The 27th annual conference of the German Patent Information Centres working group (PIZnet) was held at the Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) – German National Library of Science and Technology in Hannover on 7 and 8 March 2017. A total of 40 representatives from German Patent Information Centres, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) and the European Patent Office (EPO) gathered at TIB to discuss the tasks and challenges facing Patent Information Centres from different perspectives.
The conference focused on the activities to be undertaken by Patent Information Centres in the future, and the effect that the unitary patent will have in the EU. Among other things, a presentation was given of the intellectual property audit offered by WTSH Wirtschaftsförderung und Technologietransfer Schleswig-Holstein. An outline was also given of the VIP4SME (Value Intellectual Property for SMEs) project, which seeks to help SMEs protect their intellectual property better and to provide them with more information about the importance and impact of European patent rights.