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The PDG Board is responsible for the overall running of the organisation. The PDG’s operational activities are assumed by its Working Groups which are the backbone of the organisation. In addition there are several Task Forces focusing on specific topics.


Corporate Membership  is by election through the existing Member Companies and is open to firms actively engaged in industrial research and innovation, with a substantial patent portfolio. more

PDG Board

The Board is the executive authority of the PDG and defines its course of action. It is obliged to implement the decisions of the Members' Conference. more

Annual Members' Conference

The Annual Members' Conference is the highest authority of the PDG that decides on official matters concerning the internal organisation and the external relations of the PDG. more

Working Groups

The task of monitoring, testing or comparing patent information resources is carried out within the WGs of the PDG in such a way that there is no duplication of effort but, if advantageous, there is cooperation between different WGs. more


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. 

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