Magazine article Information Today

Questel*Orbit in the New Millennium

Magazine article Information Today

Questel*Orbit in the New Millennium

Article excerpt

Last year, Jean Besson, head of Questel*Orbit (, bought 80 percent of the company from the telecommunications giant France Telecom. Predictably, he has spent some time since then planning a reorganization. Questel*Orbit recently announced the results.

Pierre Buffet is general manager in the Paris office and essentially Questel*Orbit's chief operating officer, reporting directly to Besson. He is in charge of managing the company worldwide--patents, trademarks, products, and sales.

Charles Besson, Jean Besson's son, will become president of Questel*Orbit U.S. and take over leadership of the office in McLean, Virginia. Charles Besson attended business school in France and has an M.B.A. from the Sorbonne. He doesn't have an intellectual property background, but he has worked for the last 8 years in sales management in South America. He formed his own computer software company, Sonecom, a year ago. Besson has been in the McLean office for the past few months looking at financial and sales matters and will focus on what he knows: understanding the market, distributing the sales force, and, in general, making money.

David Dickens, who last year was trying to do two jobs as general manager of Questel*Orbit's U.S. office and director of patent business, was torn between his international responsibilities for patents and his national responsibility for business issues. He will now be able to focus on the patent business.

Dickens heads up a formidable team for patent-information-resources development. Linda Williams, technical product manager, started in the McLean office in 1989, doing database design, and moved to France in 1994. She is located at the Questel*Orbit technical office in Sophia, France, loading databases and doing in-depth systems work. Lindley McGrew, patent product

manager, started with InfoLine in 1986 and stayed with Orbit through 1995. He went to Derwent for 3 years and was back consulting with Questel*Orbit last year, helping with the merger and loading PlusPat. He is now back full time. Roger West, manager of patent content, has been with Orbit since 1989 as both a teacher and a presence on the help desk.

This team will deal with new patent product development, among other things. They plan to introduce a database of German patents and utility models going back to 1968. It will be in German but searchable by ECLA codes, the European Patent Office's very detailed patent subject classifications. …

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