The 4th IRF Symposium took place on 7 June 2011 in the University of Technology of Vienna with the participation of international information retrieval researchers and patent information experts.



Since 2007, the IRF Symposium has established itself as a unique conference where both academia and industry meet to discuss and solve patent retrieval challenges. 

After a discovery phase, during which the patent information professionals explained their needs and showed the limits of the systems they work with, the 3rd IRF Symposium in June 2010 marked the start of the integration phase: Information retrieval scientists have started to integrate these parameters in their research. In 2011, the IRF Symposium has demonstrated further examples of retrieval techniques developed to better solve the information professionals’ needs in 3 specific fields: User InterfacesImage Retrieval and Machine Translation.
The IRF Symposium 2011 was placed under the sign of collaboration and results: Information retrieval researchers have applied their systems to a standardized patent collection and patent searchers have evaluated the results. The past Symposia in 2010 in 2011 have shown the need for the involvement of a third party, the technology implementers, who can take on the results to develop practical tools. Without their involvement, the practical results shown at the IRF Symposium might remain out of reach for patent information specialists, although they would largely benefit from new applications.
The 4th IRF Symposium offered for the 2nd time a forum to the PatOlympics, a live event where participating teams compete against each other with their own search engines to retrieve within a limited time the highest possible number of relevant patents according to tasks designed by patent experts.

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