200 experts at the Austrian Patent Office are dedicated to protecting the industrial property of Austrian enterprises. Around 3,000 invention applications, 6,000 brand applications and 500 industrial design applications are submitted each year.
- Central platform for business case processing
- Fewer work steps through networked systems
- Simpler searching and querying through centralising information
- Fully integrated workflow management
- Fast document creation through filling with business data
- Comprehensive document management
Initial situation: Distributed data management in 12 sub-systems
More than 200 experts at the Austrian Patent Office are dedicated to protecting inventions, designs and brands. About 3,000 inventions, an average of 6,000 brands and 500 designs are submitted for registration and numerous international inspection reports are drawn up every year. Processing this abundance of business cases efficiently called for a comprehensive and future-proof software solution.
On the one hand, the required solution had to be intuitively operable to provide targeted support to users during their daily work; on the other hand, it had to be flexibly adaptable to changes in basic conditions and new areas of use. Other important aspects included integrability in the existing system landscape and support for future basic technologies.
Acta Nova as a solid basis
Acta Nova, the basic product for efficient business case processing developed by rubicon, fulfilled every requirement and had already proven itself in practical use at numerous authorities and large corporations. Not only does it support business case processing from initial input to archiving, it also includes powerful document and workflow management modules. Acta Nova therefore offered a solid and proven basis for business case processing at the Austrian Patent Office.
The solution: TOPAS – central platform and information hub
Acta Nova was configured in accordance with the requirements specified by the Austrian Patent Office and a few of its functionalities were extended. The resulting TOPAS application is a central service component in the sense of a service-oriented architecture. TOPAS represents the main connecting link in the IT architecture in place at the Austrian Patent Office as it creates an intelligent network connecting local systems such as the central patent register ELVIS, information adopted from online forms and export interfaces for automated publication.
Networking in this manner has increased quality whilst reducing the number of steps in the work process. Information relating to patent applications can now be adopted straight from the patent register and used as a basis for research and publication.
“Replacing paper-based files has drastically reduced throughput times in presidential file management”, says a delighted Berhard Rapf, Head of IT at the Austrian Patent Office in commenting on the increase in efficiency.
All research, publications, file processing and document management in the inventions segment now take place in TOPAS. Processing in a central system guarantees a high degree of transparency and traceability. Around 275,000 files containing 1,2 mio. documents and 115,000 outgoing items adopted from a number of outdated systems are currently mapped in the application. Collating the data facilitates in particular searches and queries. “Information is easy to find and available to anyone at any time”, confirms Patent Office project manager Robert Wollendorfer, MSc.
In addition, TOPAS contains a fully integrated workflow management system. It maps all of the main business processes so that everyone can see where a specific business case is currently located. Robert Wollendorfer sees this as an advantage: “It gives superiors an overview of the current file volume and processing status in their respective department. They can quickly assign tasks to someone else if an employee is incapacitated.” Both standard and ad-hoc processes are available, depending on the type of business case.
TOPAS also offers the innovative option of supplementing subject-specific information in the form of properties (business data) as and when required during ongoing operations and to use them in documents and transaction templates. Filling documents automatically with business data makes it possible to create documents faster and renders them less susceptible to error. Another RUBICON solution is used to generate documents: Document Partner.
TOPAS also features a comprehensive document management system that covers the entire lifecycle of documents from creation to archiving or discarding, all of which are mapped traceably and in compliance with auditing requirements within the scope of business case processing.
TOPAS now maps every file relating to patents, utility models, brands and registered designs including all the relevant documents and workflow information. It also maps presidential file management processes and personnel files. This achieves synergy effects and the Austrian Patent Office is getting closer to its goal of paperless work. By 2018, 75% of business case processing had already taken place electronically.
We will be pleased to continue our cooperation with rubicon in the future. Collaboration could not be better. Their employees react swiftly with great competence. In addition, our team of consultants is well-acquainted with the processes and particularities of the Patent Office. That makes collaboration all the more efficient.
Facts & Figures
- 275,000 files
- 1,2 mio. documents
- 115.000 outgoing items
- Acta Nova
- Document Partner
- Various interfaces within and outside of the Austrian Patent Office