Patents4Science - Establishing an Information Infrastructure for the Use of Patent Knowledge in Science

A large part of the technical knowledge of mankind is described in patents. This knowledge, e.g., the description of technical procedures, chemical substances, methods and processes, is of great importance for research on technological and scientific questions and for the development of innovative solutions. Several studies show that the potential of patent knowledge is little recognized and exploited, especially in the scientific context. The reasons for this are, on the one hand, the complexity and structure of the patents themselves and, on the other hand, the lack of expertise to research and analyze them using existing tools. Our preliminary investigations in the context of the needs analysis at six research institutes provided fundamental insights into major hurdles and challenges in accessing and searching as well as in exploiting the content of patents.