IPONZ Digitisation


Stephen Beighton

Major back-capture digitisation project and day-forward records processing of Patent, Trademarks and Designs records from 1999 to present day (16 years).
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IPONZ Digitisation


Major back-capture digitisation project and day-forward records processing of Patent, Trademarks and Designs records from 1999 to present day (16 years)

Starting in 1999 Desktop Imaging partnered with IPONZ to disbind and scan 20 years’ worth of patent abridgment journals. We scanned, and OCR’d those journals using a combination process of raw OCR, operator proofing, secondary proofing and programmatic testing. The result of this process can still be seen today on the IPONZ website. The final project analysis by IPONZ confirmed an accuracy rate of 99.995%, and furthermore, we delivered the project on time and under budget.

Subsequent to the abridgment project we back-captured the IPONZ patent specification collection back to 1982. This process included capturing specifications from paper, fiche, and microfilm and standardising them all into a single format and presenting them as multi-page TIFF files. In addition, we “bookmarked” the files by identifying the sections in each specification and recording the IP Number and image number where the bookmark occurs. This data is then delivered with the images to IPONZ, and they used an automatic process to upload the images and metadata.

Other projects for IPONZ include Trademark back-capture projects, Pre 1979 abridgment digitisation (Image only), Design back-capture, Commissioners decisions and others.

Desktop Imaging operated onsite facility on-site for IPONZ from 2007-2013 to facilitate the rapid turnaround of daily Patent, Trademark and Design correspondence and applications. The daily mail was opened, date-stamped, registered and then processed electronically. The electronic processing includes scanning, text recognition, and metadata extraction, QC, applying complex naming convention and uploading the files onto the IPONZ server for automatic file queuing. The file queues were designed to feed work directly to the examiners (the equivalent of your engineers) so that the oldest is processed first.

IPONZ works on a Ministerial level SLA to process all “Urgent” document types within five business days; we were enhancing their ability to meet this by typically converting received mail into it electronic and XML formats within 4 hours.

Round-the-clock access is also now available via the Internet, substantially reducing workloads and turnaround times for people requesting files.

This ease of online access to important New Zealand documents contributes to the Better Public Services Result 9 of the core Government Initiatives – a significant contribution to New Zealand in a global economy.

Size and scale

Over 150 years of accumulated records converted to digital

Continuous service for 15+ years

Has at times included mail handling and digitisation


On an ongoing basis, we are digitising selected correspondence and delivering the images and data back to IPONZ in PDF format via FTP.

Currently working on digitising historic records to achieve compliance with legislation. This includes producing an XML data stream to deliver the data into the IPONZ patent and trademark database (Ptolemy).

Financial/Non-Financial Benefits

  • Improved access to information for internal/external users;
  • Ability to access, copy, paste, print, search, and or email at any time;
  • Records are made accessible to authorised staff at any time;
  • IT support with security, confidentiality, digital storage and access requirements;
  • Preservation of physical records from continuous wear and tear or loss;
  • Supports Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery strategy.

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