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European Patent Office licenses MDL® Patent Chemistry Database


San Ramon, CA - November 28, 2006 - Elsevier MDL has announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has licensed the MDL® Patent Chemistry Database for use in evaluating patent applications. The structure-searchable database, which indexes chemical reactions, substances and substance-related factual data from selected organic chemistry and life sciences patent publications, will aid the EPO in evaluating patent applications.

“The MDL Patent Chemistry Database was specially designed for scientists and includes extensive measured numerical bioactivity data and many compounds that aren’t covered elsewhere,” said Dr. Trevor Heritage, Senior Vice President of Elsevier MDL. “These qualities and the ability to find data using combinations of text, structure and reaction searches will aid the EPO in efficiently assessing substances claimed in organic chemistry and life science patents. The adoption by the EPO reflects the growing importance of the database in the scientific community.”

The Patent Chemistry Database covers World and European patents since 1978 and US patents since 1976. It includes more than 1 million prophetic compounds (1976- ) which are legally relevant yet not indexed in other databases; the database also covers claims text and Markush structure and reaction displays (2003- ). The database is essential to R&D scientists for planning chemical synthesis and profiling biological activities.

The EPO can use the database to find chemical compounds and processes mentioned in patents (not only the claimed reactions in process patents, but also those mentioned in substance or application patents) and search for information using reactions, the chemical structures of final products and reagents, and reaction conditions (e.g., pressure, temperature, etc.). For all indexed reactions, the reaction procedure texts are provided, making it easier to check for relevance. The EPO will be able find biological activities of substances (e.g., pharmacological, agrochemical and cosmetical activity) and substance applications by searching for words in the application or biological activity data fields as well as in the patent front-page and claims text.


About European Patent Office
The European Patent Office (EPO) processes European patent applications for the contracting states to the European Patent Convention (EPC), which was signed in Munich on 5 October 1973 and entered into force on 7 October 1977. It is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation, an intergovernmental body set up under the EPC, whose members are the EPC contracting states. The activities of the EPO are supervised by the Organisation’s Administrative Council, composed of delegates from the contracting states. By filing a single application in one of the three official languages (English, French and German) it is possible to obtain patent protection in some or all of the EPC contracting states.

About Elsevier MDL
Elsevier MDL provides informatics, database and workflow solutions that accelerate successful scientific R&D by improving the speed and quality of scientists’ decision making. Researchers around the world depend on Elsevier MDL for innovative and reliable discovery informatics software solutions and services augmented by 400 Elsevier chemistry and life sciences journals and related products. For more information, visit Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. For more information, visit Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider. Reed Elsevier’s ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange). For more information, visit


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