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The PDG was founded in 1957 by 13 companies and their initial objective was to share the burden of preparing patent abstracts, a service that was essentially unobtainable elsewhere at that time: this cooperation was so successful that by 1966 the group had the capacity to assess over 50,000 patents and to abstract almost 30,000 in that year alone! By the mid 1960’s, the PDG had broadened its horizons by becoming increasingly engaged in other activities which included the development of a uniform coding system (IPC) for patents and the successful introduction of mechanised systems for searching equivalents and testing new technologies in information and documentation. During this period, the exchange of views on patent information management became just as important as indexing and abstracting. At the same time, a small patent abstracting company by the name of Derwent, founded by Monty Hyams in London, had started to offer a commercial patent abstracting service. Most of the PDG members decided to leave the task of abstracting patents to Derwent and subscribe to the product, but it was decided to monitor the new product to ensure that their own high standards were maintained. Over the next decade, PDG patent abstracting activities were eventually phased out in favour of a continuous, in-depth study of online retrieval, the implementation of networks and the impact of patent laws on documentation. 





  • 1969 PDG becomes a registered association
  • 1970 Abstracting of patent specifications discontinued by PDG due to Derwent Service
  • 1976 First PDG official Working Group established - Networks and Online Retrieval
  • 1980 Working Group IMPACT established
  • 1984 PDG Statutes amended to allow non-chemical/oil companies to join the PDG