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Project Title:

Enhanced Protection of IPR by streamlined Provision of Access to Regulatory Knowledge

Project Reference:


Project Website:


Start Date: 2000-02-01 End Date: 2003-01-31

The aim of the project is to design, develop, manage, assess and commercially exploit a fully functioning prototype Internet e-commerce site providing IPR protection services. The prototype will become the basis for a fully commercial site run by a company set up for this purpose. The project has now been running for just over a year (start date of 1st February 2000) The main objectives of the project are to develop the following:
The IPR Manager
The IPR Database Manager comprises a database of customer patent and trademark portfolio information and a suite of programs to set up, access, update and review this data. A diary notifies clients of due dates for action and decision; it presents costing information itemising generic services and also presenting specific costing for specific actions. This module will also include higher level e-commerce functions and LISA will be accessible for further inquiry regarding IPR protection procedures. LISA (Legal Information Software Agent) an intelligent software agent for supplying legal information about IPR (Intellectual Property Rights). To which users will be able to pose legal questions and receive the relevant law text. This will use Information extraction and encoding technology. This is a natural language technology adapted to other extraction of specific information from structured natural language text. As added value for EPI-SPARK's users and to enable EPI-SPARK to fully offer complete IPR services.


EPI-SPARK has as its main objective the development of LISA (Legal Information Software Agent) an intelligent software agent for supplying legal information about IPR (Intellectual Property Rights). An increasing proportion of modern economic activity consists of trade in Intellectual Property. For EU industry to succeed, even in traditional industries its IPR must be protected, to give it the competitive edge, which depends on exclusive use of a patented invention. EPI-SPARK, to achieve this, will create an e-commerce site for the provision of faster, cheaper and more comprehensive IPR services, principally for European SMEs. This will enable them to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. LISA will, by the end of the project, be able to handle 100% of queries, for all EU countries, from a set of 50 standard query types selected by the Patent Agency partner from its customer files and handle 95% of other legal IPR queries.

Description of Work:

The objectives will be achieved by building on the state-of-the-art expertise of four supplier partners, to achieve an innovative new synthesis of technologies in four main areas. 1. Information extraction and encoding. This is a natural language technology adapted t other extraction of specific information from structured natural language text.
2. Legal Information Software Agent (LISA). All the mechanisms associated with storing and accessing the legal knowledge needed to answer the IPR questions. Lisa will be built by the specialising an existing legal ontology to the IPR domain and representing the legal knowledge in a deontic formalism, which will enable accurate retrieval of all, and only, the relevant legal information needed to answer all appropriate queries. (A deontic formalism extends classical logic with the addition of "operators" for representing rights, prohibitions, obligations etc.).
3. Client DB and E-commerce infrastructure. Lisa must be able to access information about the client, e.g. what information they already have received, what existing IPR protection they have obtained, for which designs/inventions etc. This and other e-commerce functions must be developed to support LISA and the Information Extraction work.
4. Network Infrastructure. Including user access control and registration, secure transport protocols, good network connectivity, etc.


British Maritime Technology Limited

Contact Person:

BALL, Richard

Contact Information:

Address: Orlando House Waldegrave Road 1
Postcode: TW11 8LZ
City: Teddington
Tel: +44-1819-435544
Fax: +44-1819-779304
email: richardb@bmtech.co.uk

Other Partners:
  • TXT e-Solutions Spa
  • European Dynamics S.A.
  • Innovation Development Ltd
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • Synthema Srl
  • Advanced Intelligent Automatic Systems Ltd.