ASPI: Frequently Asked Questions
The Access to Specialized Patent Information (ASPI) program was developed as a private-public partnership by the World Intellectual Property Organization in cooperation with its partners LexisNexis, Minesoft, Questel, Thomson Reuters and WIPS. The aim of this partnership is to support developing countries in more fully exploiting their innovative potential by leveraging the valuable information contained in patent documents to develop new solutions to technical problems faced at the local and international levels.
The partners are committed to maintaining ASPI program until 2020.
The countries which are eligible to participate in ASPI program are categorized in three Groups:
- Group 1 represents least developed countries (LDCs) as defined by the United Nations;
- Group 2 includes middle income countries as defined by the World Bank; and
- Group 3 includes certain other developing countries.
More information can be found in the section on “Eligibility” below.
Eligible institutions in Group 1 countries can participate in ASPI at no cost.
Eligible institutions in Group 2 and 3 countries can participate in ASPI at a nominal cost (see section “Payment” below for specific fees).
Government institutions, in particular national patent offices or intellectual property offices, based in Group 1, 2, or 3 countries are eligible to participate in ASPI.
Not-for-profit academic and research institutions, such as universities or public research centers, based in Group 1 or 2 countries are eligible to participate in ASPI.
A list of eligible countries can be found on the Eligibility page.
If your institution meets the eligibility criteria, please complete the online registration form. Only one registration is required per institution. Please ensure that all of the fields in the registration form are completed with the information requested. Failure to complete all of the fields in the form may result in delays in processing your institution’s application.
It is strongly recommended to select no more than two patent database services. These services can be changed later if your institution decides that another service would better suit its needs.
Eligible institutions in Group 1 countries can obtain one account for each patent database service.
Eligible institutions in Group 2 countries can obtain up to three accounts for each patent database service. During the free trial period of up to 12 months, only one account will be granted.
Eligible institutions in Group 3 countries can obtain up to three accounts for each patent database service.
Accounts beyond the maximum provided through ASPI can be obtained directly through the concerned patent database service providers.
Once the completed registration form has been received by WIPO, you will receive an Institution User License for signature by the director and chief librarian or information officer (as appropriate) of your institution. The Institution User License outlines the rights and responsibilities associated with participation in ASPI.
Once the signed Institution User License has been received by WIPO, you will be contacted by the provider of the patent database service(s) you have selected. The provider may require your institution to agree to the terms and conditions for use of its database service and will provide you with the login details required to access the service.
In general, an email confirming receipt of your completed registration form will be sent to you within a few days of submission. If you do not receive such an email, please verify that you have provided an accurate email address for yourself and/or for your institution's director and chief librarian or information officer and check that the email confirming receipt of your completed registration form has not been treated as spam.
If you have completed the registration form and cannot successfully submit it, please contact the ASPI team.
Eligible institutions in Group 2 countries receive access at a cost of 1100 Swiss francs for each account per calendar year (from January through December). The cost will be reduced to 1000 Swiss francs from January 1, 2015.
Eligible institutions in Group 3 countries receive access at a cost of 3300 Swiss francs for each account per calendar year. The cost will be reduced to 3000 Swiss francs from January 1, 2015.
Eligible institutions in Group 1 countries receive access to all database services at no cost.
Eligible institutions in Group 2 countries can request a free trial account for each patent database service for a period of up to 12 months, provided that they have not previously had access to the patent database service concerned.
The participation fee is paid on an annual basis for the calendar year (from January through December). For example, if your institution's free trial period (for Group 2 countries) ends in February, your institution must pay the full participation fee in order to maintain access to your selected database services.
An email will be sent to your institution with an invoice containing payment instructions. If you do not receive the invoice, please verify that you have provided an accurate email address for yourself on the registration form and check that the email with the invoice has not been treated as spam.
In general the participation fee is paid by bank transfer. Payment instructions are provided by WIPO along with the invoices for Group 2 countries or by the database service provider(s) for Group 3 countries.
Eligible institutions in Group 2 countries pay their fee to WIPO.
Eligible institutions in Group 3 pay their fee directly to the selected database service provider(s).
If you have any questions or concerns about paying the participation fee, please contact the ASPI team.
In order to get started, you will need a computer connected to the Internet with a high-speed (56k baud rate or higher) connection. It is advisable to use an up-to-date version of your web browser in order to ensure full functionality of the selected database service(s).
If you know that your institution is registered, contact your chief librarian or information officer or your director. These are the officials who are provided with the login details.
If you cannot locate the appropriate individual at your institution, please contact the ASPI team.
Access to the selected database service(s) is ensured by the provider. In case of any technical problem inclusive of login malfunction, please contact the concerned database service provider.
Login details may be shared with any member of a registered institution (researchers, teaching and administrative staff, students). They should not be shared with visitors or posted on the internet.
Please note that login details are only valid for a single concurrent access to the associated database service. This means that, while one person is using a set of login details, it cannot be used at the same time by another person.
Access to the patent database services may only be provided from computers or other digital installations owned by or under the direct control of the institution or from personal computers owned personally by the employees, faculty or students of the institution.
You may download or print data subject to the terms and conditions for use of the database service.