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EPO announces CodeFest winners

27 February 2023

The European Patent Office (EPO) announced the winners of the CodeFest on Green Plastics during a live event on Thursday 23 February. Each of the top three teams featured collaboration between EPO staff and machine learning experts from industry and academia.

Over 60 competitors representing 17 nationalities took up the code challenge of the EPO’s first ever public CodeFest. Brilliant minds across Europe were called upon to create artificial intelligence (AI) models that make the know-how in patents on green plastics more easily accessible to innovators everywhere. The award ceremony was viewed live by over 1 300 people.

The top three teams for the 2023 edition of the EPO’s CodeFest are:

Winner: AI4EPO (Greece and Netherlands)
Dimitrios Skraparlis (EPO), Prodromos Malakasiotis (Workable), Stavros Vassos (, Odysseas Diamantopoulos (MMlab)

This team's model uses state-of-the-art AI pipelines and large language models from OpenAI for zero-shot, few-shot and other approaches to arrive at a custom MLP neural network for binary and multi-label classification. For their winning solution, AI4EPO will receive EUR 20 000.

First runner-up: Multimodal Patent Document Classification (Germany and Netherlands)
Ioannis Mariggis (EPO), Athanasios Mariggis (EPO), Hendrik Stapelbroek (BMW)

This team created a deep learning architecture to classify patent documents by fusing features from figures and text, thus exploiting the multimodal nature of patents. As the first runner-up, Multimodal Patent Document Classification will receive EUR 15 000.

Second runner-up: Green Hands (Netherlands)
Gonzalo Moro Pérez (EPO), Tinting Qiao (Adyen)

Since there is currently no classification scheme or labelled data available in this field, Green Hands proposed a new classification scheme, and developed a strategy to automatically assign labels to patents to create a labelled training dataset. Having secured their spot on the podium, Green Hands will be awarded EUR 10 000.

Putting patent data to work

A wide range of stakeholders use the EPO’s data resources, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) and European Commission, as well as researchers and patent information specialists. The CodeFest on Green Plastics aimed to improve access to these resources at the same time as helping to advance automatic classification of sustainable technologies. The event also supported the global drive to achieve more sustainable production, an essential element of UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.

Competitors drew on EP full-text data from the EPO’s bulk data download services and were given access to our Open Patent Services (OPS) web services. The EPO’s study on patents for tomorrow’s plastics and the full range of EPO data resources available online sparked forward-thinking solutions based on the scope and quality of the EPO’s products. Several competitors have since begun to build their services based on the OPS application programming interface after learning about the tool during the challenge.

Further information