shown that combines:

  1. Free public patent data
  2. Fee-based-value added patent data
  3. Chemical annotations SureChEMBL
  4. Simulated company private data

Tableau provides a user-friendly “drag and drop” query builder, and the ability to join BigQuery databases with company private data, and data stored on the user’s desktop – without the need to upload the private data to BigQuery. Tableau also provides powerful data visualization tools.


Larry Cady is a Senior Analyst with IFI and a PIUG Member.  Over 20 years patent data experience.  Mr. Cady works closely with IFI CLAIMS Patent Services and its partners on research, product development, marketing and sales support.   Before engaging with IFI CLAIMS, Mr. Cady was VP of Product Management at Thomson Scientific responsible for IP products.  Mr. Cady led product management and customer service at MicroPatent prior to its acquisition by Thomson Scientific.

Dynamic FTO Analysis – Adapting and Evolving IP Searches to Meet Legal, Scientific, and Strategic NeedsTop of Page
Louise Boisen, Danish Patent and Trademark Office


IP analysis is often seen as a tedious process best left to IP-trained legal counsel. However, as patent searchers we know that patent literature encompasses a wealth of information, which can be of interest to departments such as R&D and business development. Yet, staff in non-IP or non-legal departments is usually not well versed in extracting relevant information from patent databases or search reports. So how can we present IP information in a format that is practically useful to both IP and non-IP professionals? In this talk, I will illustrate the process of establishing an IP search workflow that feeds FTO and landscape data into a repository of knowledge useful for R&D, business development, and legal counsel alike. For example, scientists can consult this repository during the R&D process for inspiration and for help in navigating around potential legal roadblocks that can arise from making changes to, e.g. buffers, pH, and preparation methods. I will discuss some of the challenges we patent searchers face and the questions we have to ask to present IP data that merges the sometimes conflicting interests of R&D, business development, and legal personnel.


Louise works as a patent examiner at the Nordic Patent Institute (NPI) and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO). Apart from searching and examining national and PCT patent applications, she also delivers IP search services to businesses throughout the world. One of Louise’s main focus areas is close communication between client and searcher to ensure high quality search and analysis. This, she prioritizes through her responsibilities in preparing quotes for search requests, implementing best practice procedures, and developing new services for the commercial search service units of both NPI and DKPTO. Louise has a background in recombinant antibody technology with a PhD from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and did her postdoctoral training at Warwick Medical School, Coventry, UK.

Unlocking CPC Top of Page
Tonya Heyboer and Brett Johnson, Serco


CPC was designed for search, yet unlocking CPC’s potential presents a challenge.   To utilize this powerful tool effectively, an understanding of the underlying concepts and strategy of classification is important.  As the primary USPTO classification contractor for over 10 years, Serco’s experience offers searchers unique insight into the complex nature of CPC.  This presentation outlines important keys to unlocking CPC including why the design of CPC makes it a powerful search tool, how to read schemes and definitions as a user manual for searchers, what limitations need to be considered, and where to find helpful tools and resources.  We will review a specific case drawn from the biotechnology area and corresponding classification practices; for example, classification of Markush claims, consulting definition lineages, indexing practices, and more.


Tonya Heyboer is the Knowledge and Training Manager for Serco North America, IP Services.  Prior to joining Serco in 2006, Tonya provided training and consulting services across a suite of research products for searchers and librarians at corporate, government and academic institutions.

Brett Johnson is the Team Lead of the Industrial Chemistry department for Serco covering classification of subject matter including molding, stock materials, metallurgy, and gas/liquid separation. Brett’s more than 10 year tenure with Serco also includes classification and quality assurance experience in subject matter areas including recombinant DNA-technology, immunoassays, protein chemistry, immunology, organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, polymers, industrial processing and stock materials.

Integrating Top-Down and Bottom-Up Search Strategies for IP Asset DiscoveryTop of Page
Candice Landry, 10e5 Solutions


Innovation companies regularly assess new technology ventures, so they need IP intelligence that is specific to a technology, and which can easily be put into context of a larger competitive space. Providing high-resolution competitive intelligence analyses that are both comprehensive and timely can be challenging, particularly when the technology focus of the portfolio may shift. In partnering with a Biotech Management Company, we established a way to provide IP intelligence that captured the small molecule and nanoparticle spaces, while also providing the resolution needed for insights on specific portfolio companies within that landscape.

