|Monty Hyams (1918-2013): Patent Information Pioneer||home||intro||derwent||personal||downloads||links|
Hello, my name is Monty Hyams, aged 95 (he says in March 2013)
and this is my one-time home in Finchley, London.
Like its neighbours, as well as a house number, it had a sign above the front door with the name of a lake in the English north-west…like Windermere, Coniston, or in this case: Derwent. When I started up in business I had to give the firm a name -- and since I worked from home the choice was obvious.
That is why it became Derwent World Patents Index!
A research chemist by training, who became a patents manager almost by accident, I started abstracting in my spare-time in 1951, then went full-time at it. My vision was a publication giving informative summaries of British patents issuing each week.I wrote the summaries myself, working from documents in the British Patent Office. Back home at the house called Derwent, my handwritten abstracts were typed, duplicated and dispatched by a couple of part-timers. My costs were fairly low and as I was selling 300 subscriptions within a year, I was comfortably in profit.
This enabled me to grow -- a weekly publication of abstracts of all German patents, then one covering those of the Soviet Union, and so on. I gradually took on additional abstractors, all working from documents they were able to study at the Patent Office in London.
With most of the major countries covered, I wondered what next? There remained Japan, but that was beyond my current capability.
Then I came across a peculiar situation which was not generally appreciated -- a country that was special not for its size but another reason.