We will present a top-down, bottom-up approach that streamlines the query strategy for a set of portfolios of varying maturity, without compromising the customization that the client needs. This strategy is designed to identify the immediate players and emerging technologies involved in proximal fields, show technology gaps, and illustrate a broader landscape within which additional related portfolios could compete. Key benefits of this method will be discussed, including the reduction of time from insights to decision.


Charged with enthusiasm and a collaborative spirit, Candice is a natural connector of ideas, people, and organizations. She brings candor and diligence when shaping new solutions into top-notch innovations. First as a scientist, then as a strategist and tech portfolio builder, Candice has always been excited to explore technology frontiers. She’s worked in an array of industries and academia, and strives to catalyze innovation within companies and across organizations. Candice founded 10e5 Solutions specifically to be able to provide accessible, world-class innovation strategy, development, and management to growing technology organizations. When partnering with organizations, she thrives on aligning the intellectual property strategy to the business strategy so that competitive new products get to market with the most elbow room and for the longest period of time. When she’s not cultivating ideas, or connecting teams, you will likely find her behind a macro lens or plotting her next (masterful) king cake recipe.

Discussion Panel:  Challenges for New Searchers in the Biotech Industry: Training and EntryTop of Page

Dianah Barrett, Ph.D., Pfizer

Dianah entered the field of patent information in April, 2015 and in her current role she works as a biotechnology patent information analyst in the Patent Searching & Information group within Pfizer’s Legal Division. Dianah originally joined Pfizer in 2011 as a protein biochemist. Prior pharmaceutical industry experience includes as a protein biochemist at Schering-Plough, Merck Research Labs and Genocea Biosciences. She holds a PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Harvard University and degrees in Chemistry from Princeton University and Wesleyan University.

Sophie Shnaper, PhD., Selecta Biosciences

Sophie Shnaper, PhD, joined Selecta Biosciences in 2017 as a Consultant in Intellectual Property (IP). As part of a legal team, she provides an expertise in freedom-to-operate (FTO) analysis, as well as in IP due-diligence, in relation to licensing opportunities under consideration. Prior to Selecta Biosciences, she served as a Senior Business Analyst at Merck, where she contributed to global team-efforts in development of a web-based application for tracking high-volumes of clinical trials in the area of immuno-oncology. Working closely with software engineers and clinical project leaders, Dr. Shnaper applied her expertise in the field of clinical biomarkers in oncology. In early 2016, Dr. Shnaper joined Cerulean Pharma, as a Consultant in Corporate Strategy and Business Development, where she was responsible for scientific and commercial assessments of potential corporate partnerships. On behalf of Cerulean team, she drafted a research proposal for conduct of a clinical trial governed by National Cancer Institute (NCI) with drugs jointly supplied by Cerulean and Astra Zeneca. In support of strategic decision-making, she integrated critical biomedical insights creating a comprehensive analysis of competitive landscape for drug candidates. As a Research Fellow at Cancer Center of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) she investigated molecular mechanisms of resistance in glioblastoma. Following completion of her postdoctoral fellowship at MGH, she joined Partners HealthCare Innovation office as a full-time intern. At Partners, she performed patentability analysis for technologies in diverse fields of biomedical research including gene therapy, molecular biomarkers, cell-based technologies and vaccines. She has presented complex scientific information which was impactful in determining the IP and commercialization strategies of inventions. Dr. Shnaper earned her PhD in Life Sciences, Brain Tumors Biology, at University of Lausanne in Switzerland. She received her MSc in Molecular and Structural Biology from Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She holds a double-major BSc, with honors, in Chemistry and Biology from Tel-Aviv University in Israel.

Victoria Smith, Ph.D., Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Victoria Smith received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame in 2016.  While at the university, she worked in the areas of immunology, cancer biology, and infectious diseases.  During her time in the lab, Victoria began to transition her career interests to intellectual property and, in 2015, enrolled in a Master of Science in Patent Law program at the University of Notre Dame.  Through participation in this program and a subsequent internship at the University of Notre Dame Office of Technology Transfer, she was taught the foundations of patent law, application drafting, and patent searching and analysis.   Victoria joined Novartis in October 2017 as a patent analyst for the Research & Development IP team at NIBR.

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